Waiting On A Windfall

March 9th, 2022

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Chris Godwin isn’t going anywhere this year — except to his jubilant financial advisor — and that’s a good thing for Buc Nation.

But now Tampa Bay finds itself plumb out of franchise tag bullets for a 26-year-old wide receiver who stands to make $19 million this season. A third consecutive tag for Godwin in 2023 is out of the question because of the prohibitive penalty that accompanies a franchise tag hat trick.

Chris Godwin

The Bucs now have four months to work out a long-term deal with a Hines Ward clone. Ward’s versatility and grit were a blessing for the Steelers. He made the tough catches over the middle, blocked his butt off and exemplified the physicality that Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin craved.

For the final eight seasons of Ward’s 14-year career, Bruce Arians admired him up close and personal as Pittsburgh’s wide receivers coach or offensive coordinator.

Godwin goes about his business in the same fierce manner as Ward. In a league overrun with diva wideouts, Godwin and Antonio Brown couldn’t be more disparate in terms of temperament.

Arians wasn’t about to let Godwin test the free agent market because he would have aced it — even coming off knee surgery expected to keep him sidelined when the season begins in September.

Now comes the hard part because at this point, Godwin owns virtually all the leverage.

Godwin’s agent just saw Mike Williams, another receiver from the 2017 draft class, sign a 3-year, $60 million deal to remain with the Chargers, with $40 million guaranteed.

If you’re representing Godwin, you have every right to remind Jason Licht that your client is a significantly better player than Mike Williams … and you’d be right.

In 72 career games, Williams has 227 catches for 3,662 yards and 27 touchdowns. In the same amount of games, Godwin has caught 342 passes for 4,643 yards and 29 TDs.

Godwin has generated 60 more first downs, averages 14 more yards per game and boasts a catch rate of 71 percent, compared to 58 percent for Williams.

Williams is good, Godwin is elite.

Last Call

Knowing he won’t be franchised again in 2023, Godwin can bet on himself to make a full recovery and enjoy a windfall next year as an unrestricted free agent. And if the Bucs don’t land an established quarterback by July 15, Godwin will have even more reason to play hardball with Licht, who deserves ample plaudits for choosing Godwin in the third round as the 11th wideout off the board.

The Bucs didn’t have a lot of good options on Tuesday. If they had allowed Godwin to test the market, teams with deeper pockets than Tampa Bay would have lined up to lure him away from One Buc Place.

You think Mike Evans faces double-coverage now? Imagine what kind of crowd Evans would attract without Godwin working deftly out of the slot. Add in the uncertainty surrounding Rob Gronkowski and Tampa Bay’s prolific passing game would likely be in tatters.

At least for now, Blaine Gabbert, Kyle Trask or a new arrival will have one of the NFL’s premier tandems to throw to. Williams just joined a select group of receivers — DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Keenan Allen and Davante Adams — making at least $20 million a year.

Unless Godwin stumbles this fall, he’s sure to cross that threshold in 2023.

The Bucs have some comfort in knowing Godwin is back, excelling at the dirty work that helps win football games. A prolific offense could have seen Tom Brady, Ali Marpet and Godwin all depart in the same offseason.

That’s a horror show.

The clock is still ticking on Leonard Fournette and Alex Cappa, but Godwin’s next reception will be as a member of the Buccaneers. That’s a ray of sunshine amid the cloudy potential for a long-term deal.

Mike Williams just set the groundwork for the ground floor. Godwin’s agent will undoubtedly ask for the penthouse.

How about a nice duplex?

16 Responses to “Waiting On A Windfall”

  1. Marine Buc Says:

    If the Bucs don’t work out a long term contract for Godwin than franchise tagging him makes sense.

    If they don’t work out a long term deal – we just rented Godwin for 11 games at $19.8M.

