We were just minutes into the legal tampering period of NFL free agency before we got our first big signing. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora confirmed star pass-rusher Shaquil Barrett has agreed to terms on a four-year deal to remain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that it's a four-year deal worth up to $72 million that includes $36 million fully guaranteed.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the base value of the contract is $17 million per year. With escalators, the value can reach $18 million per year based on recording 15 sacks and making the postseason. Barrett recorded 57 combined tackles and eight sacks in 15 games for the Bucs last season. He did step up for Tampa Bay in the playoffs, as he recorded three sacks in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers, and then one sack on Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl. During his first season with the Bucs in 2019, Barrett proved he was an elite pass-rusher by recording an NFL-best 19.5 sacks.
This development is somewhat surprising -- especially considering how quickly the deal came together. Barrett was expected to be one of the top free agents to hit the open market this offseason, and after playing on the franchise tag in 2020, he even said he was ready to break the bank.
"I'm most definitely looking forward to getting a long-term deal done," Barrett told Adam Schein, via NFL.com. "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. 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."
The Buccaneers have several notable free agents to re-sign and not much cap space to do so. Still, they never wavered in their efforts to keep Barrett in the fold, and have now crossed off a major objective on their offseason to-do list.