Shaq Barrett Accepts Franchise Tender from Bucs, but Files Grievance Over Position Designation

Luke Easterling

The NFL's reigning sack leader will indeed be back in Tampa Bay for at least the 2020 season, but not without one last request.

Pass rusher Shaq Barrett has informed the Bucs he intends to accept his one-year franchise tender, but wants to be designated as a defensive end instead of an outside linebacker, per ESPN's Adam Schefter:

The two sides are still hoping to come to an agreement on a long-term extension, but those talks are still nowhere near a meeting point, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:

Barrett has maintained all offseason, and even during his incredible 2019 campaign, that he would remain in Tampa Bay for at least the 2020 season, no matter what. He would prefer the security of a long-term deal, but has always made it clear that he would play 2020 on the franchise tag, if necessary, rather than holding out.

The gem of last year's NFL free agent class, Barrett signed with the Bucs on a one-year deal for just $4 million, then proceeded to lead the NFL with 19.5 sacks.

Don't be surprised if the two sides eventually hammer out a long-term extension at some point this year, especially if Barrett continues to put up big numbers early in the 2020 season. He's a perfect fit in Todd Bowles' defense in Tampa Bay, and staying there would be the best situation for all parties, as long as Barrett gets paid what he's worth.