Chris Godwin

Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin Unlikely To Sign Long-Term Deal

There’s less than 24 hours to go until the deadline to sign franchised players, and it sounds like the Buccaneers and Chris Godwin won’t agree to a long-term pact. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the two sides are not expected to agree on a long-term deal before tomorrow. However, Rapoport clarifies that the organization still considers Godwin a “core player” and intends to re-sign him to a long-term deal next offseason.

This certainly isn’t the first time that the Buccaneers have found themselves in this scenario. As Rapoport tweets, the front office previously went through a similar situation with Shaq Barrett, who they finally ended up extending this past offseason. In other words, the lack of progress on an extension shouldn’t be a cause for concern regarding Godwin’s future in Tampa Bay.

There have been conflicting reports about negotiations since Godwin was slapped with the franchise tag earlier this offseason. In fact, we heard just last night that the two sides could still agree on a long-term pact prior to the deadline, but it sounds like that ultimately won’t be the case.

There have always been a few complications surrounding a Godwin extension. For starters, after dishing out a bunch of cash to retain their Super Bowl-winning core, the Buccaneers are a bit strapped for cash at the moment, making it tough to carve out the necessary space to sign Godwin. Kenny Golladay was able to earn $18MM this offseason from the Giants, a number that Godwin would presumably be pushing for. For what it’s worth, Godwin’s tag is worth $15.9MM.

The former third-round pick has just one 1,000-yard season on his resume, but the Bucs did not make him a full-time player until they traded DeSean Jackson after the 2018 season. Godwin blew up for 1,333 yards and nine touchdown receptions in 2019. Although he encountered multiple injuries last season, the Penn State product still surpassed 800 yards and remains an essential part of Tampa Bay’s loaded skill-position corps.

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Latest On Potential Extension For Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin

There’s some hope that Chris Godwin could end up inking an extension with the Buccaneers after all. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports (via Twitter) that there’s still a “chance” that the wideout inks a long-term deal with Tampa Bay.

[RELATED: Status Of 7 Remaining Franchise-Tagged Players]

The Buccaneers have been willing to dish out money this offseason to retain their top players, but Godwin’s demands could be too pricey for the organization. As Fowler notes, Kenny Golladay was able to earn $18MM this offseason from the Giants; that type of AAV might not be palatable to the Buccaneers front office.

We heard last week that negotiations between the two sides weren’t particularly close. Godwin’s tag is worth $15.9MM, but the Pro Bowl receiver is likely shooting for a deal in the WR1 range. Presently holding less than $500K in cap space (and, not to mention, paying fellow wideout Mike Evans a sizable contract), the Bucs will need to create some room if they truly want to re-up Godwin.

The former third-round pick has just one 1,000-yard season on his resume, but the Bucs did not make him a full-time player until they traded DeSean Jackson after the 2018 season. Godwin blew up for 1,333 yards and nine touchdown receptions in 2019. Although he encountered multiple injuries last season, the Penn State product still surpassed 800 yards and remains an essential part of Tampa Bay’s loaded skill-position corps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chris Godwin, Buccaneers Not Close To Deal

After a historically aggressive free agent retention effort, the Buccaneers have all 22 starters and their main off-the-bench contributors back for their Super Bowl title defense. They will face a deadline with one member of that free agent group in less than a week.

One of seven players remaining on a franchise tag, Chris Godwin may be on the verge of playing the 2021 season for the tag price. As of Friday, the Bucs and Godwin are not close to an extension agreement, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero. The sides have until 3pm CT July 15 to finalize a deal. Given the team’s actions this offseason, it would not surprise to see a deal come together near the deadline. But some questions remain.

[RELATED: Status Of Seven Remaining Franchise-Tagged Players]

The Bucs opted to cuff Godwin with their 2021 tag, letting 2020 tag recipient Shaquil Barrett reach the free agency doorstep before extending him. Tampa Bay did not extend Barrett at last year’s deadline. Many teams followed suit, given the uncertainty with the 2021 salary cap at that point. The 2022 cap is expected to balloon past $200MM for the first time. The $208MM ceiling will create interesting opportunities, after this year’s record cap reduction to $182.5MM, and may lead to this year’s franchise-tagged players’ asking prices rising.

Godwin, 25, is also in an interesting position on his own team. The Bucs took care of all their free agents this offseason, venturing into the void-year realm to ensure their core returned in its entirety. But Mike Evans is still playing on a 2018 extension, worth $16.5MM per year. A receiver market-topping deal at the time, Evans’ pact now ranks 11th among wideouts in AAV. Godwin’s tag is worth $15.9MM, but the Pro Bowl receiver is likely shooting for a deal in the WR1 range. As a tag recipient, such an approach makes sense.

Presently holding less than $500K in cap space — last in the league — the Bucs will need to create some room to re-up Godwin. The defending champs showed earlier this year they are now willing to move money into future years to re-sign key players. It will be interesting to see how they navigate the final stages of the Godwin negotiations. No deal by Thursday will mean a near-$16MM cap hold and Godwin’s tag price rising in 2022.

