Chris Godwin And A Long-Term Contract

January 24th, 2023

Chris Godwin

Joe sees and hears so many Bucs fans weeping about Tampa Bay being way over the salary cap next season as free agency approaches.

Joe is not among the weepers.

Sure, eventually the Bucs will have to pay the price for manipulating contracts and kicking cap-eating line items down the road. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be excruciatingly painful or overly limiting.

Take Chris Godwin, for example. He is set to count about $24 million against next year’s cap. At 27 years old he has the 2023 and 2024 seasons left on his contract. If you ask general manager Jason Licht and Todd Bowles, they will tell you Godwin epitomizes greatness on and off the field and is the ultimate example of the prototype Buccaneer.

Godwin might be the most versatile receiver in the league, and now he’s proven himself more valuable after coming back from ACL surgery, staying healthy and catching 100-plus passes this season.

If the Bucs were to approach Godwin with a huge contract extension, Joe suspects all parties would be happy, including the salary cap obsessed crowd that would watch Godwin’s cap charge plummet (cut in half?) for the 2023 season.

The Bucs, thankfully, have impressive veterans they want to keep. A similar deal could be made with Mike Evans and Devin White (assuming the Bucs don’t want to move on from the latter), along with Carlton Davis and others.

The Bucs should have room to maneuver if Tom Brady comes back, which would trigger the Bucs’ biggest move of all, kicking a hearty helping of Brady’s current $35 million cap charge for 2023 down Dale Mabry Highway.

56 Responses to “Chris Godwin And A Long-Term Contract”

  1. Allbuccedup Says:

    Godwin Evans definitely would not sign White to long term either see what he does next season or quietly shop him to see what you can get. He plays when he wants.

  2. zzbuc Says:

    I am not a salary cap obsessed, until my team is 60mm over the cap….

    And if you have a tons of free agents on your roster, the situation gets nasty Joe.

  3. JBBucs_06 Says:

    If the Bucs can’t field a 2020-21 Oline, then we need to let Brady move on. We’ve seen the “best” (in 2020-21) of Brady and worst (in 2022 w/o an Oline). I’m not sure we HAVE that although I like the idea of moving Wirfs to LT and backfilling his spot at RT. BUT that’s yet to be proven out and Brady’s too fragile at 46 to withstand that.

    Def keep Godwin and White, and Winfield as no brainers. They are core Bucs IMO.

  4. robert Says:

    I feel for any player who re-signs with the bucs. TB is the last place ANY player would want to play right now…..or the next couple years. maybe a punter who wants to make a name for himself.

    time for a fire sale.

  5. robert Says:

    godwin, white, wirfs winfield will be on the downside of their careers before we field another decent team. ME should definitely be gone, as should D Swmith, Jensen and a few others.

    this team will be coasting to losing seasons for the foreseeable future….kinda like they were when winston was here. cept now we traded winston for toilet bowl.

    no hope.

  6. Marine Buc Says:

    “The Bucs should have room to maneuver if Tom Brady comes back, which would trigger the Bucs’ biggest move of all, kicking a hearty helping of Brady’s current $35 million cap charge for 2023 down Dale Mabry Highway.”

    This is a big IF Joe… If Tom Brady was returning to Tampa next season why hasn’t he announced it already?

    We all it is not about the money…

    The real reason he has not announced a return to Tampa is because he is not returning to Tampa.

    There is also LVD, Hicks and Jones who will also add another $15M of dead cap.

    I agree – signing Godwing to a long term deal would give the Bucs some relief – BUT – who else are you going to restructure?

    Are you going to give the likes of D. Smith, Mike Evans and S. Barrett “long term” extensions?

    Hell no your not.

    Who else are you going to restructure? Maybe C. Davis…

    What’s that? You want to cut C. Brate, Succop and Fournette? Ok – now you have to replace them. The Bucs only have 3 draft picks in rounds 1-4…

    Good luck with that!!!

  7. Marine Buc Says:

    ***** we all know it’s NOT about the money.

  8. Stu Says:

    “Mystery team” for Sean Payton…per Dianna Russini
    perhaps the Bucs? Makes the cap issues a little more palatable.

  9. FlBoy84 Says:

    Agree on Evans and Godwin extensions absolutely, but not as sold on a White one though. Believe his production could be replaced at a more reasonable salary, plenty of very good LB’s in the league. Possible to develop his replacement from the draft as well with the proper coaching.

