Shaquil Barrett

Buccaneers Activate LB Shaquil Barrett From Reserve/COVID-19 List

Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett is expected to be in uniform for this weekend’s Wild Card playoff game against Washington. The team announced today that they’ve activated Barrett from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

We learned last week that linebacker Devin White had tested positive for COVID-19, and Barrett subsequently landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list as a close contact. White’s positive test ultimately sidelined both players for Week 17, and while Barrett will surely be back on the field this weekend, there’s still no definitive word on White’s status (it was initially assumed that he’d miss the contest).

Following a 2019 campaign where he compiled 19.5 sacks, Barrett had another solid showing in 2020. The former undrafted free agent ultimately finished the regular season having compiled 57 tackles, eight sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles.

Barrett was slapped with the franchise tag last offseason. Barring another tag, Barrett should be able to secure a long-term deal as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Defensive lineman Steve McLendon was also placed on reserve/COVID-19 list alongside Barrett and White last week. There’s been no update on his status.

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Devin White Tests Positive For COVID-19

Devin White is out for the Buccaneers’ regular-season finale and likely the team’s playoff opener. The second-year linebacker tested positive for COVID-19, according to’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter).

In addition to White being sidelined, the Bucs placed Shaquil Barrett on their reserve/COVID-19 list. As a close contact, Barrett will miss Week 17. As a close contact, Barrett will be eligible to return for Tampa Bay’s wild-card game.

White and Barrett represent two key pillars of the Bucs’ pass rush. Despite profiling as an off-ball linebacker, White has nine sacks this season. Barrett has produced eight. Jason Pierre-Paul (team-high 9.5) will go it alone this week, and the Bucs will face the NFC East champion next week — in all likelihood — without part of their standout inside ‘backer tandem.

The Bucs used the No. 5 overall pick on White last year, marking the first time a team had devoted a top-five selection to a traditional linebacker since the Seahawks chose Aaron Curry fourth overall in 2009. White has worked out better thus far. Though Pro Football Focus has not been especially impressed with the non-pass-rushing elements of White’s game this season, he is far and away the Bucs’ tackles leader with 140. The LSU product has also racked up 15 tackles for loss and 16 QB hits in what has been a breakthrough second season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Barrett, Gregory, Washington

The Buccaneers look to be one of the many teams set to carry a franchise tag number on their payroll this season. Shaquil Barrett and the Bucs were believed to be far apart on terms over the weekend, and the breakout pass rusher expects to play this season on the tag.

I would love to get a deal done. I know they would love to get a deal done. But just the situation of the world right now is making it hard to get a deal done,” Barrett said during an NFL Network appearance (via “So if we get one done, I’m going to be happy. But if not, I’m still happy to be down here for another year and potentially to get a deal done in the future once we do figure out how the season’s going to go and how next year possibly will be.

“I still have some hope for it, but I’m more optimistic for the one-year to get done over a long-term deal.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has clouded the NFL financial picture. Although some teams have come to extension agreements, most franchises have held off. Of the 15 players who received the franchise tag this year, only one (Chris Jones) has reached an extension agreement. With Barrett upping his single-season sack career high from 5.5 to a Bucs-record 19.5, he profiled as a possible “prove it” player. It looks like the sides will huddle up again after the season.

Here is the latest from the NFC:

  • After firing multiple front office execs last week, Washington added some staffers. The team will hire Eric Stokes as its director of pro scouting, Adam Schefter of tweets. Washington is also adding longtime scout Don Warren to be its assistant director of pro personnel, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets. Both will come to Washington after years with Carolina, following Ron Rivera in that regard. For Warren, this will be a reunion. He won three Super Bowls with Washington as a tight end and previously served as a scout with the franchise from 2005-09.
  • The Cowboys refuse to give up on Randy Gregory. Despite the Cowboys losing hope he will be reinstated in time for this season, they would like to have the suspended defensive end back in a non-playing capacity for the time being, Todd Archer of notes. Gregory has been suspended four times since entering the league. He has not played since the 2018 season.
  • The Saints should be expected to sign a tackle at some point before the season, Katherine Terrell of The Athletic writes (subscription required). New Orleans has entrenched starters Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk and added ex-Ravens starter/swingman James Hurst this offseason. But the Saints have been proponents of O-line fortification, so it would not be especially surprising to see them further bolster the group. That said, Hurst and interior lineman Nick Easton qualify as solid backups.
  • Perhaps following the Saints’ lead, the Cardinals had former CFL quarterback Chris Streveler sit in on their special teams meetings during the virtual offseason period, Darren Urban of notes. While the Cardinals communicated to the Grey Cup-winning quarterback he will not change positions upon moving south, a Taysom Hill-type role may be how Streveler makes the team. Brett Hundley and former UDFA Drew Anderson are the other QBs on Arizona’s roster.

Poll: How Many Tagged Players Will Land Extensions?

