Bucs In A Wait-And-See Approach With Chris Godwin

June 1st, 2024

Free agent in 2025.

Since the day he was drafted in 2017, Chris Godwin has sort of played in the shadow of Mike Evans. Still, year after year, Godwin produced.

Now last year, even though he got 1,024 yards receiving, Godwin didn’t have an impact like he had under Bucco Bruce Arians or Dirk Koetter. But when former Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales gave Godwin more snaps inside at slot, Godwin blew up.

Typing for ESPN, Jenna Laine reports the Bucs have not been in negotiations with Godwin’s people about an extension. Godwin is entering the final year of his contract.

Laine has been told the Bucs want to see how Godwin responds in new offensive coordinator Liam Coen’s offense before jump-starting extension talks.

(Joe’s note: How do we know Coen will be here next year? If the Bucs offense is good, then he’s likely a head coach somewhere.)

Godwin is entering the third and final year of a $60 million deal with the Bucs, and sources close to the situation told ESPN that talks on an extension have not started. …

Last month, “this Joe” would have been willing to lay cash that this is Godwin’s final season with the Bucs. Unless the Bucs sort of return to a throw-first-and-ask-questions later offense, Joe doesn’t see Team Glazer willing to pay two receivers over $20 million each if they are not going to be used extensively.

And we all know Bucs coach Todd Bowles wants a running offense.

However, in recent days, the Bucs re-signing Godwin doesn’t seem so crazy. Look at what receivers are getting paid of late.

Jaylen Waddle of the Dolphins this week just signed a three-year deal worth some $28 million a year. Is he really that much better than Godwin? Younger, sure, but how much better?

Like it or not, Waddle’s contract is now the going rate for a quality No. 2 receiver. Short of an international pandemic, salaries do not go down. What is expensive now is cheap in two or three years if not sooner.

37 Responses to “Bucs In A Wait-And-See Approach With Chris Godwin”

  1. FrontFour Says:

    We’ll see. Chris is a smart guy and reports have him showing up to OTA’s in great shape – taking a page from Mike’s playbook? Putting Godwin outside was terrible, when Gage got injured that seems to have forced the switch. Being back in the slot, I’m expecting Chris to have a monster year. We’ll see.

  2. Lt. Dan Says:

    This post is a reminder…NFL = is a business.

  3. Dude Says:

    “And we all know Bucs coach Todd Bowles wants a running offense.”

    I too would like for the offense to run the ball better than it has for the last 8 seasons. Let’s try at the least to be a middle of the pack team that can kind of impose it’s will on opposing defenses. Who wouldn’t want that?

    Any who, Licht has made it clear in the past in several different cases that he’ll allow his guys to go see what their market is and if the Bucs want to match/top it then so be it and I’d be fine with that for Chris no matter how it shakes out. I’m all for keeping Chris through one more contract and don’t think there’s anything to gain from allowing him to walk out the door w/o a fight, but that’s just me.

  4. Beeej Says:

    At least 2 teams have 2 $20 mil+ wide receivers now, and both teams (Iggles and Fins) have qb’s who make $20 mil/year more than Baker. I don’t see why cost should matter all that much

  5. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Godwin is good but not worth 20mil but then again Waddle is vastly overpaid.

  6. dbbuc711 Says:

    Get Tristan done before thinking of this

  7. Hodad Says:

    We were saying the same thing about Evans last year, and he’s back. The Bucs will let this year play out just like they did with Evans. Mike was let to test FAcy, and so will Chris. Grass isn’t always greener, and I’d say he has a good chance of resigning next year.

  8. Buc4evr Says:

    Last year doesn’t count for Godwin. Canales is a moron the way he misused Chris. Expect him to have a pro bowl year in the slot.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘And we all know Bucs coach Todd Bowles wants a running offense.’

    I think you’re stereotyping Todd Bowles just because his background is defense Joe. Bowles wants an offense that can ‘run more effectively’ to be sure, but so does every coach, offensive or defensive background. They all want better ‘balance’ between the run game & the passing game so as to be less predictable in their play-calling & keep opposing defenses ‘off-balance’.