  10. sasquatch Says:

    It’s crazy to think chopping 50 million won’t be painful, and that’s just to get even! You wanna add free agents? Trim that much more from those currently under contract. Draft? Trim that much more. Trade for a QB (maybe)? Trim that much more. Just to throw a number out, conservatively, in order to construct a competitive roster for next year, they’ll need to trim 80+ million from the players under contract. Some will be released. Some traded (please trade Devin White). Numerous restructures or extensions. Don’t underestimate how difficult this is going to be. It’s going to be painful. It’s certainly going to keep Greenberg and his team busy.

  11. NEfan Says:

    Don’t do Chris, have you not learned from TB12? Run Chris, RUNNN!!!

  12. gbobucsfan Says:

    The salary cap increases every year….will probably be the largest increase this year due to Youtube Tv deal and inflation. Not worried…..yet.

  13. Go Bucs Says:

    I really would like to see Godwin stay here in Tampa his whole career but I don’t know how much he wants to with QB uncertainty

  14. Rod Munch Says:

    The cap is supposed to ‘explode’ in 2024, it’s just getting past 2023 that is the issue. There are tricks to create space, but even using every trick in the book, it’s going to be very difficult to keep anyone.

    Keep in mind the Bucs are starting out the offseason $55-million or so over the cap, and they don’t have any obvious moves to make. They can certainly get under the cap, but getting under the cap AND keeping everyone they want to keep, that’s where it gets really really difficult – and pretty much excludes adding anyone.

  15. Marine Buc Says:

    If Brady, LVD and Jones all return then – YES – we are going to rebuild and will hopefully be hiring a competent OC.

    We will probably still be a pretty solid team (probably 10 wins or so)…

    If the Bucs could have averaged just 24 points a game this season we win 12-13 games.

    So – we are not that far off from having a more successful season.

    However – I just don’t see Tom Brady coming back to Tampa in 2023. If I had to guess I would say the most likely landing spots for TB12 are:

    1) Miami (close to his children – talented roster ready to win)
    2) Vegas (reunite with Josh McDaniels – lots of talent on offense)
    3) New England (just hired Bill O’brien and Brady might want to go out a Patriot)
    4) New York (they have a team ready to win – similar situation he had in Tampa)
    5) Indy (solid team ready to win – the Matt Ryan contract is a problem though)

  16. Marine Buc Says:

    5) Tampa (aging roster with major salary cap issues who just fired their OC due to incompetence)

    Which would you choose?

  17. Marine Buc Says:


    #6 – Tampa…


  18. View from 132 Says:

    I’d extend Godwin years. Love that guy. I would trade Evans, just based on age and value. Godwin and Gage are a solid pair to add to a rookie burner.

  19. Duane Says:

    Plenty of ways to save cap space. I would be particularly concerned if I was Barrett and D Smith. The fact that the team went out of its way to get 100 catches for CG is likely indication of an extension. Smart move by all parties.

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Duane

    D. Smith still has $8M guaranteed coming his way.

    S. Barrett still has $23M guaranteed coming his way.

    They probably are not going anywhere…


  21. Marine Buc Says:

    We can’t afford to replace D. Smith unless we use pick #19…

    We have too many other holes to fill. We can’t afford to make additional holes in this roster.

    This team is like a sinking ship that has too many holes to patch in order to stay afloat.

    We have 3 draft picks in rounds 1-4.

  22. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    What are the rules surrounding the cap charge for Brady in 23 if he does not play for us? If he signs for another team in March apparently we still get charged. How does that work? Thanks.

  23. #99 the Big fella Says:

    Bowles will be fired and Payton will be our coach.. you heard it here first..that’s why you haven’t heard about any interviews lined up for a offensive coordinator..He and Brady will work magic.. it will probably cost a first and a second..

  24. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Do not believe the uneducated that say we cannot pay for players next season.
    Bucs can cut 5 players and save up to 29 million on the cap.There are five I believe to be the most likely. Those five are Donovan Smith, Ryan Succop, Leonard Fournette, Cam Brate, and Russell Gage. I would not miss a one. Restructuring and adding max voidable years on several more would create up to 50 million. Signing Brady and restructuring his deal could create up to 27 million. Window is still wide open for next year.

  25. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Jack

    Tom Brady is owned @ $35M due to salary that he has deferred in order to help to help the Bucs lower their “current” salary cap to sign other players like S. Barrett, C. Godwin and C. Davis…

    This money gets deferred for a year or two – BUT – it becomes guaranteed and is still due.

    This is accomplished by adding “void years” to a deal where this money is placed and becomes due as soon as the current contract expires.

