Shaquil Barrett rewarded the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking a chance on him last offseason, leading the NFL with a career-high 19.5 sacks and earning his first Pro Bowl appearance. Tampa Bay and Barrett appear to be a perfect marriage, just based on the Buccaneers defensive scheme rewarding Barrett's ability to get to the quarterback and the tremendous success he had in his lone season there.
As Barrett is set to hit the free agent market (and receive a payday much higher than the $1 million base salary he got from the Buccaneers), Barrett is more than willing to take a hometown discount to stay in Tampa. Football reasons aside, there's even more incentive for Barrett to remain with the Buccaneers.
"If [other teams] offer me more than Tampa, I'm going to look at the places, if they offer me more than Tampa, I'm going to look at what their taxes is compared to Tampa's. Because I ain't going to live in L.A. and get taxed crazy," Barrett said on Sirius XM Mad Dog Radio, via JoeBucsFan.com. "I'm not going to take drastically less but I am open to doing what I think is best for my career, and I think that would be staying in Tampa."
Barrett implied how much he hates taxes, as he signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent for just $10,000 to stay close to home. His paycheck read $6,500, as Colorado's income tax was 4.63%. The state of Florida doesn't have an income tax and Barrett has shown he prefers not to move.
Barrett had just 14 sacks in five seasons with the Broncos in a reserve role, but broke out with 19.5 sacks in his first season with the Buccaneers. He had 58 tackles (19 for loss) and 37 quarterback hits with six forced fumbles. Barrett had 51 pressures on 174 blitz attempts, forcing 16 quarterback knockdowns.
Tampa Bay could franchise tag Barrett this offseason (the Buccaneers have just south of $80 million in available cap space, per Over The Cap), but Barrett would prefer to get a long-term deal done. The ball is in the Buccaneers court.