March 15th update — Barrett has confirmed with Josina Anderson that he will be returning to Tampa Bay this season:
Adam Schefter reports on the terms:
Buccaneers are giving Shaq Barrett a four-year deal worth up $72 million that includes $36 million fully guaranteed, his agent @DrewJRosenhaus told ESPN— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2021
We are already into the thick of the NFL offseason and that means free agency. Teams can’t contact free agents until March 15th, but news of the top players will circulate as we close in on that starting point. Dak Prescott, Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, and Kenny Golladay are just a few of the big names set to hit unrestricted free agency when the new league year opens on March 17th. One or more stands a good chance of signing a contract with their current team or being franchise tagged before then, but there is a chance one or more is taking calls when the tampering period opens on March 15th.
2020 in review
There was no way Barrett could live up to his monster 2019 when he notched 19.5 sacks, but he did have a good season with eight sacks and 77 pressures. His three sacks in the NFC Championship game, one sack and eight pressures in the Super Bowl, and a total of 19 pressures throughout the playoffs are something any team is going to covet.
At this point the Buccaneers appear to have the lead in retaining Barrett’s services, but plenty of teams will want him if he is allowed to hit the market. Most teams need help getting to the quarterback, but the New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars all have some cash to go with their need.
Do the Buccaneers want to keep him?
Head coach Bruce Arians made it clear that he wants Barrett back and Barrett says he wants to return for a shot at back-to-back championships. The Buccaneers do have other players they’d like to keep around, including Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, Rob Gronkowski, Ndamukon Suh, Leonard Fournette and Ryan Succop. Barrett is high on their list though and appears willing to negotiate in good faith before he hits the market.
Barrett should end up returning to Tampa Bay and helping that defense get after the quarterback. Those are the kinds of defenses we like for fantasy and I expect the Bucs to continue to put up sack numbers this season.
Tampa Bay has shown the most interest, but if they can’t agree on a deal, there would be a big push from other teams for his services,