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Bucs' Shaquil Barrett says he will sign tag if no long-term deal

Tampa Bay Times — By Rick Stroud Tampa Bay Times

June 29-- TAMPA, Fla.-Shaquil Barrett says he's still hopeful of reaching a long-term deal with the Bucs but indicated he will sign the franchise player tag.

A week ago, Barrett said on NFL Total Access that he was "50-50? on whether to sign the tag by the July 15 deadline.

But appearing on Sirius XM NFL Radio Monday, Barrett provided an update, saying he continues to be hopeful a contract extension will be reached but will play under the tag in 2020.

"Long-term probably would be pretty hard with the situation in the world right now," Barrett said. "I think we're working on a deal, but it probably won't be long and it will be a little bit of the franchise tag.

"We're still trying to work something out. The franchise tag, if I don't get nothing done, I'm going to sign that for sure. But it's just we're still trying to work to get something done and we're just going to wait as long as we could to try and get it done."

When asked if he would play for the Bucs under the tag in 2020, Barrett said, "I'm going to be here next year."

Barrett, 27, led the NFL with 19.5 sacks after signing a one-year, $4 million deal as a Broncos free agent. He stands to earn $15.8 million in 2020 under the one-year franchise player tag.

The problem is that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, NFL owners are unsure whether they will play games with fans or at a reduced stadium capacity.

Ticket and stadium revenue is about $100 million per team. Because players are almost equal partners in the league's designated gross revenue, it's possible the salary cap for player costs would be reduced for 2021. At any rate, it's impossible to estimate the salary cap next year, which makes it harder to reach a long-term deal.

"There is a little bit of frustration, because I do everything I could do and I tried to to make it as easy as possible so there wouldn't be really nothing up in the air," Barrett said. "But I guess I didn't do as much as I needed to do or as much as I thought I needed to do. I don't mind having my back against the wall, but I do love security a lot more."

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