    So basically – Tom Brady gave the Bucs a loan in order to help the team build it’s roster and have that money turned into a guaranteed bonus to be paid at a later date…

    I hope this helps explain.

    Go Bucs!

  26. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Don’t know about keeping DW, he seems to have become an average LB

  27. Dooley Says:

    Plenty of options to skinning the salary cap cat. We can shrink our cap overage restructuring any combination of the following players that’ve signed deals the last 1-2 years like Vea, Barrett, Jensen, Gage, Davis, & Mason. Extending Evans and LVD should be another potential cost saving measure, along with potentially cutting Succop, Donovan Smith, and Cam Brate. Our front office isn’t handicapped to any player outside of Brady in terms of money, there are moves to make, its really a matter of who are they willing to let walk out of 1Bucs when it comes down to who stays and who gets the axe.

  28. Redeemer Says:

    It all depends on what the goals are. If they don’t think they can compete for a ring, I think it makes sense to get the books right. Then when the cap really explodes, they’d be poised to make another run. Of course you need the QB. None of this matters because Brady is as good as gone. That means they’re done competing for titles, unless they get a top flight QB.

  29. Marine Buc Says:

    @ TBBFS1976


    Who are you going to hire to replace those guys?

    I’m fine with making a few cuts. I actually agree that Succop and Brate will probably be cut.

    But Fournette, Gage and Smith have a combined $22.5M in guaranteed salary left on their contracts.

    We already owe @ $53M in dead cap space.

    Do you really believe it is a wise move to add another $22.5M to the $53M we already owe?

    We are moving in the wrong direction my friend.

    I agree – D. Smith sucks but if you cut him who are you going to replace him with? A third round pick? Goedeke? J. Wells?

    Same with Fournette and Gage… Easy to just say “cut them” but then you have to replace them as well.

    We have 9 draft picks – BUT only 3 of those picks are in rounds 1-4.

  30. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    OK Marine

    Sign Kelvin Beachum for 4-5 mil per year. He started all games last year and was in top half of pass block win rate , so theres that. Remember all the cap massaging I outlined above is predicated on Brady signing on for one more ALL IN year and then it is rebuild time.

  31. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We have a chance to get a lot younger….

    Possible older players leaving…..

    Hicks, LVD, Ryan, Succop, Brate, Bernard, Rudolph, Brady. Jones,

    Not advocating they all be gone….but hope if they leave they are replaced with younger players…..

  32. 97 bucBaby Says:

    Better not sign Devin back dude is garbage like cmon we all watching the same game and we just made a stupid move like this last yr when we gave Carlton Davis all that money

  33. NEfan Says:

    Marine Buc, perfect except you forgot, Brady loaned Bucs the money to help the team yet BA, Licht & Glazers held HIM for ransom. Remember BA’s famous one liner? They will only trade him for 5 1st rounders!

  34. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Move Wirfs to left Tackle , he is athletically and technically sound enough to handle the change , and played four games at LT in his Senior season at Iowa. Goedeke goes back to his familiar role at RT where he played his entire college career. Hainsey to LG and Jensen stays at C and Mason at RG. ByeBye Dsmith who had a year that saw him lead the league in penalties and was top 3 in sacks allowed. Smith is a liability Bucs can no longer afford. Leverett and Stinnie will provide adequate depth.

  35. Marine Buc Says:

    @ NEfan

    I don’t hold that against BA (or the others).

    I actually believe that was a brilliant move.

    Regardless – I don’t think Brady will return to Tampa unless this is only choice of the 6 choices I listed above…

    The Bucs are probably headed for a rebuild and a tank year in 2023 similar to what the Texans just accomplished.

  36. BucU Says:

    If Mr. TB12 wants to continue playing but not with the Bucs I couldn’t care less where he plays. This is a Buccaneers blog first and foremost.
    If he just retires then he’s a Buccaneer for life in my eyes. We’ll still be groaning about our team long after he and other big names have come and gone.

  37. unbelievable Says:

    Some of ya’ll are crazy. Evans will retire as a Buc, if he wants to.

    Same goes for Godwin.

    I would not give Devin White any more money. He had a 4 game stretch of greatness and otherwise has been extremely inconsistent and underwhelming for a 1st round draft pick who was supposed to be the savior of our defense. Lavonte is still playing better than him, and is like 10 years older.

  38. Marine Buc Says:

    @ TBBFS1976

    I have been calling for Goedeke to be getting crossed trained at OT. I really don’t think he has an ideal build for OG in the NFL.