    In his 6 years as a HC with the Jets & Bucs, Bowles’ offenses ran on 40.5% of their plays. Just for kicks looked at how often 2 offensive-minded HCs ran during their last 6 years as head coaches: Andy Reid & Sean McVay. Reid’s offenses ran on 38.4% of their plays in the last 6 years. McVay’s offenses ran on 41.6% of their plays in the last 6 years. Both the Chiefs & the Rams have quality QBs & both teams have done quite well in the last 6 years.

    So Todd Bowles’ offenses (40.5% run-pass) sit about midway between the Rams (41.6%) and the Chiefs (38.4%) in terms of how often they run. And yet the Andy Reid’s Chiefs (75-24 in last 6 years) and Sean McVay’s Rams (59-40 last 6 years) have done considerably better than Todd Bowles’ Jets & Bucs (41-57 in his 6 years as HC).

    Gee, I wonder if it has anything to do with the talent level of the TEAM as a whole or the quality & stability of the overall coaching staff? Nah, that can’t possibly be it. Obviously it must all fall on the head coach. What good are scapegoats if you can’t use banish them to the desert periodically?

  10. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Speaking of extensions, what is the story with Bowles? Are da boys taking a wait and see approach on him as well?

  11. R.O. Says:

    Of course the NFL is a Business. The NFL is only a “Game” Sept-Feb. why do “Fans” get worked up over players. Players come and go. Some get paid some dont. Some stick on rosters as a “Glue” guy and do pretty good for themselves. Gholston and Dotson come to mind. The Players have decided on Collective Bargaining to protect themselves from the Big Bad mean NFL. The Union can negotiate anything they want. As long as the NFL avg Salaries continue to increase thats all the Union Leaders cares about. Unions are a business also. We live in the United States and everything is built to remove your money out of your pocket in to someone elses.

  12. BucsFan Says:

    Chris is a very nice #2 WR , but there is no denying he has lost some burst since the injury.

  13. stpetebucfan Says:


    “This post is a reminder…NFL = is a business.”

    Amen brother. But as fans we want to “love” our players and have them “love” being Bucs. I do not quibble with your post at all because I AGREE.

    But occasionally players will take discounted deals to remain in a spot they love with a team where they have bonded with their mates. Sometimes, I concede in today’s America rarely, an athlete who has just made SIXTY MILLION FREAKING DOLLARS the past three seasons looks for more out of life. They realize the old axiom, “Money is the root of all evil”, they get the Finnish concept of “enough”, the Finns are surveyed as the happiest people in the world year after year.

    I REALLY, REALLY like Chris Godwin! Great athlete who has worked for everything he has achieved. If he’s struggling to live on 60 million, or perhaps more understandably just wants to control where his share of the pie is directed, to which charity etc…he is ENTITLED to go for all the gold he can get!

    The Glazers have massive amounts of money. They have been very philanthopic with their money. I suspect Chris has as well. Maybe he just wants to direct his “earned” share of the pie to HIS charities and not that of other players or the Glazers. I honestly respect that. But he does NOT need another penny so we go back to LT Dan. It’s a bizness!!!!

    @D.R. Sadly our society is awash in “memes”, some of them accurate, some not. The sports world is no different. As we’ve discussed I’m an Air Coryell kind of guy so I enjoyed the second SB team more than the first. But I LOVE BOTH SB’s and there’s more than one way to git er done!

    Thanks for pointing out what a tired meme about Bowles offensive philosophy truly is.

    Todd was handed a team that yes had won an SB but faced Cap hell, a VERY disgruntled GOAT at QB who led a disinterested, uninspired team his final year.
    Somehow Todd and JL have turned that around far more quickly that could have been expected.

  14. Beeej Says:

    I suppose if the 3rd round kid balls out they might let him walk

  15. PowerOfPewter Says:

    Letsbucinggo Says:
    June 1st, 2024 at 9:13 am
    Godwin is good but not worth 20mil but then again Waddle is vastly overpaid.

    Godwin already is making $20M. His new contract, from Bucs or another team, will surely be more. As Buc’s other WRs are on cheap rookie contracts, they can prob make room for Godwin and not overspend for the entire position. Evans signed a team-friendly deal that will aid in that.

  16. Crickett Baker Says:

    Godwin plays where the team wants him. He isn’t good. He is great. Any thoughts of breaking up our long-time WR duo come from some dark recesses of a confused mind.

