Franchise For Chris Godwin?

January 28th, 2021

Bucs WR Chris Godwin.

While we wallow in the mud of enjoying the Super Bowl experience with the Bucs as hosts and home team, soon after Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht will have to make tough decisions.

It may not be an impossible task, however. More on that in a bit.

In a mailbag column, Albert Breer of was asked about free agent wide receivers and which one will get tagged. One receiver Breer was asked about is Chris Godwin.

From Bryan (@bryankelly_): Allen Robinson … Kenny Golladay … Chris Godwin … Who gets franchised?

Hey Bryan—this is a pretty interesting question, and I think it relates to each team’s individual cap situation. And would you believe that the Buccaneers are actually the team with the healthiest cap of those three? It’s true. They have around $150 million in cap commitments for 2021, which leaves room to put a number of about $17 million on Godwin to take him off the market. With the team going into 2021 with a 44-year-old quarterback, it makes sense to act with that sort of urgency. So I could see a tag there.

Per, the cap space the Bucs have is a mirage, as the team has so many good players hitting free agency.

2021 Outlook
The Bucs currently hold around $29M of Top 51 cap space for 2021, but it’s a bit of a myth. Tampa Bay has just 30 players currently under contract next season, and a strong list of notable players set to hit the open market.

It’s going to be a tall order to retain this Super Bowl roster going forward. Extensions for Donovan Smith, JPP, & even Brady could clear a good amount of cap, while star DT Vita Vea will likely also be in for a raise this offseason.

The free agents and their ages are Godwin, 24; OLB Shaq Barrett, 28; ILB Lavonte David, 31; DT Ndamukong Suh, 34; RB Leonard Fournette, 26; WR Antonio Brown, 32; and TE Rob Gronkowski, 31.

Joe suspects — no information from any shadowy source — Suh, Fournette and Brown won’t return.

Godwin will likely eat up a big chunk of that cap space. So how will/can the Bucs keep David and Shaq and Gronk? Joe is going to guess Gronk is wanted Brady.

There may be a bit of relief coming. Bill Huber, also of, spoke off the record with several agents (who speak often with NFL general managers) and seven of these agents don’t believe the cap will drop much if at all.

Breer said the vibe he gets from his NFL sources indicates the cap will go down, but not by much. If a new TV deal can be reached in the coming weeks, there is a chance, he said, of the cap possibly remaining the same.

37 Responses to “Franchise For Chris Godwin?”

  1. Bird Says:

    I thought nfl decided to have one extra game next year

    So even with losses from this covid year , cap would stay the same or who knows

  2. bullbuc74 Says:

    It would not surprise me they let Godwin walk and sign AB for 1-2 years at 4 million per year. we have Tyler Johnson in the wings. With the cap space crunch I think we will see focus on the D.

  3. Liaastnfrmafar Says:

    I think Gronk will stay as long as Brady does. He was quoted preretirement, “I’m not going to catch passes from anyone but Tom Brady.”
    Brown may stay on the cheap one more year, hey he’s got free rent, why not? Suh not so sure.

    Hey what’s up with David’s hamstring?

  4. OBF Says:

    Gronk and Suh will go, Brady will understand the tough decision

  5. Marine Buc Says:

    Fournette is now our starting running back.

    He will be back next year.

    Hate to say it but Godwin might test the open market.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    OK….the chickens are now coming home to roost…..I advocated a deal for Godwin this year…..but, of course, that would have probably meant we couldn’t sign our extra pieces……that certainly worked out.

    I suspect that we will franchise Godwin unless he signs a longer term deal for a bit less….(like $14 mil per year)

    That would mean it would be very difficult to sign LVD, Shaq, Gronk & Suh….

    For me…..Gronk & LVD would be the most likely to sign team friendly contracts.

    I hate it, but say goodbye to Shaq and Suh and say hello to our top two draft picks…..DE & DT

  7. Bruce Blahak Says:

    this is priority #1 …letting Godwin walk would be a travesty!

