SI: Chris Godwin Likely Has Played His Final Game With Bucs

December 21st, 2021


When Joe wrote the story yesterday of Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians announcing receiver Chris Godwin was done for the year with a blown ACL, Joe included a phrase that Godwin may have played his final game for Tampa Bay.

Godwin is a free agent after this season. Prior to the injury, Godwin was looking at $20 million a year.

Albert Breer of believes Godwin’s injury won’t cost him much money. But that money won’t be with the Bucs.

That said, this is probably it for Godwin in Tampa, since he’ll be looking for the kind of life-changing haul every young player does in his second contract. What’ll be interesting is seeing how the Bucs will replace him in 2022—and whether Brady will take the avenue of trying to recruit another friend, Odell Beckham Jr., to the Bucs to go ring chasing with him.

Joe isn’t ready to go there yet. Joe was listening yesterday to the “PFT PM” podcast hosted by the creator, curator and overall guru of Pro Football Talk, the great Mike Florio. Florio, a lawyer who deals with NFL suits and agents all the time, said no one will throw tons of cash at Godwin unless he can prove he is back to the same level as he was this season.

Florio said Godwin’s ACL injury is normally a nine-month rehab at best. So Godwin would be looking at maybe training camp or perhaps the first month of the 2022 season before he can get on a practice field again. So that right there will put a drag on a new contract.

And, Florio said, whoever signs Godwin likely will negotiate an out clause after the first year so the team is protected if it is clear Godwin isn’t the same receiver.

Just looking at the salary cap numbers (from, the NFL salary cap is expected to jump for next season by some $25 million to $208.2 million. Godwin is making a hair under $16 million. If you take O.J. Howard’s current salary of $2.7 million and give that extra money to Godwin, that may be enough to keep Godwin (yes, Howard will be a free agent too).

Who would you rather bet on, Godwin returning to form or Howard? Joe knows who he would bet Team Glazer’s loot on.

As far as replacing Godwin with Odell Beckham, that’s just crazy talk. Godwin plays in the slot. Beckham is not a slot receiver and he couldn’t block the way Arians demands of his slot receivers. You know, like Godwin does? (Beckham replacing Antonio Brown? That’s a different animal.)

Joe doesn’t think Godwin is gone. Yet. Disgusting and cold as this sounds, Godwin’s injury may aid the Bucs in their efforts to keep him. There may not be as big of a bidding war.

64 Responses to “SI: Chris Godwin Likely Has Played His Final Game With Bucs”

  1. Jeff Says:

    WR’s are a dime a dozen. Good WR’s are pretty easy to find in the draft in rounds 2-4. Bucs need to focus on their pass rush and everything will come together for them to achieve sustained success

  2. Bbro Says:

    Damn gone for the season God’s Speed in your healing Chris Godwin

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    Such is the “business” of the NFL. Obviously he was drafted and played for the Bucs so we want him to stay a Buc. That’s not the reality of the NFL though. We have many players to re-sign and may not be able to afford him.

    OBJ is a joke, as is Howard! If we’re going to replace Chris, I’d rather us draft his replacement.

  4. Bosch Says:

    Right on, Bbro! Chris will “hard work” his recovery like he does everything else.

    I agree with you Joe. Your last paragraph sounded disgusting and cold.

  5. geno711 Says:

    I would love to have Godwin back but it just might not be possible.

    I am not sure why we just don’t keep Antonio Brown at 60 percent of the contract. Brady sure likes him a lot. Less years guaranteed.

    Sure Godwin is a way better role model but if the goal is winning games, get AB for 2 years and 20 million.

    More money for other positions.

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Largely agree with you. You can never go wrong improving the pass rush!

    I’ll be interested to see whether the Bucs go big like Cam Jordan or smaller like Shaq looking for pressure from the outside. If Tryon is any indication perhaps a hybrid is in order. They seem to be the rage these days. Fast freaks at 265 or so.

    But I’m just as hungry for help in the Defensive backfield. I like SMB and Davis OK and I’m pleased with our safety play but Dean is a bust…not based on a lack of talent but a lack of the greatest most necessary ability of all…availibility.

    We hate N.O. But we shouldn’t deceive ourselves. They have an EXCELLENT defense! Ranked tops against the rush and 6th overall.

    If you match up our teams our front seven is as good and arguably deeper and therefore better than the Saints front seven…but it’s close.

