Shaq, The Unsigned Tag & Cap Flexibility

June 1st, 2020

Bucs fans squirm thinking about how little cap room the team has remaining for this all-in, in-Tommy-we-trust season.

But one factor is rarely considered.

Shaq Barrett has yet to sign the franchise tag slapped on him months ago.

The league deadline for tagged players to sign a multi-year contract extension is July 15. Otherwise the guy must accept the one-year tag deal or sit out and make no money.

Other NFL players have signed their 2020 tag contracts. Stud tight end Hunter Henry of the Chargers is one example.

Henry waited a bit and no long term deal was imminent, so he jumped on the tag to guarantee his 2020 salary. Henry could still get a new deal by July 15 and then his one-year tag contract would be torn up in favor of the new contract.

Shaq, however, is waiting.

Including Shaq’s projected 2020 salary of just under $16 million, the Bucs are expected to have in the neighborhood of $3 million in cap room to play with after signing their rookies. That’s not much, and most teams like to keep a cushion in case a preseason injury drives them to find a veteran off the street.

But if the Bucs sign Shaq to a two-year deal by July 15, they could guarantee him $12 million this season, for example, and $20 million in 2021. That would free up another $4 million for 2020 shopping.

Joe’s not advocating the Bucs do that, but if they’re really all-in for this season, then there certainly are options to find money for veteran depth pieces like a Clay Matthews or a Devonta Freeman, for example. And if they really wanted cornerback Logan Ryan on a one-year deal, maybe they could squeeze out the cash for that somehow.

40 Responses to “Shaq, The Unsigned Tag & Cap Flexibility”

  1. firethecannons Says:

    Bucs will figure this out, Shaq will play. Lets talk football and leave this contract talk to team Shaq will play

  2. Chuckstutz Says:

    What happens when a team goes over the cap? A few teams this year busted the cap, one was New Orleans I believe. What am I missing?

  3. SlyPirate541 Says:

    Shaq has stated over and over his desire to play for the Bucs … and visa versa.

    There is no smoke or fire.

  4. Ron Says:

    This team and it’s players are going to get a lot of attention this coming year so it would definitely be beneficial for us to lock of a good edge rusher for a few years and bring in Clay Matthews to strengthen the depth. Freeman although he would be nice to have, the defense needs it’s own identity and be able to sustain injuries. Bringing in another edge rusher with experience can only help develop the younger players especially if we can stock some on the practice squad for later. Brady should be able to run and get the most out of the running core with the diversity that we have in the passing game, allow him and the coaching staff to put them in a better situation to run. We have invested a lot in our secondary over the years, so hopefully the players we have will all step up especially if we are getting to the quarterback a little faster upfront. The same way they got Brady with the field of dreams, we too if showing this team as a championship team during the season, others too will come to play and help when we need it.

  5. Joe Says:

    What happens when a team goes over the cap? A few teams this year busted the cap, one was New Orleans I believe. What am I missing?

    Fines and potential loss of draft picks.

  6. THETRUTH Says:

    It’s good news he has not signed that could mean they are wanting to get him for longer terms and more cap friendly. No need to out a bad spin on this

    Let’s get over devonte freeman please !! Talk about waste of cap space , yeah let’s pay 4 million for guy to be in IR

    Freeman 198 carries 724 yards last 2 seasons
    ROJO 195 carries 768 yards last 2 seasons
    ( rojo never injured and was not given carries but kotter who you said didn’t trust rookie backs )

  7. Allbuccedup Says:

    The bucs should let the tag take its course and see what his production is this year. If you lock him in to an expensive contract and only gets 7 sacks not good.

  8. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Unless they want to make a huge splash for someone in a trade I doubt we will be signing anyone else. The remaining FA’s want too much money or are hurt too much to be worth it.

  9. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Sly and Fire read the damn articles before you post. The article had nothing to do whether or not Shaq would play or not. SMH!

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bucs don’t like doing guarantees. Thankfully.

    I say let him sign the tag. We can tag him again next year if we need to, and sooner or later, JPP and Suh will leave and clear up money.

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Not to mention Brady will be gone in 2 years.

  12. Jean Lafitte Says:

    The bucs should let the tag take its course and see what his production is this year. If you lock him in to an expensive contract and only gets 7 sacks not good.

    Hey, wait a minute. Why is 7 sacks such a bad thing? That’s Michael Bennett territory (!0 was the most he had once in his career) And that’s all Joe talks about like Bennett’s some kind of hero or somethin’. Just because Shaq had a storybook season it causes people expectations to be somewhat unfair and unrealistic.. If Shaq is close to 10 he’s earned it.

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    TheBradyBunch Says
    “Sly and Fire read the damn articles before you post. The article had nothing to do whether or not Shaq would play or not. SMH!”

