Much like any player that outperformed his rookie contract entering the league, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver Chris Godwin would like to cash in on his first opportunity as a free agent, while also hoping to stay in Tampa long-term. Godwin appeared on the Pat McAfee show on Tuesday, where he spoke publicly for the first time about his pending free agency.

“That’s the damn goal,” Godwin said. “To get paid and be able to take care of my family.”

It’s no question that Godwin has been one of the most important players to the Bucs since getting drafted by Tampa Bay in 2017. He’s collected 244 receptions so far in his career, racking up 3,540 yards and 24 touchdowns. Godwin has especially turned it on over the last two seasons, making the Pro Bowl and garnering second team All-Pro honors last season, plus adding a Super Bowl championship this year.

This is what makes the free agency decision a tricky one for Godwin. The Bucs are coming off a Super Bowl victory and trending in the right direction as a franchise, but Godwin is about to hit the market. As much as he’d like to get paid the highest amount possible, he also has to balance that with playing for a contender and winning during his prime years.

“That’s very, very interesting, right?” Godwin said. “Because the team is heading in the right direction and this is something that I saw happen over the last couple of years. Me and Mike [Evans] would have conversations going back to last year about how we felt like we were right there, we had the right core group of guys to make a run, we just needed a couple more pieces. And then you get Tom [Brady] and it takes off in year one, I know a lot of people didn’t really expect it to end how it did, but that was a goal for us. For me looking at free agency, I’m like, that’s definitely something I’m really considering. One, I want to be here. I love the guys on the team, I think we got something special, but at the same time you got to consider all the possibilities out there and consider what’s best for you and your family.”

There’s also the possibility that Godwin could get franchise tagged, which Pewter Report and Ian Rapoport have recently reported is likely. Right now that tag is about $15.8 million fully guaranteed for the 2021 season, but there’s no long-term security after that. If the tag is applied, Godwin seemed to indicate that he would sign and player under it for the 2021 season.

“You want to get some long term security,” Godwin said. “You want the team to commit to you as well. An extension would be ideal, but at the end of the day if the franchise [tag] would happen, then that’s what I have to do. Then we’ll revisit later. I want to be in Tampa, but at the end of the day, I want to get paid, too.”

You can watch the full interview with Godwin on the Pat McAfee show here.

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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EastEndBoy
3 months ago

Paying $15.8m for Godwin would be insane. He’s excellent, but excellent or not there is a salary cap and we have only $13m available per overthecap. Restructuring contracts is a fool’s paradise. Are we cutting D Smith then for sure….we better hope there’s a good OT at 32. And what about David, Barrett, Suh, Gronk, Fournette, AB…..However yoou cut it, paying Godwin $15.8m just doesn’t work in the math.

gcolerick
Reply to  EastEndBoy
3 months ago

EEB…..there has been plenty of information on Pewter Report about surplus cap room in 2022. I feel good about our chance of keeping Godwin in the fold with Greenberg working his cap magic and structuring his contract in a manner that works for him and the Bucs. .

EastEndBoy
Reply to  gcolerick
3 months ago

The biggest reasons we’re likely to have lots of cap space in 2022 are: contracts running out for Brady, D Smith, JPP and Jensen, plus all of the FAs (Barrett, Suh, AB, Godwin, Gronk) not yet signed for 2021. So yes, we have room in a couple years, but we’ll have massive holes on the roster too. There just isn’t an NFL team that can afford to pay more than a few big contracts, and we have quite a few guys lining up to get paid (because they won a SB). The math just doesn’t work….unless a team starts restructuring… Read more »

seat26
Reply to  EastEndBoy
3 months ago

He is worth every penny and then some. Suh will play for less. Gronk will have to play for less, AB is probably gone, Barrett will likely play for less, and Fournette and David are priorities. Licht’s ability at managing the cap is going to get tested.

Dave
Reply to  seat26
3 months ago

Agree with everything, except Fournette being a priority. Dude was terrible all season. He just happened to have a couple good/not great playoff games. Doesn’t change who he is. He’s not worth a long term deal, or to be paid as a top 10 back. He’s probably going to want more than he’s worth. Would much rather let him walk and draft a tandem back to pair with Rojo. There’s plenty of good backs in the draft. Plus, I think Vaughn deserves one more shot to prove he’s not a bust. If we made all our decisions based on rookie… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Dave
Naplesfan
Reply to  Dave
3 months ago

You’re freaking nuts.
“Playoff Lenny” was the most productive offensive player in the entire league during the last month of the season and all through the playoffs, where he led all players in all purpose yards and scored a bunch of touchdowns and made a bunch of first downs.
He started off slow because he was given a backup role, had zero knowledge of the playbook or his teammates or his coaches, but by the week following the bye week Lenny became our star bell cow running back and pass catching back. Much more reliable a performer than RoJo.

Naplesfan
Reply to  seat26
3 months ago

Godwin isn’t worth $16M. Sorry, but Gronk is worth much more than Godwin – not only is he a highly capable receiver but he’s the best pass blocker on the team outside of our linemen. Protecting Brady is gold in the bank. While Godwin played OK this season, he was injured for about half the season, either not playing at all, or playing at a reduced level. And he pretty much disappear in the last month of the season and the playoffs, dropped a lot of balls – it was very painful to watch him at the end. If we… Read more »

Eddie
Reply to  Naplesfan
3 months ago

Agreed. Painful but that is the reality

ScottC543
3 months ago

Licht is too smart to let this guy walk. He’ll be a Buc for a while.

SenileSenior
Reply to  ScottC543
3 months ago

I agree. After they franchise tag him before this year’s deadline we will see that contract announced long before he is truly eligible to walk next year. He will get his money.
I also predict in the following years Godwin will restructure more than once in order to help on cap space just as his buddy Evans has been willing to do.