    But their DB’s continually kick our arses. It’s starting to get EMBARRASSING!

    I want a group of killer CB’s like NO has…I think our safeties are strong enough and in fact improving enough that they’re passing the Saints talented guys.

    I want the next coming of Patrick Peterson…or hey could somebody find the Fountain of Youth…Richard Sherman in his prime would have been excellent.

  7. Beeej Says:

    Godwin’s contract might have to be incentive based

  8. D-Rome Says:

    I was thinking about that yesterday, wondering if that’s the last time we’ll see Godwin as a Buc. I wasn’t sure if the Bucs extended him or not.

  9. Jim Says:

    Godwin played with fierce courage and it cost him. I really hope he has a full recovery and remains a Buc.

  10. FrankPillow Says:

    14 is the best overall, most complete, football player on the team. The GOAT got him killed on that throw. Keep that man in a Bucs uniform!

  11. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Not sure if Godwin will want to leave. He has to know that playing opposite of ME13, has allowed him to have some great matchup advantages & Godwin has taken the W every time on those. Really hope that he stays and stinks he did not get the chance to break MeShawns record with the bucs

  12. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I do not understand the debate between getting hit low at the knees or high in a head to head attack.

    BOTH are awful! It’s like debating would you rather get shot or stabbed!

    Yeah knee shots have a higher percentage of career enders than a head shot…but head shots can leave you like poor Vincent Taylor. Would you rather have your career ended prematurely or your LIFE?

    Bottom line is they should just OUTLAW BOTH. I remember linebackers like Tommy Nobis, Dick Butkus, and others planted their helmets right between a guys numbers and drove the breath right out of his lungs stopping him cold in his tracks and leave him writhing on the ground.

    Point is we can have our pain and suffering and hard hitting without making guys lose their minds or walk with a limp.

    That was a cheap gutless shot by the DB. Hitting a guy that low generally causes no pain to the hitter, requires no physical superiority like Nobis and Butkus possessed…it’s just a disgusting part of the game!

  13. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Oops too early in the morning…and I don’t even have the head shot excuse although I will be 74 this Thursday! YIKES

    Sadly..Vincent JACKSON not Taylor.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Injury is the risk Godwin took when he didn’t sign a long-term contract and took the franchise tag…..shame.
    Somehow, I think Godwin will be a Buc…..hope so.

  15. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    What are the rates of ACL surgery as far as recovery goes, 100%? If so CG should and will remain a Bucs. TB12 will have a big part on the decision as well.
    I believe JL and CG will do the magic.

  16. buc15 Says:

    Not a chance. He will be a long term Buc

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    I apparently lost track of Godwin’s injury status because I thought he’d be back for the playoffs. Total bummer that his season ended like that. And probably so did the Bucs’ hopes of repeating as SB Champion. Yes, he’s THAT critical to the Bucs’ offense IMO.

    Getting AB back on the field will help, but he’s no CG14. Chris has accounted for 25% of our receiving 1st downs (he has 55 of our 225 receiving 1st downs) and that’s a huge chunk to lose. And especially considering that’s over half of his 98 receptions. IOW he’s a chain-mover extraordinaire.

    Whether or not Godwin stays a Buc is anyone’s guess at this point (too many variables in-play). One thing’s for sure though IMO: Bucs will try their best to make it happen. He’s THAT critical to the Bucs’ offense, regardless of who our QB is going forward.

  18. tampabuscsbro Says:

    I mean at least we can afford to keep that vaunted defense…..

    The backups looked like bums against the saints then again the whole team normally looks like bums against the saints.

  19. tampabuscsbro Says:

    Wait how did brady get him killed?

    Was brady the saints safety that was trying to take him out of the game? The dude who probably found 300K magically in his locker after the game because he took godwin and fournette out.

  20. zzbuc Says:

    IMO Bucs will keep CG as long as TB 12 stays in Tampa, if TB12 goes, well a very different scenario opens, where several players will be out……

  21. Destinjohnny Says:

    Sucks be went out with a Bull Sh** cheap shot from a dirty player and team

  22. Im not tired anymore we Super Bowl Champs!! Says:

    Godwin will only get better. You just watch. We have got to bring back Godwin! Go Bucs!

  23. BucsCoolade Says:

    He should be fine. Lots of players come back from this. Injuries always suck.

