AP Photo/Kevin Sabitus
There is reportedly hope that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can sign wide receiver Chris Godwin to a long-term contract extension prior to Thursday’s deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extended deals.
Appearing on Sunday morning’s edition of SportsCenter, ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler said there are “no new developments” as it relates to Godwin signing a new deal.
Fowler noted that the hope it will get done derives from Godwin making it clear he wants to be in Tampa over the long haul and chase more championships. Fowler added that the Bucs have shown a willingness to keep the team that won last season’s Super Bowl intact as well.
Per Spotrac, Godwin signed the one-year, $15.983 million franchise tender in March to ensure he will remain with the team in 2021. According to Fowler, signing Godwin to an extension could lower his salary cap hit significantly, which is another reason why the two sides may be able to get something done before Thursday.
The 25-year-old Godwin is one of several weapons in the passing game who thrived while playing with quarterback Tom Brady last season.
Godwin didn’t replicate the 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns he put up in 2019, but much of that was because of injury.
The Penn State alum missed four games and was limited in some others last season, but he still managed to record 65 grabs for 840 yards and seven touchdowns as the co-No. 1 wideout along with Mike Evans.
Godwin proved his worth during the postseason as well, racking up 16 receptions for 232 yards and one touchdown in four games, as the Bucs went on to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV.
If Godwin can stay healthy next season, he figures to get back closer to his 2019 production, especially since he will have an even greater comfort level with Brady as his quarterback.
Provided that happens and the Buccaneers don’t get Godwin signed to a long-term deal beforehand, he would be in line to break the bank in free agency in 2022.
If the Bucs anticipate a huge statistical season from Godwin in 2021, it would behoove them to get a contract done before Thursday’s deadline.
Tampa has had no issue throwing money around this season in order to keep the figurative band together and try for another Super Bowl win. In addition to tagging Godwin, the Buccaneers brought back wide receiver Antonio Brown, running back Leonard Fournette, tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and pass-rusher Shaq Barrett.
They also signed linebacker Lavonte David and offensive tackle Donovan Smith to extensions.
For as long as the 43-year-old Brady continues to play at a high level, it stands to reason that the Bucs would like to surround him with as many quality weapons as possible.
Evans, slot receiver Scotty Miller and 2020 fifth-round pick Tyler Johnson are the top receivers signed beyond the upcoming season, while Godwin and Brown are both set to become free agents at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.
If the Bucs can get Godwin signed to a long-term extension, Brady will be set up for success until he decides to call it quits.