Latest On Buccaneers, Chris Godwin

The Buccaneers’ group of free agents may be the highest-profile batch on a single team since full-fledged free agency began in 1993. Chris Godwin hovers at or near the top of this list, joining Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David in a contingent that also includes Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, Ndamukong Suh and Antonio Brown.

While the Bucs are hopeful they can retain all of these players, that might be unrealistic — especially if most or all of them choose to maximize their value coming off the team’s Super Bowl LV win. Godwin has earned the least amount of money among this group, having been a third-round pick on a rookie contract for the past four years.

The Pro Bowl wide receiver wants a high-end contract but sounds willing to listen to the Bucs on a slight hometown discount, should his other top-tier offers come from teams with far worse situations. Tampa Bay is understandably prioritizing Godwin, who may be the top franchise tag candidate out of this decorated contingent.

The goal obviously is to get paid, right? But, at the same time, I’m not stupid,” Godwin said during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show (via NFL.com). “I’m not going to put myself in a situation where I’m going to be miserable for some years to come just for a couple extra dollars. I think my happiness is paramount in all of this and part of that happiness is winning.

Just having a bunch of different guys on the offensive side that can make your job a little bit easier but also give you the best chance to win is something that I’m strongly considering.”

Mike Evans and Scotty Miller are certain to return for Tampa Bay, but it is not yet known if this collection of skill-position talent will all be back for Tom Brady‘s age-44 season. Gronkowski may have a Bucs-or-retirement stance, and Brown wants to return as well. Fournette may not have as clear of a path back to south Florida.

If Godwin is tagged, Barrett would need to be extended before March 15 for the Bucs to avoid having their top pass rusher negotiate with other teams. With Barrett seeking a monster payday, the Bucs will have a decision to make with their sought-after 20-something free agents. The Super Bowl champs have until March 9 to determine which player they will tag.

A wideout franchise tag is expected to come in around $16MM. With Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay also standing as tag candidates, Godwin reaching free agency would push his price north of this point.

I think an extension would be ideal, but at the end of the day if the franchise (tag) is what happens, then that’s what I gotta do and then we’ll revisit later,” Godwin said. “I want to be in Tampa, but at the end of the day, I want to get paid too.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 comments on “Latest On Buccaneers, Chris Godwin

  1. Mich Man

    Godwin is a great team guy, and really everything you’d want in a football player.

  2. Clevelandallday

    Godwin is a great receiver and teammate. But if they have to choose between him and Barrett they should choose Barrett. Good pass rushers are harder to find or replace. Antonio Brown will likely resign for less than 5 million and this draft is loaded at receiver whereas most good pass rushers will be gone after the 1st round.

  3. ruckus727

    Agreed. Shaq is priority one. Barrett will be extended before March 9th absolutely 100%. I would assume it would be a 4 or 5 year deal with structured with lesser cap charges in the first two seasons. Meaning he should get a nice guaranteed bonus up front. AAV around $18-$20M per season. Godwin gets the franchise tag. Lavonte will take a discount and return on a shorter term deal. They should let Brown fish around for money and come back only if he doesn’t find it. Suh had a great year last year. Not sure if they can fit him under the cap or not but I suspect DE will be the number one need in the draft either way. There’s no more guaranteed money on Donovan Smith’s contract so he’s an easy way to free up $15M. Hard to replace though. He’s overpaid but reliable at a premier position. Fournette walks for more money. RB also becomes a draft need. Gronk takes whatever is left for him and comes back for 1 more.

  4. bradthebluefish

    Godwin is great but the Bucs are already loaded at WR and are going to get OJ Howard back.

    Let Godwin go and keep Shaq Barrett (or at least replace Barrett).

  5. bostonbob

    Godwin saying the right things. Maybe he is learning from Brady. Give up things like less money, makes your job easier with multiple weapons and better chances for team success.

  6. CoachWe

    Bucs have only $13.3 mill in Cap space. Can they restructure deals? Of course, but $13.3 will get used up quick. Good news? With decreasing Cap from 200 m down to 183m, teams are scrambling. This is the biggest buyers market in years. Bad time to be a FA.

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