    Bucs getting asses literally kikked in this game after buffalo game could mean they were kinda spent and over confident. Trap game.

    Buffalo did same thing to NE.. who lost looking similar in trap game at indy. Meanwhile Bills won.

  24. Rotten Amiigo Says:

    Jason Licht is a stooge if he lets Godwin go!

  25. adam from ny Says:

    i hope godwin and his 6 million dollar knee remain in tampa…





  26. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Howard’s Cap hit is 6 million this year. Brate has a Cap hit of 7.2 million next year that is club option. Godwin @ 16 mil. Cap increase at 25 mil. That is 54 mil freed up if you keep none of those.
    If TB12 and Gronk play another year after this year , sign Gesicki at about 12 mil per as he is about same size as Gronk and his game is elevating exponentially and he is YOUNG. Sign Mike Williams of LAC at about 17 Mil per , another YOUNG stud who has tremendous upside and talent. Need a slot guy? Sign Adam Humphries bout 2.5 mil – can block great and hands like glue as we all saw for years. So for 30-35 mil you have your replacement TE and WR for next 5 years.

  27. Marine Buc Says:

    I’m not sure that everyone understands we will have 27 free agents this off season including Godwin. Even with the cap increase to $208 million we will have about $30 million to spend.

    We will have 6-7 draft picks to sign. After that we will have @ $24 million to sign or replace 20 players (11 of which are current starters).

    – Gronk
    – Godwin
    – AB
    – Fournette
    – Jensen
    – Cappa
    – JPP
    – Suh
    – Gholston
    – Davis
    – Whitehead

    I hope some of these guys will accept incentive laiden contracts. I seriously don’t know how we get to keep Godwin and sign back all our starters along with 10 more second stringers.

  28. adam from ny Says:

    let’s go back to the heavy briefcases at dennys scenario…

    that’s how we keep the gang together



  29. adam from ny Says:

    oj howard is so gone, he might as well just start wearing tampa bay rays gear on the sideline during his final bucs games

  30. sauron's eye Says:

    I do agree with giving O J Howards money to someone else. It will be a different team next year.

  31. adam from ny Says:

    i see them potentially letting cappa walk and penciling in stinnie

    jpp is probably pretty much gone too

    and davis…they might let a big contract for davis go bye bye too

    i see them trying to keep:


    on the fence:


  32. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    The key to the whole equation is whether TB12 and Gronk play another year , presuming they stay one more year , our window of opportunity has to be focused on that year alone , because after that you are in rebuilding mode for a few years. So IMHO drafting quality that can potentially start and contribute immediately is much more important than quantity , in other words , trade up in draft and get 3 immediate impact picks instead of 6 maybe’s.

  33. Pewter Power Says:

    I’m sure nfl front offices look at some of the comments from some people that should just know better and can’t help but call them idiots. Chris simms got exactly what he wanted with those comments even though he was only franchised once, the salary cap went up and the Bucs could sacrifice other places to keep this guy. If Brady comes back Godwin is coming back. This was the same issue he had in New England he’s not letting Godwin go

  34. Tackleblockwin Says:

    @ Marine Buc.

    Good info on your post. I added Brady to list and my prediction for next year.

    – Brady retires
    – Gronk retires
    – Godwin Signs with TB
    – AB Signs with another team
    – Fournette Signs with another team
    – Jensen signs with another team
    – Cappa Signs with TB
    – JPP Retires or signs with another team
    – Suh Retires
    – Gholston Signs with Bucs
    – Davis Signs with Bucs
    – Whitehead signs with Bucs

    Let the rebuilding begin.

  35. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Adam

    So we should make our weakest unit (defensive backs) weaker by letting Davis walk? I just don’t see this happening.

    I agree with you on JPP and replacing Cappa with Stinnie could happen. But Stinnie is also a free agent.

    We could also let Jensen walk and replace him with Robert Hainsey to save another $10-$12 million.

  36. Marine Buc Says:

    @ tackle

    If Brady retires I believe we still owe him @ $15 million which was a signing bonus that has been deferred to 2022…

    I would rather have Brady return for one more season if that is the case.

  37. Marine Buc Says:

    @ tackle

    I agree with your list. If TB retires this team will look very different next season. We won’t get the cheap veteran ring chasers coming back that we have seen the past few years.