    Haters gotta hate?

    They never said he would not play. Maybe they brought it up because so many players claim they won’t play on the tag…but they both made it clear they did not think that would happen.

    So why hate on them? SMH

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s a simple trade off………$16 for one year………if he performs, tag him again for another $16…….that gamble is totally on Shaq, because he may under-perform.
    Or……sign him for less but guarantee a 2nd year……Say, $24 mil for 2 years…..
    That gamble is somewhat on the Bucs…

    So…..less money for year longer term…..or more money for 1 year…..

  15. Stanglassman Says:

    I don’t think teams have to be under the cap until cut down day in Sept.. At that point they add up the top 51 players salary for that year and it needs to be under the cap.

  16. Darin Says:

    My guess is he was asked not to sign it yet. Gives the team the space to sign other players then figure it out later.
    And chuckstutz—NO is maneuvering the cap every year. Move around some numbers. By watching them do that every year I’m pretty sure any team can free up 15 or so at any time by moving around the numbers.

  17. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Lol, ok Bonzai. The article debates whether or not the Bucs should sign him to a multi year deal vs paying him the franchise in order to free up some money to sign free agent or two. They made an irrelevant comment because all they read was the headline. Not really a hater, just pointing out to them that they should probably read the article and then comment.

  18. SOEbuc Says:

    LVD all day to resign if it comes down to it. He’s going to be cracking skull strips all over the field till he’s 45. Better stats than Kuechly when he retired throughout a many awful defensive schemes and coaches. 4-year deal with the very promising White next to him.

    Lavonte all day.

    GO BUCS!!!

  19. Cainishere Says:

    Shaq should be realizing his Superbowl Ring goes through Tampa Bay. His HOF future also will go through Tampa Bay. If he is smart money shouldn’t be his primary reason for playing. This year he will prove he is the best for sure and prove that he is a real team player. I truly think he loves being a Buccaneer.
    I sure love seeing his intensity and it is seriously infectious as well as JPP and David and even Devin, Suh and Via. All of those names are cruising fast towards super stardom all by themselves. Your big paychecks are TOMARROW not TODAY!
    GO Bucs!!!

  20. Craig Says:

    Several people in the League still wonder if Shaq is a one year wonder. He is not the biggest or faster and the moves he made last year are on tape everywhere.

    He slowed a little toward the end of the year, but that might be because he never had that many reps before.

    I doubt he can be the League sack leader this season, but he will still break 10. That is great for a Buc. A two year contract can be cheaper, but more effective, than a tag. The Bucs should do it.

  21. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I am not trying to take anything away from Shaq but it is very unlikely he will match his 19.5 sack season and with the uncertainly of next years cap due to the Coronavirus, it makes sense for licht to wait till next year.

    The fear is Shaq and Godwin will both be free agents and we have only 1 franchise tag. If I was Licht, it makes better sense to lock up Godwin and resign Shaq during the off-season.

  22. SOEbuc Says:

    Bonzai…Yeah and what happens when future HOF JPPs double team leaves? Divinity is a possible exciting thought to me through one year in the league ( back up). With LSU teammate White and resign LVD inside he could be a bank robbery.

  23. BucEmUp Says:

    I think its more all in for the next two seasons….not just this year. I don’t think it will be hard to keep JPP and SUH ( or anyone else) around with Brady and Arians here.

  24. Cainishere Says:

    I am telling you folks that money is not the motivation with these Buccaneers. They realize that this team is extremely unique, rare and gifted.
    Brady came here because he is a very thorough person who is analytical to a fault.
    He picked the Buccaneers, not in an arrogant way but as a true professional. He pitched himself to the Bucs. They didn’t go after Brady. He noticed that the Buccaneers team was really a hidden treasure of awesomeness. It seemed to him that every single position had some magic in it and it made him tingle inside.
    Do the Chargers have anything like the Bucs? A little but no. Not even close.
    So the Bucs, Your Bucs are now the DARLINGS of the NFL world. Go Bucs!!!

  25. Barbosa Says:

    That’s a good idea Joe. Bringing in Mathews would be a nice bonus. God I hope there is football this year.

  26. PSL Bob Says:

    Here we go again with Joe invoking the prospect of picking up Devonta Freeman. The Bucs are not going to spend their short stack of cap space on a washed up RB just to have a veteran backup to Rojo and Vaughn. Please give this RB group a chance. Given the overall improvement of the offense, I expect the RB position to shine this year. Even if I’m wrong, it won’t be because we didn’t sign Devonta Freeman.

  27. SOEbuc Says:

    Is it me but is Brees ,41years old had major thumb injury to his throwing arm last year and has major prior injuries when Tom Brady is 43 and has only missed like, what…one start (?) in his entire career. Saints have good secondary and we have the best receiver’s. Good, tight game’s.

