While many things have come to a halt, the NFL is conducting free agency as usual (mostly). Almost as if the league knows it's now become the national distraction, providing a sense of normalcy to a not-so-normal time, the 'legal tampering' period has risen to the occasion with its storylines.
Let's start at home, where the Bucs have *officially* placed the franchise tag on outside linebacker Shaq Barrett and then subsequently re-signed the other edge rushing bookend in Jason Pierre-Paul to a two-year deal.
Barrett was given the non-exclusive tag, meaning he is free to negotiate with other teams, but Tampa Bay has the right to match any offer. Barrett and the Bucs have until July (as of now) to reach a long-term deal before Barrett would have to agree to play under the tag.
Pierre-Paul had restructured his contract last season following a neck injury that kept him out for the first seven weeks. It dictated that JPP would become a free agent in 2020. The outside linebacker made the most of his opportunity in the final 10 games of the season, recording 8.5 sacks in that span. Since he arrived at the Bucs in 2018, Pierre-Paul has recorded 21.0 sacks, the most of any player currently on the roster.
With those additions to the defense – there have been some subtractions, too. Outside linebacker Carl Nassib is reportedly now a Las Vegas Raider. The Bucs will see him again this season as they visit Vegas to take on the Raiders in their new home. Nassib was a solid defensive player in Tampa Bay, registering 12.5 sacks over the last two seasons with the team. He was even named a captain for the 2019 season.
Defensive tackle Beau Allen also announced his departure from Tampa in the below Instagram post, honoring the end of 'Tampa Bay Beau,' his alter Floridian ego.
The new league year officially begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday. That's when any new free agent acquisitions can be announced by the team as players officially sign with their new clubs.