  38. Tackleblockwin Says:

    @Marine Buc

    I agree with you. But imo I think Brady may call it quits if we don’t win SB. If we win SB, he will return and go for 3 in a row.

  39. adam from ny Says:

    if brady calls it quits, might as well let guys go…

    gotta keep jensen in front of brady if brady stays…jensen is his main bodyguard…yes bodyguard

    @Marine Buc:

    look i want to keep them all too but we can’t…

    now if davis wants like 100 mil let him go…he’s not that good – he’s okay to good…not trying to burst anyones bubble but he’s not a super duty shut down corner by any means…i know people here want to believe he is, but he’s not…go with dean and smb and retool at cb…

    and…you can’t just pop hainsey in front of tom brady…nah…no way…jensen – big red – has got all the leverage…brady is an old man – jensen is key…even if only on a one year deal…jensen and gronk go as brady goes imho at this point…

    if only jensen can start snapping the ball straight – that would be a sight to behold…haha

  40. Buctank Says:

    The Bucs can franchise Godwin a 2nd time for 19.1 million for 1 year

  41. Marine Buc Says:

    @ adam

    I think it’s possible they use the franchise tag on C. Davis. Give him one more season to prove he is worthy of a much larger deal.

    Much of the rest hinges on if TB returns or we blow this thing up and go into rebuild mode.

    Perhaps there will be a less expensive FA CB we could bring in and let Davis walk and allow either Dean or SMB to become our #1. I’m not very excited about that scenario.

  42. D-Rome Says:

    Marine Buc/Tackleblockwin,

    Good posts.

    Folks, this is it for the Bucs run. The team was built to win this year so win or lose, this is going to be it. I’m not sure if Brady retires next year but we all got a preview Sunday night as to what this team could look like next year if Brady were to return and not have Godwin, Fournette, and Gronk. Hell, Gronk looked like he lost a step in that game. This team for receivers will have Mike Evans and a bunch of other guys trying to prove themselves. Not sure if Brady would stick around for that.

    RoJo isn’t good enough to be a feature back. The defense has a lot of pieces in place which is a good thing. Joe may be right about the draft next year. One can make a case that if you have Brady next year the first round pick should be a WR.

  43. Marine Buc Says:

    @ D-Rome

    Agreed. Especially regarding Gronk. I wonder if he is still feeling the effects of that hit he took against the Rams that broke his ribs and punctured his lung.

    He is not the same since that hit…

  44. Mike Johnson Says:

    Losing Godwin for the rest of this year is a much bigger loss than many want to admit. And the article is spot on. Godwin will get paid. Just not by the Bucs. can’t blame anybody in this injury ridden league to take the cash and run. Good luck Chris. Make that paper my man. We ain’t mad at cha.

  45. bucschamp Says:

    sign CG, I don’t want another Darden

  46. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Only a 2% chance Brady returns. Too much of a clown show.

  47. adam from ny Says:

    @Marine Buc

    yes franchising c. davis could def be the move…but the 100 mil contract – i say nah…that sounds like a plan Marine

    yes and everything, literally everything, rests on whether the michael jordan of the nfl (tommy b) returns to the bucs or not…

    and yes neither dean or smb seem to rest well in my mind as a #1 corner at this point either…

    i think they would love smb to develop into just that over the next couple of years because he also has a mouthpiece, is well spoken and loves to talk…he has superstar potential from all angles besides the field…now if his game could just get right, then he’s good to go

  48. T REX Says:

    The Bucs will be in a rebuild once Brady retires.

    Godwin won’t have anyone to throw him the ball.

    Arians will retire as well.

    One year deals fir as many as you can for one last run if Brady comes back.

    If Brady calls it quits no way we resign Godwin.

  49. Ed Says:

    I feel terrible for Godwin because his effort is remarkable. He has played hurt due to his bravery on the field doing the dirty work. He’s got the heart of a lion.

    He is a chain mover. However there are other very good slot receivers in the NFL and certainly some will come out of college to replace him if he can’t be resigned.

    I think it will all depend on how his rehab goes and what his doctors say. His cutting ability is one of his biggest assets. If the injury does what it did to Barkley on Giants, you can see the difference in his cut back ability. Godwin won’t lose straight on speed but he may not have the same skill set his first year back.

