Reason To Rejoice

July 9th, 2022

Click on through to shop at Bill Currie Ford GM Sean Sullivan is ready to help you PERSONALLY and give you the Ira Kaufman discount. Just ask!


If you’re one of the many thousands of readers and listeners who swear by this website, you know the good news by now.

Chris Godwin, less than seven months removed from a torn ACL, is well on his way to a full recovery.

Take a deep breath, Buc Nation. Rejoice.

Chris Godwin news has fans rejoicing.

JoeBucsFan has confirmed an ESPN report that there’s a realistic chance Godwin will be available for the Week 1 matchup at Dallas on Sept. 11. If that happens, it’s beyond the wildest dreams of Buc fans who expected Godwin to miss the early portion of the regular-season schedule.

Why is Godwin so important? Ask his quarterback.

“He works so hard and puts so much into it,” says Tom Brady. “He is a great team player, a consummate professional.”

Jason Licht has stockpiled a lot of good players in his nine draft classes, but Godwin’s selection in 2017 is tough to beat in terms of value.

Ten wide receivers were taken off the board before the Bucs chose Godwin out of Penn State in the third round. Aside from Cooper Kupp, Godwin has clearly been the best of the bunch.

Mike Evans scores more touchdowns but Godwin does more damage following the reception. In both 2021 and 2019, Godwin ranked No. 6 in the league in yards after the catch. For his career, he grabs 71 percent of passes sent his way.

“He can line up anywhere and he can really get the job done,” says Denver’s Justin Simmons, one of the NFL’s premier safeties. “He can beat you deep, he can beat you on intermediate routes.”

Given the uncertainty surrounding Rob Gronkowski, the release of Antonio Brown and an unspecified injury nagging new Buc wide receiver Russell Gage, Godwin’s recovery arc takes on added importance.

His elite skills from the slot have earned him the trust of Brady, who leaned heavily on inside receivers like Wes Welker and Julian Edelman in New England. Like them, Godwin works the middle of the field with sure hands, crisp routes and an absence of fear.

Two renowned Godwin fans.

“He does so much for us and he’s a unique player,” says Bruce Arians. “We don’t try to ask other guys to be him because none of them are Chris Godwin.”

That includes Gage, who was fairly effective from the slot during his final two seasons with the Falcons. But Gage has never caught a single pass from Brady and there’s no guarantee he’ll be ready when training camp opens in late July.

Should Gronkowski stick to his retirement plan, the Bucs will rely on Evans and Godwin to soften the blow. Few, if any, teams boast a comparable tandem. Godwin and Evans have the timing down with Brady that Gage has yet to establish. If Godwin is indeed cleared to play in the season opener, it will be a credit to his pain tolerance and his competitive nature.

The Bucs showed Godwin the money in March … Godwin is now showing the Bucs his character. On and off the field, this guy is driven to be the best.

After Godwin went down against the Saints in Week 15, Arians knew he needed help. So he reached out to a future Hall of Famer Arians once coached in Arizona. Larry Fitzgerald promptly turned Arians down, saying he was in no shape to contribute. It was Fitzgerald who had a post-game message for Godwin after Tampa Bay’s 30-27 victory against the Cardinals in 2019.

“I love the way you play,” he told Godwin during a midfield embrace. “I love the way you compete.”

Fitzgerald’s got plenty of company.

Yes, that warranty includes USED vehicles!
Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape (cherry red).

13 Responses to “Reason To Rejoice”

  1. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Great article. It’s got the blood flowing can’t wait for the season to start. Let’s goooo

  2. Bojim Says:

    Great Great news but PLEASE don’t rush him. And shouldn’t Gage’s injury been leaked by now? Maybe it’s no big deal and maybe…

  3. DoooshLaRue Says:

    One of my all-time favorite Bucs.
    The complete package.

  4. Goatfarmer Says:

    Wish Gage would get well. Godwin is beating an ACL. What’s Gage got that he can’t train?

  5. BucsfanFred Says:

    Gage must have a strained uterus.

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    Ira – YOU are the consummate professional of sports writing. Great piece Sage!

    I was hoping big time prior to the 2017 draft that Godwin would be there when our 2nd rd pick came up and that the Bucs would draft him. Was hugely disappointed when we took Justin Evans instead… but then someway, somehow – Godwin lasted until the mid 3rd round and I bet Licht couldn’t get that pick in fast enough.

    Godwin looked to me like 1st round talent from his college tape – and boy did that turn out to be the case – HIGH 1st round talent.

    So glad Chris is a Buccaneer. So grateful to have TWO top ten WR talents on this team for the GOAT to throw to. And that both are as humble, hardworking and team-focused as you will find in this league.

    Soak it up Bucs fans – this is almost certainly the final year of the soon to be called “Golden Era” of Tampa Bay Buccaneers football. Hopefully we get a 3rd Lombardi trophy out of the deal – but even if this team falls short of that obvious goal – its gonna be a hell of a ride this year and a very enjoyable season for Bucs fans to experience.

  7. D-Rok Says:

    Great article, Ira! As always, I appreciate the more in-depth nature of your reporting. This is great news, and this is a great time to be a Bucs fan.

    GO BUCS!!!

  8. Anonymous Says:


    Full recovery? It’s offseason. Godwin has not taken a snap since the injury, You are hereby accused of counting chickens.

    We need need several games before anyone can say.

  9. CalBucsFan Says:

    Great news Ira, sure hope they don’t rush him back too soon though.

    Do you have any inside info on the Bucs wanting to trade with the 49ers to make Garoppola GOAT’s heir apparent? There’s a 8:45 minute video FanNation between two 49er talking heads (twitter @GrantCohen and twitter @jasonaponte2103) that seems legit. Would love to hear your perspective on this!

  10. BucsNoles Says:

    Getting himself back into playing shape and healthy is the first part, then you have to trust yourself mentally.
    I hope he gets back just as soon as he is ready. I also hope he doesnt try to get back sooner than he should.

  11. Goatfarmer Says:

    The only thing anyone is going to trade for Garrapalow is a ruskt chain and an unwashed sock. No way Licht gives up any draft capital for that guy.

  12. Hodad Says:

    I’ll believe it when Booger clears him to play.

  13. Buczilla Says:

    Godwin is special and his only weakness is that he’s proven to be injury prone. If this dude can shake his injury bug, he has the ability to overtake Mike as our best drafted offensive player ever. Fingers crossed, because we need him to be great this year.