The Bucs are using their franchise tag on Barrett, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. Barrett came over from Denver last offseason and gave the Bucs a fantastic return on a one-year, $5 million contract, leading the NFL in both sacks (19.5) and QB hits (37). A blitz-heavy scheme helped create many of those opportunities, but the extent of his production means it would be foolish to dismiss the 26-year-old pass rusher as a one-year wonder. The Bucs will try to work out a long-term contract with Barrett, while quarterback Jameis Winston likely will be allowed to test the open market. The option to use both a franchise tag and a transition tag no longer exists after the NFL and NFLPA finished a new collective bargaining agreement over the weekend.
Barrett may receive the Buccaneers' franchise tag this offseason, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports. Tampa Bay got a massive return on Barrett's one-year, $5 million contract, with the 27-year-old leading the NFL in both sacks (19.5) and quarterback hits (37) while also ranking third in forced fumbles (six). Barrett managed just 14 sacks in 61 games with the Broncos prior to 2019, but he shouldn't be dismissed as a one-year wonder when the year in question was so dominant. The Bucs likely will use their franchise tag on the star pass rusher if a long-term contract isn't completed within the next couple weeks, though quarterback Jameis Winston also looms as a candidate for the tag. Because it's the final year of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams are allowed to use a franchise tag for one player and a transition tag for another, rather than being forced to choose between the two.
Barrett recorded six solo tackles and three sacks during Sunday's 28-22 overtime loss to the Falcons. Barrett's destructive three-sack finale makes him the first Buccaneer to ever conclude the regular season as the NFL leader in sacks. In his first season with Tampa Bay, Barret also managed to surpass Warren Sapp's previous franchise record of 16.5 sacks. Barrett wraps up his record-breaking 2019 campaign with 58 tackles (45 solo), 19.5 sacks, two defended passes, one interception and six forced fumbles across 16 contests. He'll reprise his role as a leader in Tampa Bay's defense in 2020.
Barrett made two tackles (one solo) in Saturday's 23-20 loss to the Texans. The game marked Barrett's first without a sack in five contests and his lowest tackle total since Week 11. He'll look to break the Buccanneers' franchise sack mark Week 17 against the Falcons.
Barrett notched five tackles (four solo) and one sack during Sunday's 38-17 win over the Lions. Barrett has now tied Tampa Bay's single-season franchise record of 16.5 sacks, and if he can hold on to his current spot atop the league, he'll become the first Buccaneer to ever pace the NFL in sacks. The veteran defensive end also has 50 tackles (38 solo), two defended passes, one interception and six forced fumbles to his name through 14 contests. He'll look to keep up his stellar play against the Texans in Week 16.
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