Chris Godwin should be among the best free agent wideouts this offseason, but a franchise tag would prevent the Buccaneers receiver from truly testing his market. While the franchise tag often leads to hostility between teams and their star players, it doesn’t sound like Godwin is all that concerned about that route.
“Yeah, I mean, the way I look at it, similar to like a lot of guys,” Godwin said to MJ Acosta of NFL.com (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). “Obviously, we all want to have long-term security; we all want to be able to take care of the people that we love. So that’s the ideal situation. But, you know, a franchise tag is not something that I can control. If that’s what keeps me here, then that’s what it is. And I’ll play on it and go back to war with my guys. Like I said, I love it here in in Tampa. I love what we have building, and I would love to stay.”
If the Buccaneers do ultimately slap Godwin with the franchise tag, he’ll still see a considerable pay raise from his 2020 salary. After making $4.65MM in the final year of his rookie pact, he’d earn more than $16MM via the wide receiver franchise tag in 2021.
Godwin also discussed his impending free agency earlier this week. While he noted that the “goal obviously is to get paid,” he also acknowledged that he doesn’t want to put himself in a situation where he’s miserable.
The former third-rounder was a revelation in 2019, finishing the season with 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns, leading to his first Pro Bowl nod. Despite Tom Brady passing him the ball in 2020, a reloaded offense resulted in decreased numbers for Godwin this past season. The 24-year-old ultimately finished the campaign with 65 catches for 840 yards and seven scores in 12 games. In four playoff games, Godwin caught another 16 passes for 232 yards and one touchdown.
The Buccaneers certainly aren’t strangers to the franchise tag; they used the tag on Shaquil Barrett last offseason. Instead of tagging Godwin, there’s a chance the organization could slap Barrett for a second-straight season, as Williams notes.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.