Playing under the franchise tag amid coronavirus concerns was not going to keep Shaquil Barrett away from football in 2020. The Bucs’ outside linebacker said Monday that he didn’t consider opting out of the coming season.“I told (my wife), if it’s some football being played, I’m gonna play,” Barrett said on a Zoom call. “I’m a competitor. I love football, that’s the way that I feed my family.”What mattered to him was that the season was being held in the safest way possible, and the NFL’s 2019 sack leader said he feels that it is.But the same uncertainty that has led players around the NFL to sideline themselves over safety concerns was also the roadblock to securing a long-term partnership between Barrett and the Bucs in the offseason.“It was pretty much just the whole situation with COVID,” he said when asked about the negotiations. “It was too much up in the air, so we weren’t able to get on time or get really the right negotiations going because we really didn’t know anything.”Barrett, who signed a one-year deal to remain with Tampa Bay under the franchise tender , seemed to be alluding to fan capacity that could significantly reduce the cap in 2021. He was unable to come to an agreement with the Bucs a few weeks ago, before the deadline to sign an extension passed.Under the one-year deal as an outside linebacker, Barrett’s contract is worth $15.88 million. He has filed a grievance that argues he should be designated a defensive end. The franchise-player value tag for a defensive end is $2 million more than for an outside linebacker.In 2019, Barrett exploded for 19.5 sacks. Production like that would have warranted an extension in a normal year. But as the past few months have shown, 2020 is anything but normal. The coming season will be another “prove it” year for Barrett.Barrett and his agent, Drew Rosenahus, have both expressed a willingness to keep Barrett with the Bucs in the past. On Monday, Barrett alluded to future negotiations for an extension.“They did make it clear that they love me, they like me, they want me,” he said. “And when the time is right, we might be able to get something going then in the right direction.” Contact Kyle Wood at email@example.com. Follow him @Kkylewood.