A day away from the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extensions, the NFL finally saw a player from this year’s group do so. The Chiefs’ Chris Jones extension represents the outlier move thus far. Discounting Jones’ deal, how many more tagged players will sign by the 3pm CT deadline Wednesday?

The 14 remaining tagged players reside in limbo for various reasons — from uncertainties about their career trajectories to the pandemic clouding the NFL’s financial future. There could be plenty of players going through the 2020 season on guaranteed one-year deals, which would both table key negotiations for several months and add to the 2021 free agent market.

Here is how everything looks with the tagged group as of Tuesday afternoon:

Already Signed Tag

*Received transition tag (vs. franchise tag)

Hasn’t Signed Tag, Won’t Hold Out

Hasn’t Signed Tag, Threatening Holdout

More players were tagged this year than in 2018 and ’19 combined. This represents the largest contingent of tagged performers since 2012, when 19 were tagged. That also came in an era when of salary cap stagnancy. After steady cap growth since 2014, the league’s best hope may be for the 2021 cap to plateau. The coronavirus has threatened to keep fans out of stadiums, with limited capacity being the likely best-case scenario. That will cost the league upwards of $3 billion, and the NFL-NFLPA talks about how to manage this have transpired for several weeks without a resolution.

But deadlines, per the cliche, incite action. Will this year be the exception? Are teams willing to carry big tag salaries on their books? Or will they prefer that to signing off on long-term extensions before the cap reality clears up? Vote in PFR’s latest poll (link for app users) and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

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Shaquil Barrett To Sign Franchise Tender, File Grievance

Five days away from the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extensions, Shaquil Barrett notified the Buccaneers he plans to sign his tender, Adam Schefter of tweets.

This news comes with a catch, however. The Pro Bowl pass rusher will file a grievance to be tagged as a defensive end rather than a linebacker, Schefter adds. The defensive end tag comes in at $17.8MM; the linebacker price is $15.8MM. The Buccaneers use a 3-4 scheme that aligns Barrett at outside linebacker.

Regarding the chances of Barrett landing a long-term deal with the Bucs by the Wednesday deadline, Ian Rapoport of notes the sides are not close on terms (Twitter link). The Bucs are still pursing a Barrett extension, however, Jeremy Fowler of tweets. This will be a busy stretch for much of the league, ahead of the July 15 deadline. Fifteen teams used their franchise or transition tags; none of those have reached extension agreements.

Considering Barrett emerged from four-year Broncos role player to the NFL’s leading sacker, in a season in which he smashed Warren Sapp‘s 20-year-old Bucs single-season record, the gap in value makes sense. Prior to Barrett’s 19.5 sacks last season, his previous single-season high was 5.5.

Barrett, 27, signing his tender ties him to a Bucs team that has received a bit more hype this offseason. In addition to Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady addition, the team brought back Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh after tagging Barrett. A year after he signed for just $4MM, Barrett will be locked into at least a $15.8MM salary for 2020.

Grievances or grievance threats are common for pass rushers, with the tag system not categorizing edge defenders equally. Players who play as 3-4 outside linebackers are grouped with off-ball ‘backers, dragging the tender price down, while defensive ends reside in their own category.

It is possible the Bucs could reach a compromise with their breakout edge presence. The Texans and Ravens each agreed to meet in the middle, settling on numbers in between the linebacker and D-end tags with Jadeveon Clowney and Matt Judon, respectively. The Ravens agreed to pay Judon $16.8MM this season.

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Status Of All 15 Tagged Players Prior to July 15 Extension Deadline

The clock is ticking for tagged players to sign extensions with their teams, per the league calendar.

July 15: At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2020 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.

With less than nine days remaining until the deadline, let’s take a look at where each of the 15 tagged players stand.

Already Signed Tag

*Received transition tag (vs. franchise tag)

Haven’t Signed Tag, Won’t Hold Out

Haven’t Signed Tag, Threatening Hold Out

Bucs’ Shaquil Barrett Will Sign By July 15

Shaquil Barrett wants a long-term deal, but, if that doesn’t materialize, he won’t drag things out. The Buccaneers edge rusher says he’ll sign his one-year tender if the two sides can’t agree to an extension before the July 15th deadline.

[RELATED: Bucs’ Barrett Talks Franchise Tag]

Last week, Barrett said he was about “50-50” on signing the one-year franchise tender and indicated that he would have an update on that front by Friday. Friday has come and gone, but Barrett now appears to be saying that he won’t hold out from the Bucs. Of course, signing the one-year tender today would not preclude the two sides from working out an extension before 7/15, so the delay is a bit of a head-scratcher given his comments. When asked about that, Barrett said the two sides are “still trying to work something out.”

