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.