    He is too long and lean. I like my OGs @ 6’3″ and 315-325… Staight up road graders and people movers.

    That is why he was man handled this season by the bigger/stronger DTs.

    Regardless – if we cut D. Smith we still have to spend our first round pick on an OT and we have way too many other holes to fill…

    Edge rusher

    Are all areas of need.

    We only have 3 picks in rounds 1-4.

  39. Marine Buc Says:

    @ TBFS1976

    Cutting D. Smith WILL save the Bucs @ $10M… But will cost @ $8M in dead cap.

    If we cut D. Smith we will probably have to use our #19 pick on a LT…

    I’m not saying that is a horrible move but I sure would like to use that pick on a pass rushing OLB or a CB to replace SMB/Dean/Logan/Delaney.

  40. YucsBall Says:

    This being done, a ME13 extension, the salary cap increasing by 20+ million, and a few earned roster cuts then we’ll be okay for TB12.

  41. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    I love the fantasy world some live in

  42. SB~LV Says:

    Trade him !
    I love the guy but he will not help the Bucs catching passes for a losing team

  43. NEfan Says:

    Evan’s is done, great player but lacks the want to layout and his yards after catch is putrid. Other than the Carolina layups to him, and maybe a few others, he was part of the O’s woes.

  44. HC Grover Says:

    This poll indicates the Bucs will somehow win 2 games next year. Lovie Bowlie is on the job as our Fearless Leader.

  45. Goatfarmer Says:

    Mike and Chris, YES. Extend into the 2030s.

    Diva White? No. Big strong hell no. He’s a fraud that talks the big game and does nothing other than fail in coverage, miss tackles, tackle too high when he does tackle, and generally disappoints. Addition by subtraction with that ice hole.

    Send him off to the land of humble pie. Trade him to the Texans.

  46. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    If Brady doesn’t come back, trade Godwin. By the time we will be competitive again with a new QB, he will be past his prime. It would be better to clear cap space, tank, and acquire draft capital. It all depends on Brady’s decision.

  47. brooks Says:

    The fumbler not worth much….

  48. Andrew Fish Says:

    stop kicking the can. We have voided contracts all the way out to 2026 already. If Brady comes back then sure find players that will do one year contracts and add voided years but other than having a top 10 QB we need to work on fixing the cap.

  49. SB~LV Says:

    I can’t think of one player I would not trade for the right compensation in return.
    Draft picks over the next three years to fuel the rebuild through the draft.
    We need to keep swinging at draft QB prospects.

  50. SB Says:

    Not sure where my comment/question went Joe

  51. orlbucfan Says:

    CG14 has a SB ring. And let wrinkle12 go. Plus, a lot of comments on here are not Bucs fans. If Ungodly gets a better offer from a team that’s improving, more power to him if he takes it.

  52. NEfan Says:

    Oral, he has offers but has to wait 6 weeks. Glazers already know he’s out. Carr would be a good plug in the dam. He won’t win Bucs anything but will keep them somewhat relevant. Would he want to play for Bowels? Doubtful. Indy, Jets, Atl, Carolina.

  53. Goatfarmer Says:

    You rebuilders are insane.

    12 years minimum before we sniff a playoff game if that happens .

    Watch how many more young QBs come in and fail miserably. More defenses that give up record yardage and points while the offense struggles to be as good as 2022.

    One year, fire Blowes, get a real head coach and then see. If they are still struggling to win 6 games then you can rebuild all you want. It will be too late by then but whatever.

  54. SB Says:

    I wish you would go away Goatfarmer.
    Of course that is like wishing money grew on trees though.
    I am not confident. Just hopeful.

  55. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I actually partly agree with Goatfarmer in this instance. I do not believe we are looking at a full rebuild.

    Yes, there are several spots…probably a 2 year minimum to get things together again, if things go right.

    But I do not believe 2023 will be good, not with Bowle on the hot seat…because he won’t be able to get a good OC in for a position that will last only one year.

    I am HOPING that Jason Licht and the Glazers are working on a different HC behind the scenes, and don’t want to fire Bowles until they are sure.

    Either way, we need to trade away a couple big cost guys and use the picks to trade up at the right moment.

    As to the Sean Payton people…I wish, but it won’t happen. The Saints would want 2 first rounders and some extra…maybe 3 first rounders from a division rival.

  56. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bowles being on the hot seat means a defensive draft, by the way. It’s what he knows and he’ll want to control his own destiny.