That “something” could be a compromise on Barrett’s 2020 salary. It’s believed that Barrett was tagged as a linebacker, rather than a defensive end, so the one-year placeholder would pay him $15.8MM. Defensive ends, meanwhile, are marked at $17.8MM for the franchise tag this year. In the past, we’ve seen teams meet their edge rushers in the middle – a one-year, $16.8MM arrangement could be satisfactory for both sides if a longer deal doesn’t come together.

Last year, Barrett led the league with 19.5 sacks and registered 37 quarterback hits in total. No matter what happens in the coming days, Barrett says he’ll be aiming for a repeat in Tampa Bay. He’ll “most definitely” stay put in 2020, so Bucs fans can rest easy on that front.

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Five Franchise Tagged Players Have Yet To Sign Tenders

Teams have until July 15th to hammer out long-term deals with franchise tagged players. As of this writing, there are five players who have not signed their one-year tenders: Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, Broncos safety Justin Simmons, Buccaneers edge rusher Shaquil Barrett, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, and Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue

[RELATED: Dak Prescott Still Wants Four-Year Deal; Cowboys Want Five-Year Deal]

The franchise tag is a sore spot for players, because it prohibits them from realizing their true value on the open market. Sometimes, players begrudgingly sign on the dotted line after skipping out on a portion of offseason activities. There have also been some notable holdouts to extend into the regular season – Le’Veon Bell, for example.

You can put Green in the former camp. The Bengals superstar wants long-term security from the only team he’s ever known, but he says he’ll sign the one-year tender if they can’t come to terms.

In the past, Simmons has indicated that he won’t skip Broncos activities, but Mike Klis of 9News speculates that agent Todd France could talk him into playing some hardball. Offers have been exchanged between the two sides, but, for now, the safety is looking at a one-year, $12.7MM proposition.

Jones – currently in line for a $16.1MM deal – has expressed frustration with the slow pace of negotiations with the Chiefs. The Chiefs, meanwhile, already have a $20MM defensive lineman in Frank Clark. Barrett, who said he’d be a good sport about signing the tender, says he’s expecting to have some movement by tomorrow, though it’s not clear if that means receiving an extension offer or putting pen to paper.

Ngakoue, of course, is prepared to go to war with the Jaguars. The two sides have been locked in a heated stalemate for a long time and the Jags say they won’t cave to the defensive end’s trade demand.

Buccaneers’ Shaquil Barrett Unsure About Signing Franchise Tag

Buccaneers defensive end Shaquil Barrett isn’t making any promises when it comes to the franchise tag. Before he was cuffed in mid-March, Barrett indicated that he would sign the tender. Now, that’s “up in the air.” 

[RELATED: Jets’ Jamal Adams Has Bucs On Trade Destination List]

It’s still up in the air right now, about 50-50,” Barrett told NFL Network’s Colleen Wolfe. “We’ll find out a little more information on Friday.”

It’s not clear if Barrett is expecting an extension offer by Friday, or if he’s hinting at signing his tender by the end of the week. It’s believed that Barrett was tagged as a linebacker, rather than a defensive end, so the one-year placeholder would pay him $15.8MM. Defensive ends, meanwhile, are marked at $17.8MM for the franchise tag this year.

After spending four seasons in Von Miller‘s shadow, Barrett broke out with the Bucs. Last year, he shattered Bucs’ single-season record and led the league with 19.5 sacks, plus 37 total quarterback hits. After that performance, Barrett rightfully wants some long-term financial security.

“I’m gonna play off the tag [if] I got to but I do want that long-term deal,” Barrett said in March. “It’s all about security for me and my family; that’s all I’ve been fighting for my whole time in the NFL. Even a franchise tag, I’m still getting the security too but I just want a long contract and long-term security.”

The two sides will have until July 15 to finalize an extension. If they can’t come to terms, they’ll have to wait until next year to resume negotiations.

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Buccaneers To Tag Shaquil Barrett

The Buccaneers will follow through on their plan to use their franchise tag on Shaquil Barrett, Adam Schefter of tweets.

Rumors for weeks have placed Barrett atop Tampa Bay’s free agent hierarchy, and this decision means Jameis Winston is less than three hours away from de facto free agency. The legal tampering period begins at 10:59am CT, and Bucs’ five-year starting quarterback will double as one of the more interesting free agents in recent memory.

After serving as one of Von Miller‘s supporting-casters in Denver for four seasons, and not producing too much statistically, Barrett only received offers from two teams in 2019 free agency. He then shattered the Bucs’ single-season sack record, posting an NFL-high 19.5 to go along with 37 quarterback hits.

This tag would give Barrett $15.8MM (the linebacker price) or $17.8MM (should he win a potential grievance to be tagged as a defensive end).

The sides will have until July 15 to finalize an extension. Barrett, 27, said recently he would play the 2020 season on the tag. Bruce Arians has also indicated he would like to keep Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh. The Bucs made the first step Monday morning. They might have to outwork outside competition to hang onto Suh and JPP.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.