In the immediate aftermath of Super Bowl LV, linebacker Shaq Barrett made it clear that he wants to stay with the Buccaneers. Four days later, Barrett added an objective that could prompt him to leave Tampa Bay.
Barrett wants to get paid.
“I’m most definitely looking forward to getting a long-term deal done,” Barrett told Adam Schein of SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio. (Barrett also appeared on The Dan Patrick Show. The video is attached.) “I feel like it’s time for me to break the bank now, and I most definitely want to do that to be able to set my family up better and most definitely going to keep producing so it’s not like anything is going to fall off. I still think I got a lot left in the tank. I’m still getting better, actually. I’m still learning like just still learning like week in, week out. And there’s like, as you can see as the season progressed like . . . I ended the season playing the way that I wanted to play. And you can see that I did progress throughout the season and I’m still progressing.”
Barrett also made it clear that he hopes the payday comes from the Bucs.
“I want to be here,” Barrett said. “I think we got a great team here, a great organization here. So we will definitely go on just to see how it works out and shake up. But I’m looking forward to trying to get something done here.”
Operating under the one-year franchise tag in 2020, Barrett made $15.828 million. By rule, he’s entitled to a 20-percent bump if tagged again in 2021. That’s $18.99 million.
And that becomes the starting point for a long-term deal. The challenge then becomes valuing years two and three and beyond, given that Barrett’s third franchise tender would be at least $27.35 million — a 44-percent raise over his 2021 pay. (It will be higher, if the average cap numbers of the five highest-paid quarterbacks in 2021 exceeds that number.)
So what will it take to get Barrett signed to a long-term deal? That’s up to Barrett and the Bucs. At this point, the player knows that, if he doesn’t get the long-term contract he wants, he’ll get either $18.99 million for 2021 or a shot at the open market.