Naplesfan
Reply to  ScottC543
3 months ago

Franchising Godwin would be a huge and stupid error. He is simply not worth $16M. He was not that special a receiver this year, didn’t make ProBowl or All Pro, nowhere near top five in wide receivers, which is what the franchise money is supposed to be based upon (the average of the five highest paid at his position).

Chiizy613
3 months ago

“….Godwin seemed to indicate that he would sign and player under it for the 2021 season.”
I think you meant to write play instead of player

Captain Sly
3 months ago

Say it proudly young man you’ve earned it. Demand as much as you can because as they say “you only live once”. Probably won’t be in a Bucs uniform but I’m rooting for the kid, just like Adam Humphries, Perriman & Kwon Alexander

twspin
3 months ago

Go get paid Mr. Godwin. You already have one more Superbowl win than three-fourths of your constituents.If i were him, I would not play for any salary under what I think I deserve. And there are a few teams out there that will pay him. Go get your Big payday. You deserve it, dude. Your bank account is more important in this game than anything else.

SDBucfan
3 months ago

I’m all for players making as much as they can, and I hope Godwin gets his big payday, but I’ve never understood why this gets said by some NFL players:

“To get paid and be able to take care of my family.”

Are the millions you’ve already made not enough to take care of your family?? Your average annual salary on your rookie contract was over 800K a year. My family would be set for life after that contract.

Last edited 3 months ago by SDBucfan
Spitfire
Reply to  SDBucfan
3 months ago

Exactly. Some people argue these guys need to make enough in the years they play ball to last them the rest of their lives but that’s B.S. nobody gets set up for life from working for 3-15 years except rare occasions like sports for one. These guys make millions, spend millions and think they need to break everyone’s bank to continue that lifestyle and still get a pension after retirement. Make your millions, don’t be stupid with and and you’re set for life, the bank doesn’t have to be broken. I was a Firefighter and never made more than 80k… Read more »

BucHarbour
Reply to  Spitfire
3 months ago

Yeah, this money talk always pisses me off. You play a game – yes, it’s violent and you could be seriously hurt, but I’ve seen a video of an electrician open a 10kW breaker without making sure it was disconnected and he was vaporized. Pretty sure he wasn’t making millions. Take $10 million one year and stuff it into a relatively safe investment vehicle pulling 8% interest, and live off the interest – $800k minus the 20% cap gains equals $640k a year. I know, poor player. How’s his family going to live off $640k/yr. Cry me a river. I… Read more »

Dman
Reply to  SDBucfan
3 months ago

I keep thinking exactly the same thing, every time. It’s like one of the cliches Crash tells Nuke he has to learn one his way to the Show

Spitfire
3 months ago

It’s funny how everyone was all team team team and now even the nicest of team oriented guys can’t see anything but dollar signs. Like he was gonna get anything less than over $10mil anyways. Nobody’s crying for him with how much money he is scheduled to make. I Love all of our guys but if the greed is really gonna take over with these guys then find some replacements. Can’t win trophies without stars but also can’t win trophies with a bunch of greedy guys either. Godwin is tough but also has had a bunch of injury issues. I… Read more »

Horse
3 months ago

12 million a year for 5 years guaranteed.

bucballer
Reply to  Horse
3 months ago

That sounds reasonable to me Horse! About right too.

Ron Potter
3 months ago

I agree with the majority tone of the commenters here. Godwin’s comments sure do sound like an opportunity for Tyler Johnson next year.

bucballer
3 months ago

Half the battle is having the player desire to stay in Tampa and remain a Buc. Godwin wants to stay. Bucs want him to stay. U franchise him for one year and try to work on a 3-4 year deal. Mind u Godwin played two or three of his worst games in a row towards the end of the season with the drops. Has been a bit injury prone as well. I only mention this because we all know the positives, it’s just important to acknowledge the areas of opportunity he has as well. Especially come contract time. The offense… Read more »

mdbuc
3 months ago

So my understanding is that we can sign all our guys save Brate and Fournette with the money we have now. I can’t wait for the PR breakdown of everything.

Also I remember reading that we have the highest cap space in the league as of now. I’m optimistic about our chances to make it happen. Of our major FAs and contributors, I expect us to lose Brate, Suh, and Lenny.

bucballer
Reply to  mdbuc
3 months ago

Can’t lose Suh! He is a major player in that defensive front. Playing next to Vea gives us a helluva front line. Suh wants to be here. That contract will get done!

plopes808
Reply to  mdbuc
3 months ago

don’t think we can or will lose Suh, his price tag shouldn’t be outlandish and he is quietly more important to the front 7 than Shaq

plopes808
3 months ago

While I understand the man wanting to get paid, he should also be careful what he wishes for. While Godwin is definitely an excellent player, truth is he is a #2 not #1. For reference, see Juju in Pittsburgh when AB left. With AB coming at a much cheaper price, he may have a leg up in the race here. Godwin will no doubt get a lot of money thrown at him, but whether he lives up to his price tag is still a mystery. As long as we can fit him under the cap, I’d love to see him… Read more »

plopes808
Reply to  plopes808
3 months ago

Right now our defensive FAs are the clear priority

Jay
Jay
3 months ago

It all comes down to this do you want to stay being a champion or be a one and out. It’s fine if that is what he wants but I don’t believe that if he leaves he will win another Superbowl. I understand it’s about money but we have no idea how much or how long of a contract offer the Bucs are going to offer him. I understand people saying take as much as you can because they have nothing to lose. I’m sure that they will come to some kind of understanding.

RW
RW
3 months ago

Wouldn’t be surprised if the let Godwin walk if he wants $17-18 million per year. Great receiver but signing that type of deal will cost them 2-3 other players.