The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won their first Super Bowl in 20 years and Coach Bruce Arians is determined to keep the dream team together. In fact, he specifically exclaimed, "Your a** ain't going nowhere." The Buccaneers have several notable free agents, and Arians is clear that he will fight for the team's most vital free agent.
Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett played under the franchise tag in the 2020 season after a failed agreement for an extension last offseason. The Pro Bowler made a quick $15.8 million in 2020, but after the Super Bowl win, he plans to cash in on a fruitful long-term deal.
On SiriusXM's Mad Dog Sports Radio, Barrett told host Adam Schein that he has earned a big contract.
'I'm most definitely looking forward to getting a long-term deal done...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," said the linebacker.
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," he finished.
Barrett played exceptionally well as a former undrafted free agent. In 2019, he proved to be effective on the Buccaneers defense before recording 57 total tackles and eight sacks in 15 games in 2020. Barrett also has an NFL record of 19.5 sacks.
His stats in 2020 were not quite the 2019 record, but Barrett was vital and stepped up when Tampa Bay needed him in the playoffs.
In the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, Barret recorded three sacks. More importantly, in the Super Bowl, he sacked Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
However, if Tampa Bay puts in a second franchise tag, it would cost them $19 million in 2021. After their Super Bowl victory, the Buccaneers have projected nearly $29 million in the salary cap, much more than the other NFL teams.
Barrett admitted to Schien that he would like to stay with the Buccaneers:
"I mean, I do still want to have a great fit for me and a great fit for the family," he said. "So whatever that, like, that turns out to be. But I do want, I want to be, I want to be here. 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."