    If Mike Williams got $60M for 3 years – Godwin is worth @ $88M for 4 years…

  2. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    We’re gonna have to start dumping salaries, obviously
    Maybe we could trade a few high salaries of veterans?
    Maybe trade Devin White. Who else?

  3. Marine Buc Says:


    If the Bucs work out a long term contract for Godwin than franchise tagging him makes sense.

    my bad…

  4. Steven007 Says:

    The Seahawks just dumped Bobby Wagner too. Clearly they’re in rebuild mode with Wilson gone and now Wagner. Curious what Wagner will pull on the market. He’s past his prime but still very productive. I admit, I don’t know what the overriding philosophy is with the team at this point from a leadership perspective. Signing Godwin was necessary, but paying him close to $2 million per game without a solid plan at quarterback seems questionable. I’d like to think they have a plan. It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out.

  5. Steven007 Says:

    To clarify, tagging Godwin as long as we work out a contract was the right move. If he plays on the tag, that’s what’s questionable. Don’t see the value there.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We must work out a long term deal with Godwin this year……things will get worse next year…..I suspect the holdup is with Godwin’s camp as it was last year…..
    We may have to let him go next year if we can’t get it done.

  7. godlovesbucs Says:

    Man, what was the option? You can’t let this guy walk out for at best a 3rd round comp pick. You also can’t break the bank for your #2 receiver with no QB plan and needs on the o line, d line and secondary in FA. You have to tag him and hope to keep him long term or trade him for higher than a 3rd. He is a guy who you have to reward, or guys like Winfield, wirfs, white, and others who were homegrown will see that they play for a team who doesn’t take care of their own guys who bust their butt.

  8. mike Says:

    Question… When will Godwin be 100%? will he partcipate in camp and be ready for the opener or is he coming back game say 6 or 7

  9. Its a Bucs Life Says:

    Godwin aint elite.

    Only played a full season two times in 5 years.

    Only cracked 1k yards twice in 5 seasons.

    Love his play, but coming off an ACL, an injury history and in a league where rookie WR are dominating in year 1 this looks like a bad choice by our front office

  10. Its a Bucs Life Says:

    What other team was gonna give Godwin, coming off an ACL huge $$?

    Bucs bidding against themselves

  11. mike Says:

    @bucs life… i’m with you 100%. I love CG but wrs are plentiful.

  12. Bucs Guy Says:

    Godwin is not going to sign a long-term deal no matter the amount until next year when the new TV contract hits, the salary cap goes up and he’s heslthy. And there’s no guarantee it will be with the Bucs. He could choose to test FA next year. As soon as you can get him to sign his tender, trade him for draft picks.

  13. SlyPirate Says:


    Godwin’s tag is the worst managerial decision of Licht’s tenure. Baker was bad but we were losers finding our way. We were winners. We had a core. This deal kills every other FA deal that could have kept the Bucs competitive.

  14. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Little Brother Licht & Big Brother BA have signed an endorsement deal with Desperation ™️…a cologne for older men who have gotten too far out over their proverbial skis. This move makes very little sense…even though Godwin is obviously good…when HEALTHY.

  15. Buczilla Says:

    Unless we can sign Chris to a long term deal or better yet trade him for robbing us of the chance to tag another player than this was a desperate, ill advised move by Licht. Godwin is a good, potentially great player, but calling him elite is silly (love ya Ira!). Missing significant time three years running is a horrible trend. If Chris hadn’t missed as much time as he has I’d be screaming daily to keep him, but this guy has proven that he can’t stay healthy.

  16. nick houllis Says:

    no.1 you DONT trade WHITE, he is a foundation player. SMH. Next, if you have to pay the ransom, would you rather pay it to Godwin or Jensen? no one else makes sense. Evans/Godwin is the no.1 WR tandem in the NFL, maybe, arguably, or all time. you don’t break that up when you don’t have an elite qb, your slot WR is important. With those weapons, Trask or any other QB can do enough to get into the playoffs where anything can happen when you play a home game.