The former third-round pick has just one 1,000-yard season on his resume, but the Bucs did not make him a full-time player until they traded DeSean Jackson after the 2018 season. Godwin blew up for 1,333 yards and nine touchdown receptions in 2019. Although he encountered multiple injuries last season, the Penn State product still surpassed 800 yards and remains an essential part of Tampa Bay’s loaded skill-position corps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Status Of 7 Remaining Franchise-Tagged Players

Ten players comprised this year’s franchise tag contingent — down from 14 in 2020. However, the Broncos, Cowboys and Giants reached extension agreements with their tagged players — Justin Simmons, Dak Prescott and Leonard Williams, respectively — to leave seven tag recipients unsigned entering July.

With the July 15 deadline to extend franchise-tagged players less than two weeks away, here is where things stand with the remaining members of the group:

WR Chris Godwin, Buccaneers

Rather than tag Shaquil Barrett for a second straight year, the Bucs cuffed Godwin at $15.9MM. The defending Super Bowl champions found room for Barrett and every other notable free agent they had this offseason, going into overdrive in their effort to defend their second championship. Like every other franchise-tagged player this year, Godwin has signed his tender. The former third-round pick has said he wants to stay in Tampa long-term. The Bucs have Mike Evans signed to a now-below-market deal ($16.5MM per year), so it will be interesting to see how they navigate negotiations with his less accomplished (but three years younger, at 25) sidekick.

S Marcus Maye, Jets

Tagged months after the Jets traded Jamal Adams, Maye has not exactly enjoyed a smooth negotiating process. Just before the Jets tagged Maye, his agent slammed the team for a lackluster effort to extend the four-year starter beforehand. The Jets have carried on negotiations since applying the tag and are believed to have been steadfast in this approach, but this has not necessarily translated to progress. These talks are expected to go down to the wire. Maye, 28, not signing an extension by July 15 would keep the Mike Maccagnan-era draft choice on the $10.6MM tag.

OT Taylor Moton, Panthers

While the Panthers’ left tackle position has been one of the toughest to fill over the past decade, Moton has locked down the team’s right tackle post. A 2017 second-round pick, Moton has not missed a game since debuting in Carolina’s lineup in Week 1 of the 2018 season. The Panthers have a new regime in place, but the Matt RhuleScott Fitterer duo hopes to extend Moton.

The right tackle market moved this week, with Ryan Ramczyk agreeing to a $19.2MM-per-year extension. Moton, 26, is not a candidate to top that, but he may be primed to fill the gap between the top tier (Ramczyk and $18MM-AAV Lane Johnson) and Jack Conklin‘s $14MM-AAV deal. Moton is attached to a $13.8MM franchise tender.

WR Allen Robinson, Bears

Tagged at a higher price ($17.98MM) than Godwin because of his previous contract, Robinson has been the Bears’ No. 1 option on offense for the past three years. This has not translated to harmony between he and the team. Robinson has expressed frustration with the Bears’ tactics during his lengthy extension talks, which date back to last year, and he at one point surfaced in trade rumors.

This will be the eighth-year veteran’s age-28 season. A long-term Robinson deal would pair well with Justin Fields‘ rookie contract, with no other Bears receiver making even midlevel money, but the former third-round pick did not sound especially confident a deal will be finalized by the deadline.

OT Cam Robinson, Jaguars

This might be the closest to a “prove it” tag in this year’s lot. The former second-round pick has recovered from the ACL tear that cost him 14 games in 2018, starting 30 over the past two seasons. But Robinson, 25, has yet to show he is among the better players at the left tackle position. Without a viable replacement lined up, the Jaguars tagged the Alabama alum at $13.8MM. It would make sense for the Urban Meyer regime to gauge Robinson’s contract-year performance and reassess the matter next year. Holding the most cap space in the NFL ($38MM), the Jags can afford to carry Robinson’s tag figure this season.

G Brandon Scherff, Washington

Washington and its top offensive lineman have been at this for a while. A 2015 first-round pick, Scherff has been eligible for an extension since the 2017 season ended. Instead, Washington has seen another tag situation near the point of no return. The four-time Pro Bowl guard has played on the fifth-year option and the franchise tag, pushing this year’s tag price to $18MM. A third tag is unrealistic, as the Kirk Cousins standoff showed, and no deal this month would push Scherff toward free agency in 2022. The team wants to extend the 29-year-old blocker, but it will almost certainly take a guard-record agreement to do so. Joe Thuney raised the position’s ceiling with a $16MM-AAV deal in March.

S Marcus Williams, Saints

The Saints’ salary cap tightrope walk included a $10.6MM Williams tag, completing an odyssey that began with the team $100MM-plus over this year’s reduced cap. With New Orleans already doing the rare fifth-year option restructure with Marshon Lattimore, a Williams extension would be the easiest way to create more cap room. The team checked the top item off its offeseason to-do list, the Ramcyzk extension, but it may well have either a Lattimore or Williams re-up in its near-future plans.

