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Shaq Barrett 'still up in the air' about signing franchise tag

Reigning NFL sack leader Shaq Barrett is currently one of the five remaining NFL players yet to sign their franchise tag tenders.

Perhaps that will happen before the week has concluded.

"It's still up in the air right now, about 50-50," Barrett said Wednesday on NFL Total Access when asked by Colleen Wolfe what the story was behind him having yet to sign. "We'll find out a little more information on Friday."

What is to become Friday obviously remains to be seen.

Currently though, along with Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and Broncos safety Justin Simmons, Barrett has not yet signed his franchise tag.

In five previous seasons with the Broncos, Barrett had only started 15 games combined, but he started all 16 last season in a tour de force that saw him set a new single-season standard for sacks by a Buccaneer, his 19.5 surpassing Warren Sapp's 16.5 in 2000. His 37 quarterback hits were also tops in the NFL and his six forced fumbles were third. Throughout the season, he impacted a game as much as anyone, with his 68 quarterback pressures third in the league, per Next Gen Stats, evidence of that.

Now, Barrett has a $15.8 million tender he's yet to sign and he and the Bucs have a July 15 deadline to work out a long-term deal.

The 27-year-old is coming off a season in which he very much announced himself as an elite pass rusher and earned a Pro Bowl bid. Thus, regardless of his contract situation, Barrett is keeping his goals high going forward.

"So, usually, before I had 19 and a half sacks, [my goal] was always to improve statistically, but trying to get 20, 21 is going to be hard," Barrett said. "But I'm still setting it far up there. I just want, as a team, to help my team win a game, make a play every game, help the team win, make the playoffs."

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