One key date on the summer NFL calendar has come and gone with no delays: the deadline for teams to sign franchise-tagged players to long term deals. Let’s look at the outcomes and project what’s next for these teams and players.
Shaq Barrett, EDGE, TB
What Happened: As expected, Barrett will play in 2020 under his franchise tag contract. He had previously said he understood that reaching a long term deal agreement would be difficult because of the coronavirus situation. The Bucs were committed to keeping the defense together for the Tom Brady Super Bowl window, retaining Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Ndamukong Suh in free agency this year.
What’s Next: Barrett is filing a grievance to be designated a defensive end instead of outside linebacker, a difference of about two million dollars. The team will argue that he plays more snaps with his hand off of the ground than on, and Barrett will argue that he lines at or near the line of scrimmage like a defensive lineman. Barrett could seek a compromise and meet in the middle at 16.8 million like the Ravens did with Matthew Judon. Either way Barrett should be pleased as an undrafted free agent who signed a four million dollar, one year deal last year.
Bud Dupree, EDGE, PIT
What Happened: The Steelers have more big names coming up in free agency next year, so it was no surprise that they did not commit long term money to Dupree, who only played like a first-round pick last year during his fifth year option. The team has little depth behind him and T.J. Watt, so they had no choice but to retain Dupree in this fashion and Dupree should be pleased to at least cash in to some extent after underachieving for so long.
What’s Next: Like Barrett, Dupree filed a grievance to be classified as a defensive end instead of outside linebacker. If he and the team can’t come to an agreement, it will go to an arbitrator. Dupree will get between 15.828 and 17.788 million for playing this season and he is set up in a great situation to cash in next year as long as his level of play doesn’t fall off.
A.J. Green, WR, CIN