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Shaquil Barrett says ready to ‘break the bank’ in pursuit of long-term deal

The Bucs’ free agent outside linebacker played under the franchise tag in 2020.
Bucs running back Leonard Fournette, left, and linebacker Shaquil Barrett dance after taking part in a boat parade in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, celebrating the team's Super Bowl 55 championship.
Bucs running back Leonard Fournette, left, and linebacker Shaquil Barrett dance after taking part in a boat parade in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, celebrating the team's Super Bowl 55 championship. [ PHELAN M. EBENHACK | AP ]
Published Feb. 12
Updated Feb. 12

Less than 24 hours after publicly reiterating his desire to remain a Buccaneer, outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett made it clear he won’t provide his services at a hometown discount.

Speaking on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio, Barrett said Thursday that he’s seeking a long-term deal, adding it’s time for him as a free agent to “break the bank.”

“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 Barrett, 28. “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.”

Following his breakthrough inaugural season with the Bucs, when he led the NFL in sacks (19½) and quarterback hits (37), and earned his first Pro Bowl selection, Barrett played under the franchise tag in 2020, earning slightly less than $16 million.

While his sack total (eight) dipped considerably this regular season, he had four sacks and eight quarterback hits in the final two playoff games, including three sacks of the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship Game. His other sack was in the Bucs’ 31-9 win over the Chiefs on Sunday in Super Bowl 55.

Conceivably, the Bucs could apply the franchise tag to Barrett again, though league rules indicate he would be owed 120 percent of his previous salary, and such a move would be highly unlikely.

A long-term deal with the Bucs seems most probable, considering the team has solid cap space (estimated between $29-$38 million by cap-analysis websites), and Barrett’s career hardly appears to be on a downward trajectory heading into his eighth year.

“I do still want to have a great fit for me and a great fit for the family,” Barrett said, “so whatever that turns out to be. But I do 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. But I’m looking forward to trying to get something done here.”

Related: Examining the Bucs' biggest free-agent decisions of the offseason