  17. Irishmist Says:

    Since we don’t get a comp pick if the OC bolts for a head coaching job after the first year, we should be writing incentives into their contract if they stay at least 2 years, and put penalty clauses in if they leave after 1 year.

  18. Gotti-Dog-05-20-84 Says:

    “(Joe’s note: How do we know Coen will be here next year? If the Bucs offense is good, then he’s likely a head coach somewhere.)”

    I think the level of success that Canales has this year may very well determine that. If if he struggles there could be some hesitation for teams to hire a 1st year OC as a head coach again.
    And I realize that Coen has held the OC position previously but he’s not been handed the reins of the whole offense at the NFL level as he has been this year.
    Just a thought…..

  19. westernbuc Says:

    If Coen gets a head coaching job then that would be two in a row, meaning Bowles is a great picker, and Tampa is the place to be if you want to become a head coach.

    If Coen needs Mrs Godwin to run his offense for him then we have bigger problems.

  20. adam from ny Says:

    waddle was only in his second year, didn’t have the impact he did in year one, and debatably is a #1 receiver

  21. heyjude Says:

    Real close stats versus Waddle and only a three year difference in age. The dollar amounts will keep going up, that is for sure. I really like Chris Godwin and think he will do very well this season. Also, kudos to Godwin’s wife Mariah last season. She refuted Todd’s statement about her husband’s limitations, then posted his snap counts for each game. She should be his agent.

  22. JimBobBuc Says:

    I hope we can find another receiver who can block. The Rams use Kupp in motion to block and I guess Coen will do the same with Godwin since he’s a very good blocker. Let’s see if anyone else can block besides Godwin.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I liked the first SB team best. It just felt like we knew the players on a more personal level.

    Waddle is grossly overpaid.

    Godwin has #1 WR numbers everywhere except TDs. On that he has been really low…and it isn’t because of coaches. Any time a player gets the ball, they have a chance to score. If they don’t? Its on them or its on the opposing defense.

    Reqardless, we need two young WRs to step up and start impressing, because Evans and Godwin won’t last forever.

  24. GenocideD Says:

    Pay the dude! Class act no problems catches everything. End of story!!

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    The issue is the cap, and you still have to pay Wirfs, plus pushed nearly all of Baker’s salary onto next year cap. For the Bucs to bring back Godwin, he’s going to have to be so good they can’t afford to let him go. He certainly has the talent, the issue is going to be, again this year, the limitations at QB and even worse, Todd Bowles, who would never do a forward pass the entire game if he could get away with it.

    The final issue is health – while Godwin has played in games, he’s not been the same since his last major injury, and he needs to show he’s back to that level to get a new huge deal.

    Frankly I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets traded in season, in particular if the Bucs get off to a slow start. I hope that isn’t the case, I hope they can figure it all out as you need at least 2 very very good WRs in the NFL, but the team will have to win and he’ll have to be a big part of that to come back.

  26. BakerFan Says:

    Joe doesn’t see Team Glazer willing to pay two receivers over $20 million each if they are not going to be used extensively.

    Godwin signed 3 yr. 60 million, in my math that is 20M a year and Evans is over 20M…. I call Godwin a good insurance policy if Evans goes down. Restructure Wirfs and if Godwin looks good in new offense, sign him up some how.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    I’m glad a Baker Boi is here to explain the cap, they know the team so well and always have such amazing insight…

    Anywho, how exactly do you restructure a deal that doesn’t exist?

  28. geno711 Says:

    To me Godwin and Rachaad White are the same type of guys. Will do anything you ask of them, both are quite capable of getting you first downs. Neither are that explosive at this point.

    Both are good players, not great players.
    How many TD’s do these guys get.

  29. Usfbuc Says:

    Can’t really hold lack of TDs against CG either. Sure some of it maybe be on him but more of it is about where and how he gets the ball. He doesn’t run the offense and ME is clearly the end zone target for our team.

  30. catcard202 Says:

    Lt Dan with the heater… 🙂

    Love Godwin & what he’s done for the franchise. But the NFL is a business.
    CG next deal = paying for age 29 & beyond seasons going forward.

    As a fan, I’m 100% need to be open to the FO exploring door #2 before dropping $28M/yr for age 29-32 CG….Would it make better sense investing some that coin in the 2025 Draft at Rookie WR contract dollars & shuffling the $23-25M left over on adding to other position groups??? (Pass Rush / Edge-OLB)

  31. Quezter Says:

    I totally agree with Buc4evr!