  28. David Says:

    They would be smart to sign him to a four-year deal. That would enable them to have the hit against the cap smaller but over a longer period of time. They could even have the first two years even smaller because that is when they have a real shot at being a Super Bowl contender while Brady is here before starting over with a new quarterback.

    The other factor is over the next two years they are going to be in the national spotlight a lot more. Which means players like him, David, Marpet, Evans, Godwin… Will get more recognition and possibly awards which means bigger salaries.

    Usually I would agree that he needs to prove it one more year but because of all that
    Lock him in now.

  29. SOEbuc Says:

    The Godwin money is already in place (will make it). Look at all the many Godwin jerseys they put on I pray we have a good team this year for lots of guys willing to take cuts and having another returning Tom Brady season.

  30. Ship Thief Says:

    I’m not that thrilled with the idea of Freeman here

    2years ago he was the 2nd best RB in Atl

    Not getting any better with age

    But I don’t think there are great options for what the Bucs need right now

    Unless we are trading with someone

  31. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    Shaq will get his payday… per BA.

    Question for Shaq – dude, how do you perform w/spotlight on you >>>Absent of JPP IN BUCs rotation?

  32. Ship Thief Says:

    Isn’t Aqib Talib still a free agent?

    Tony Jefferson?

    If we are talking D Freeman, I’d rather us look at other positions.

    I don’t see any free agent RBs that make me say “oh that’s the missing piece”.

  33. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Joe Says:
    >What happens when a team goes over the cap? A few teams this year busted the cap, one was New Orleans I believe. What am I missing?<
    "Fines and potential loss of draft picks."

    Do you know any examples of this being enforced?

  34. Cainishere Says:

    You guys really worried about them Saints?
    Relax . . . Brees is out of gas with bags on the pumps.
    The starting job in New Orleans may be Winston’s.
    Will he beat the Buccaneers? Not in a million years.
    I will throw in the spirit of the Namath into this.
    The Buccaneers are going to spank the Saints UGLY!!!
    So badly they will be sayin’ Who Dat!Who Dat!
    Then Winston will win the job.
    GG Saints, We will catch Jameis during the second game.
    Let’s see if I turn out right.
    (>”)> GO!!! BUCS!!! <("<)

  35. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Darin Says:
    June 1st, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I’m with you. Give the Godwin and Barrett money thing a rest until September at least.

    Last year JPP restructured his contract to help the Bucs with $ and became a free agent. Then people got worried. He got paid later and is still with our Bucs for this season.

  36. Defense Rules Says:

    @AlabamaBucsFan … ” If I was Licht, it makes better sense to lock up Godwin and resign Shaq during the off-season.”

    Interesting dilemma to be sure, but I tend to think that’s only the tip of the iceberg Alabama. My guess is that the Bucs’ hierarchy is looking at a 2-year window, not just ‘2020 or bust’. As Joe noted, once we sign our rookies we’re pretty much tapped out. Yes we can get ‘creative’ with restructuring a few contracts and that may help us sign maybe 1 more player this year, but that’ll hurt us in 2021. Although I’m HOPEFUL that the Bucs make the playoffs in 2020, our best opportunity to win a Super Bowl will come in 2021 IMO. After that, Katie bar the door.

    Shaq will sign the franchise tag I’m convinced; that’s not the real issue. Bucs will have some mind-boggling personnel decisions to make in 2021 (Godwin, Shaq, Suh, LVD, Gronk among others). My guess is that Licht won’t do anything at this point that will jeopardize that 2-year window.

  37. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    SOEbuc Says
    “Bonzai…Yeah and what happens when future HOF JPPs double team leaves?”

    I’m not saying I want him to leave. I wanted him here for years and now that he is here I am extremely happy about it. I’m just talking in general terms. His contract will be up and I doubt he stays if Brady leaves.

    It’s always possible the Bucs find a replacement that is or can be just as good as well.

  38. Cainishere Says:

    Hi folks. This Buccaneers team will go down as a “Legacy” team.
    Do you know what that is? It is a team that has many Super Stars chasing a common goal and doing it dominantly. That’s what we have here. All of that you are saying is way left of what is really happening. GO BUCS!!

  39. Rod Munch Says:

    Good teams create cap space — bad teams talk about cap hell and why they can’t win because of it.

  40. Cainishere Says:

    Hey Rod. Hope you are having a nice day. Do you not remember Mckay’s hole when he left us in Cap Hell? When you cannot afford a landscaper to play for us?
    You end up with players who wouldn’t even be in the NFL if it weren’t for the Salary Capped Bucs Mckay built. Falcons are tasting that problem with Freeman.