Part of New Orleans’ impact 2017 draft class, the 24-year-old safety has been a starter from Day 1. Even though Lattimore may be a higher extension priority, the team coming all the way back from $100MM over the cap to use a franchise tag illustrates its view of Williams’ work.

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Buccaneers’ Chris Godwin Signs Tender

No surprise here. On Thursday, Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin signed his franchise tender (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter).

Godwin is now set to earn $15.9MM in 2021, though the two sides have until mid-July to work out a long-term deal. There’s mutual interest in a multi-year arrangement, though the Buccaneers have already committed significant dollars to top players in 2022 and beyond. It might be tough, but the Bucs clearly know what they’re doing when it comes to clever accounting.

Godwin, a former third-round pick, broke out in 2019 with 86 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns en route to his first Pro Bowl nod. The stage was set for an even bigger year in 2020 — especially with Tom Brady on board — but he was eclipsed somewhat by Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown. Still, he finished with 65 catches for 840 yards and seven scores in 12 games, plus 16/232/1 in the playoffs.

Godwin was one of nine players to receive the tag this year, putting him in the same camp as Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, and Bears receiver Allen Robinson.

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NFL Sets $182.5MM Salary Cap

The NFL salary cap has been set at $182.5MM, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). This marks a sizable (though expected) drop from last year’s $198.2MM limit.

Teams will not be allowed to borrow cap room from future years, per the CBA, so teams are basically stuck with the hard cap and difficult choices ahead. However, teams do have other ways to navigate the cap, including rollover from 2020, post-June 1 cuts, and contract restructuring.

With the new salary cap, the league has also determined the values of this year’s franchise tag tenders (Twitter link):

  • Quarterback $25.104MM
  • Running Back $8.655MM
  • Tight End $9.601MM
  • Offensive Lineman $13.754MM
  • Defensive End $16.069MM
  • Defensive Tackle $13.888M
  • Linebacker $14.791M
  • Cornerback $15.06MM
  • Kicker/Punter $4.482MM

Here’s the full rundown of this year’s franchise tags, including players on repeat tags who receive a 20% increase:

Buccaneers Franchise Tag Chris Godwin

Chris Godwin isn’t going anywhere. On Tuesday, the Buccaneers assigned the franchise tag to the standout wide receiver, yanking him from the open market. 

Godwin will get a considerable pay raise, going from $4.65MM in the final year of his rookie contract to $16MM+. The tag is likely being deployed as a placeholder for a multi-year deal and will allow the two sides to negotiate between now and the middle of July. Players often bristle at the franchise tag, but Godwin is an exception.

“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.”

Godwin, a former third-round pick, broke out in 2019 with 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns en route to his first Pro Bowl nod. The stage was set for an even bigger year in 2020 — especially with Tom Brady on board — but he was also joined by a cavalcade of new stars, including Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown. The 24-year-old ultimately finished with 65 catches for 840 yards and seven scores in 12 games. In four postseason contests, Godwin added another 16 grabs for 232 yards and one TD.

Godwin wasn’t the Buccaneers’ only candidate for the tag. Teams can only cuff one player per offseason, which means that edge rusher Shaq Barrett and inside linebacker Lavonte David are now scheduled to be free agents.

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Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin Not Opposed To Franchise Tag

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.

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.

Bucs Expected To Retain WR Chris Godwin

There are a number of quality wide receivers slated for free agency next month, but it sounds like the Bucs will keep one of them off the market. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Tampa is expected to engage Chris Godwin in talks on a long-term contract before the March 9 deadline for applying the franchise tag, and if those talks do not result in a deal, it sounds as if the team is prepared to use the tag on the Pro Bowl wideout (Twitter link).

We heard last April that the Bucs were eyeing an extension for Godwin, but it’s unclear how far those negotiations advanced. Between the lack of a new contract and the fact that Tampa has a number of other key free agents to make decisions on, there was some speculation that Godwin would be playing elsewhere in 2021. But it sounds as if that won’t be the case.

This season, Godwin did not quite return to the Pro Bowl form he displayed in 2019, but he was quite effective just the same. Although his 12.9 yards-per-reception mark was a career-low, that is largely attributable to the fact that the team transitioned from Jameis Winston to Tom Brady at quarterback. Godwin’s catch rate increased to a career-best 77.4%, and had he played in all 16 games — he missed four contests due to injury — he was on pace to eclipse 1,100 receiving yards. He also scored seven TDs.

Based on the expected salary cap of $180.5MM, the franchise tag number for Godwin would be $15.808MM (h/t Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com on Twitter). Godwin can probably do better than that on a long-term contract, as the top 12 wide receiver deals in the league feature AAVs of at least $16.2MM, but it’s a fair starting point in contract talks.

The Bucs are also interested in bringing back Antonio Brown, and while Rapoport says tight end Rob Gronkowski plans to take a few weeks to make a retirement decision, he will only play for Tampa if he chooses to return in 2021. Keeping the band together for what could be the final season of Brady’s career makes plenty of sense, though it could mean that a defensive free agent like Shaquil Barrett or Lavonte David will be squeezed out of the picture.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.