  32. brooks Says:

    Bye Bye hurt to much

  33. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … I REALLY, REALLY like Chris Godwin too. I think I can see what Licht & Bowles are trying to create, but we’re still at least 1 & probably 2 years away from it. They’re clearly building through the draft (as opposed to free agency) because … oh ya, they have no choice.

    Bucs have had 23 picks in the 2022, 2023 & 2024 drafts with Todd as HC. Of those, it’s been relatively ‘balanced’: 12 offense, 10 defense & 1 S/Ts. On offense we’ve drafted 4 OLinemen, 2 RB, 2 WR, 4 TE. On defense we’ve drafted 2 DLinemen, 4 DE/OLB, 1 ILB, 3 DBs. Plus 1 Punter. Fortunately for us, most of them have gotten some pretty good experience since being drafted.

    I mention that because I think the Bucs have tried to draft Godwin’s replacement (Palmer & McMillan MIGHT be able to fill the role) but the jury’s still out obviously. If McMillan shines this year & Godwin is just ‘average’ (for him that’s 1000 yards with just several TDs), then the Bucs MIGHT pass on re-signing him for high $$$. It’ll be interesting to see how Palmer AND McMillan fit into this offense.

    Same thing goes BTW for Bucky Irving (only so many offensive snaps to go around). And I still think folks should keep an eye on Devin Culp. At 6’3″ & 231 lbs and fairly fast for a (supposed) TE (4.47 sec in the 40) he could end up being a very nice surprise this year.

  34. toad bowels Says:

    Need to sign him now

  35. ATLBUC Says:

    Joe said:
    And we all know Bucs coach Todd Bowles wants a running offense.
    That’s the main reason to resign him. Chris is a beast blocking in the run game.

  36. Zoocomics Says:

    You know this is such a none-story for me, because I feel like it’s a forgone conclusion that this season Godwin is essentially rehearsing for teams in 2025. Perhaps if we’re lucky, a nice mid-season trade for a high draft pick? I just don’t see how we pay him. Btw, thank Devin White for essentially turning into a d-bag and underperforming because something had to give with these contracts. I’m still trying to figure out if this guy balled out last season, how the hell do we pay everyone we already have paid and/or will pay, PLUS what White potentially wanted to make?

    There still a think called “the cap”…yes, it goes up every year, but we’re already accounting for that with these newer contracts we handed to Baker, Evans, Winfield, and eventually Wirfs. NONE of these guys appear to be giving a hometown discount. Perhaps it’s reading into the media coverage of things, but because Baker having a better season than Jones, who the Giants paid stupid money to, because Jones held them hostage, we now have to pay Baker more money than Jones. Why? I don’t know how teams can build a championship rosters anymore with this kind of selfish mentality.

    It’s agonizing we have (2) players, that will and/or are resetting the market, Winfield being the first, the second is Wirfs. These guys egos are so big that if we’re a couple of million under the highest paid safety and/or corner and/or OT, that they’re going to take offense to that? Do these guys want to be surrounded by better role players, or just pure dog sp!t, just along as their ego is at ease with the highest contract at their position? I would love to see the inside baseball on all of this as these agents are negotiating with our money people, because NONE of this makes sense if really the goal is to win a championship. To have 5 players that take up a majority of the salary cap, I just don’t see how that’s the winning formula. Perhaps that’s how the rest of the league runs?

    Yeah, I’ve heard enough on JBF and other websites, if we really this-that-and-the-other, we’ll figure out how to pay for it, that’s what are cap gurus are for, right? But the fact of the matter is, there is a calculated risk regarding pulling the metaphorical championship trigger on going all in knowing that the team at some point, will be paying for that gamble in dead cap. Licht had that window during the Brady era, and this will be year 2 w/o Brady and we are still paying for those championship run seasons.

  37. Badbucs Says:

    It’s the same reasoning used to keep Evans. Home grown star still producing at a high level. Fan favorite. Contract will have to be structured similar to Evans also. Escape clauses and guaranteed future money held in check. The lessons learned from the Jensen deal. Godwin is the pototypical Buc target. Never in trouble, hard worker, willing to block, involved in the community. Why would he be the odd man out in the money gravy train?