  8. Bobby M. Says:

    The cap can will get kicked down the road via extensions and reworked deals. If i had to guess who’s gone, I think Suh and Brown. I also think Gronk comes back at a cheaper rate then $10 million per year. I believe Gholston is effective enough to replace Suh….Miller/Johnson have proven they are capable in the big moments.

  9. Pa Privateer Says:

    No need for Brown, because of Miller/Johnson.

    I say let Suh walk, unless its for a very team friendly deal of a couple mil.
    A 3-4 DE (Suh) is easier to find than 3-4 LBs IMO.

    Find a way to sign Godwin, Barret and David.

    I really don’t see a need for Fournette. To me he’s a “great to have if possible”

    Gronk will sign for much less because he’s not one of the main offensive weapons anymore.

  10. BamaBuc Says:

    Cut Brate and OJ and that’s another 12.5 million in cap relief.

  11. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    The Bucs can’t let Shaq go. That would ruin the defense. You can’t draft an Edge player and expect great production the first year or even two. They take time to develop. With the depth we have at WR, I would let Godwin go before Shaq, but I doubt TB would go for that. But I do believe the Bucs keep both Shaq and CG with some creative work and letting older vets go.

  12. gp Says:

    Not going to be a good year for free agents with a restricted cap.
    Getting a good contract may mean playing on a team that’s a little short on talent.
    Big and difficult decisions ahead for both front offices and players.
    Many teams are going to have to get very creative and get cooperation from their players to keep talent on their teams

  13. Shadowman Says:

    This will not be popular

    Trade : Evans

    This would allow us to keep the other pieces , get extra high draft picks plus salary cap relief

    Our offense will still be strong with Godwin , brown , miller , Tyler Johnson , oj Howard , gronk

    We will be able to keep Shaq which is big and get a few draft picks

    I love mike Evan’s but this might be the best option . Something the patriots would do back in the day

  14. D-Rome Says:

    The team should consider letting Lavonte David go. In my heart I’d like for him to retire a Buc but the team has to consider how long Lavonte David can play at a high level. Please no one try to bring up Tom Brady and suggest Lavonte can play at a high level into his late 30s. It’s two different positions with two very different athletic necessities.

    I’d like to see if they can work out a short term, team friendly deal. The 2021 off season will be very interesting.

  15. sgrd0q Says:

    You got to be able to trade or lose anyone for the right price, and keep anyone for the right price. Somebody giving a home team discount is more likely to be signed.

  16. Brandon Says:

    Anybody impressed with Fournette enough to think we should re-sign him also probably thinks Paris Warren was gonna be a star.

    He’s broken FOUR tackles this post season. Four. All on the same run. He may have more drops this season than tackles broken and some of you clowns think he should be re-signed. Ridiculous. Whats his YPC during the playoffs? Not good. Neither was his 3.9 YPC during the regular season.

  17. Bucsfan951 Says:

    If a team like the saints can make it work, I can’t see why the Bucs can’t make it work. Greenberg will need to get creative

  18. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Godwin’s price will be driven up by teams like the Jets who have $70 million in cap space. It will be up to Godwin if he accepts a team friendly deal, but realistically, Godwin has to think of his family and Bucs can’t afford him.
    The DLine is key to Bucs’ future success and must be a priority. The OLine is pretty much set for next year.
    Cowboys are prime example of ruining the team by blowing up cap on RB and WR.

  19. Alaskabuc Says:

    Do not lose Godwin under any circumstances. I hope a Tyler Johnson continues to improve, but no way in hell am I content with TJ18 and AB81 being a contingency plan for Godwin leaving. He is far and away the most valuable free agent on that list. He and Evans are the most formidable receiver tandem in the league, you don’t “f” with that.

  20. doolnutts Says:

    Gronk isn’t leaving Brady lol … And I don’t think he’ll need to be signed for his 7,500,000 cap price either.

    I think an option that we could see is resigning Brady and spreading out the cap hit over 2-3 years to give us immediate relief. An example of a team that recently did this was the Cowboys. They were paying for Romo for years even after his retirement. It is not a lovely option long term but if we can keep the team largely together for a 2nd super bowl run I think you take the chance.

