The Buccaneers and Chris Godwin are still working on a long-term deal, according to a source who spoke with Tyler Dragon of USA Today (Twitter link). If no deal is reached, however, the Bucs are prepared to franchise tag the star wide receiver before today’s 4pm ET/3pm CT deadline.
That would mark a second consecutive tag for Godwin, so he would be in line for a 20% bump over last year’s rate. For most of the year, Godwin was trending towards a top-of-the-market multi-year deal, but that all changed when he suffered a torn ACL. Instead of a long commitment, the Bucs may prefer to see how Godwin bounces back in 2022, at a rate of $19MM+. On the plus side for Godwin, the tag would be fully guaranteed.
Godwin, 26, saw his season end in Week 15. Still, he turned in yet another 1,000-yard season — 98 catches for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns. Despite the setback, his camp is (understandably) making the case for long-term security. The Bucs may be flexible on that front, too, especially with an additional $26MM added to the NFL’s cap max.
Meanwhile, the Bucs are also hoping to keep offensive line starters Ryan Jensen and Alex Cappa. Both players are extra crucial for Tampa Bay following Ali Marpet‘s retirement — Jensen profiles as the best center in this year’s free agency class while Cappa is among the very best available guards.