    After 2 seasons of playing all 16 games under Koetter, Chris has missed 2, 4 and now 3 games as Arians has used him far more extensively than Koetter.

    It will be interesting to see if the NFL rules commitee makes some changes to de-emphasize helmet to knee contact when a WR is defenseless.

  50. adam from ny Says:

    yes gronk has to watch his back out there big time…

    can’t go up and hang himself out to dry…

    that’s why he dropped so many…the bucs receivers all seemed to sense that the saints were going after them big time…

    maybe the saints put the word out between the teams too…

    only they would know…

    brady did roll up on the saints sideline and curse out dennis allen at one point on camera…and his on field iq is like the highest around – and his eyes are everywhere – he sees it all…

    mike never hurt his hammy – i don’t think…he got body slammed pretty hard by lattimore and just as they went to the ground lattimore slipped off the tackle to avoid a penalty…but it was a perfect play by lattimore because he still power slammed mike to the turf and yoked his azz…

    saint were trying to hurt bucs when given the opp…

    and 26 was going straight for the knees on multiple occasions – i re-watched the game looking for his plays…he’s guilty

    also godwin’s knee sort of bent backwards, the other way from the hit…amazing he was trying to run it off on the sidelines…that #26 was gunning for knees on and off all night

  51. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Mark my words…Telling you right now!!


    A deal will be worked out!

    This kid has busted his a$$ for this team ever since getting drafted. Does all the dirty work for BA’s offense. All that talent & yet humility may be his best attribute.His family raised him right!!!

  52. captivajim Says:

    Agree with Adam; Mike’s hammy is likely fine-but he got slamed pretty hard. Gronk saw what they were doing-that’s why he was protecting himself, watching them rather than just running looking back up for the ball..If not for TB12 , Gronk would not be out there..he knew what they were doing..

    with Peyton–saints have always been dirty team. they wanted revenge for winston’s acl tear ….& they got it .. CG had a really bright future ahead–God’s speed for a complete recovery

  53. cover deuce Says:

    I repeat. There is a 0% chance Brady let’s them let Chris walk. This is 2021, not 1991. ACLs are tough to tear, but they aren’t an aren’t Achilles injury. They’ll probably want language to protect themselves in the event his knee is completely shot, but unless someone offers him the type of contract he would have gotten while healthy then this is much ado about absolutely nothing.

  54. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Breer is talking like he has insider knowledge, but he clearly doesn’t even understand the Bucs’ salary cap situation.

  55. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Psssssddsss. SI is fishing for ad revenue.

  56. unbelievable Says:

    If Brady comes back… and wants Godwin… he’ll be here.

    If Brady doesn’t come back, I think it will depend.

  57. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Yes, the injury helps us keep Godwin, but still, many teams will be looking for a number 1 receiver, and we will only have so much money to spend.
    Personally, I think we have seen the last of Chris, I am sad to say.

  58. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    adam from ny Says:

    Agree 100%. They were trying to maim the Bucs players. Dirty stinking lousy rotten bounty hunting Saints. Fn hate them more every day.

  59. cmurda Says:

    Before the injury, Chris Godwin writes his own check with the Bucs on a long term extension. After the injury, Chris Godwin writes his own check with the Bucs on a long term extension but with an out after year 1 based on injury/performance. I thought Godwin was the best player on the field every Sunday. No way do you let that guy get away without a serious fight.

  60. Franco Says:

    Look… Bucs have a solid chance to win the Super Bowl. Even if they just make it to the NFC game and falls short, Brady will play one more season and Edelman will replace miller and one other slot player for one year. Gronk will also play one year. Brady will recruit the needed players around him for one last shot. Also a series will be filmed to chronicle it. 👍🏼

  61. Franco Says:

    PERIOD !!!

  62. Pete Says:

    If TB plays another season, Chris will be here too.

  63. FairMinded Says:

    Godwin isn’t Adam Humphries or Kwon Alexander who both had major glaring weaknesses. This guy is the real deal and should be paid as such. Licht knows this. He’ll lock him up. Brate takes a downgrade due to lack of production and OJ goes bye bye.

  64. Mike Lowry Says:

    Honestly, I hope Brady retires after this season, he can no longer push the ball accurately down the field..and subsequently he’s getting all his receivers killed on short to mediocre crossing routes..if Godwin wants a lasting career I’d leave if Tom is still around to keep from getting slaughtered.