Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin didn’t sign a contract extension before the Thursday deadline, meaning he’ll play on the franchise tag.
Tom Brady could very well lose one of his top targets after this season, assuming he really does want to play until age 45. Brady and the Bucs just won the Super Bowl, but that obviously comes at a financial cost. Playing with TB12 is fun but ultimately takes several star players signing on for less than they’re worth, NBA superteam style.
Godwin could very well do that after this season. Yet, assuming he puts up large numbers, he’ll be just 26 years old (at that time) heading into free agency as one of the top wide receivers in his class. He can, and should, want to get paid like one.
The Bucs are expected to have just over $21 million in cap room as the offseason begins, but factor in that they’ll need to re-sign several members of a former Super Bowl-winning roster and even add to it to surround Brady with more talent. Is Godwin the best use of their money?
Chris Godwin stats
Godwin had 65 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 2020-21. The season before, he had a breakout campaign with 86 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns.
Chris Godwin contract
Godwin will make just a shade under $16 million on the franchise tag this season.
NFL rumors: Chris Godwin destinations in 2022 free agency
Chris Godwin could remain in Florida
Godwin could go from one of the oldest quarterbacks in the NFL to one of the youngest.
Trevor Lawrence doesn’t have too many receiving threats in his rookie season in Jacksonville. Why not add a player like Godwin to the mix? He’d remain in Florida with those wonderful tax breaks, and get to catch passes from the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck.
The Jags have just over $23 million in cap space to start the 2022 offseason, per Spotrac. They have many areas to add to, of course. The Jags won just one game last season for a reason.
Still, they undoubtedly need to add around Lawrence. If they don’t give him a top weapon, they’re wasting one of the best QB talents in football who just so happens to be on his rookie contract.