    Evans is always a great guy to restructure he is going to be a buc for years to come so there is really no risk to pushing his cap numbers down the line.

    I am very optimistic that we will keep most of this team in tact. Brown, Fournette may go but I think we have a real shot to retain Suh. LVD is likely going to get a long term deal to finish his career with us.

  21. Duane Says:

    Godwin is a luxury we will not be able to afford. Fournette is the same. Lets hope they dont end up in the NFC South. Going to be plenty of tough decisions for most teams. Likely to be some decent vets available that are cost effective. With an ancient QB, this is a very small window. I can see this team letting a bunch of free agents test the market and leave early, followed by a bunch of late signings before camp next year. Its hard to lose great players, but this is what happens when you have a championship team. Definitely a unfamiliar feeling to me

  22. orlbucfan Says:

    Ungodly CG14 and LVD will be back. JPP, Suh, Brown, Fournette are question marks. Licht knows what he’s doing. It wouldn’t surprise me if he already has personnel decisions sketched out.

  23. Bruce Blahak Says:

    you keep your own first. Fournette, Brown, Suh, Barrett are rentals….pay Godwin first and foremost!

  24. jimm Says:

    math question

    if they are increasing season to 17 games do they increase cap proportionately.

    do owners think players play 1 more game for no additional money ?

    how are existing contracts affected by the addition of a game in the season?


  25. 813bucboi Says:

    gotta keep him

    GO BUCS!!!

  26. Armybucsfan Says:

    Hey joe, what do you think the chances that Brady will take a pay cut to help maintain a majority Of these great players? He did it all the time and before he got here mike evans did it as well. In my honest opinion I feel we need to do our best to retain as many players as possible and I am sure many of them will take a team friendly contract especially is we win the Super Bowl to continue playing under Tom Brady.

  27. Armybucsfan Says:

    Godwin is the only buc this year that has consistently gotten us out of jams when evans was hurt/playing hurt. Getting rid of Godwin would be the dumbest move in team history after how our team got dismantled after our last super bowl. Keep Godwin and the defensive front at all costs. Look for players to restructure their contracts to free up space ie Brady, brate, etc and keep fournette gronk and AB. Some may have already forgotten how huge it was when aB stepped in when evans went down. We won’t not be on the birth of a new super bowl without him and the chemistry Brady has with him.

  28. Buc'em up Says:

    bullbuc74…..let Godwin walk? Gtfoh. Let a great, 24 year old WR walk to keep a (can be great) 32 year old WR with many off field issues, which some off can to suspensions. Glad you are not our GM.

  29. SlyPirate Says:

    It takes 52. Godwin and Evans making #1 money is detrimental to the entire team.

    The Bucs wins because they are balanced. Our WR room is stacked so spend the money elsewhere.

    Personally, I’d trade Evans. It’s rough but as they say, “It’s better to trade a vet one year early than one year late.

  30. windbaggery Says:

    Gronk should return. Godwin and David are musts. Either Suh or Barrett needs to come back — losing both would be painful for that defense. Nobody on the roster currently capable of replacing those guys.

    Fournette and AB will be shopping for contracts we can’t afford, and aren’t necessary.

  31. Oxycondoms Says:

    Godwin seems to be bradys favourite target dont think you can let him walk not sure if brady will allow it

  32. OBF Says:

    Folks Brady is used to working with new WRs

  33. windbaggery Says:


    Trade Evans???

    Jeezus dude, get a grip. He’s one of the best players in team history and he’s not even 30 yet. Wanna kill team morale? If so, just trade the most successful player we’ve had for the last 7 years. F88kin’ dope.

  34. AlV Says:

    AB and Gronk will probably take team friendly deals y’all. They only want to play with Brady.

    This does not include the amount of free agents wanting to come to Tampa to ring chase.

  35. Noles Says:

    Think they may keep Brown and drop Godwin… just finances

    Not saying I want that to happen

  36. Ben the GA Buc Says:

    AIV, you may be onto something there. What free agents want to get a year in with Brady while they still can?? I think that’s a great question.

  37. Jim Says:

    Man, I love CG. Love his game. It would hurt to see him go