Source: Bucs settle tag grievance with Barrett

  • Covered the Buccaneers since 2009
  • Joined ESPN in 2016

TAMPA, Fla. — Not only was Buccaneers star pass-rusher Shaquil Barrett awarded a new four-year contract worth up to $72 million Monday — he was awarded a $1.372 million franchise tag settlement stemming from a grievance filed with the NFLPA last year, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

That money will count against the Bucs’ salary cap in 2021. There will be no grievance hearing, which would have been the next step. The Bucs opted to settle it, and in turn, Barrett can recoup the lost earnings.

The grievance stems from the NFL not differentiating between outside and inside linebackers when calculating franchise tag amounts, nor does it take into consideration scheme. Franchise tag figures are based on the top five salaries at each position.

Barrett is technically an outside linebacker in defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme, but his job is primarily to rush the passer, like that of a 4-3 defensive end, versus dropping into coverage in the short passing game.

In 2020, the franchise tag amount for linebackers was $15.828 million, whereas it was $17.788 million for defensive ends.

A closer look at Barrett’s snap counts supports his argument.

Over the last two seasons — including the 2020 postseason — Barrett played a total of 171 of 1,851 snaps (9.238%) in coverage and 1,086 snaps (58.67%) rushing the passer (the remaining 594 snaps came against the run). By comparison, inside linebacker Lavonte David played a total of 1,342 snaps in coverage and 207 snaps rushing the passer.

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