Patriots Named ‘Potential Suitor’ for Bucs Pro Bowl Receiver

Bill Belichick Patriots

Getty The Patriots could make a run at Chris Godwin.

The New England Patriots could be in the market for a receiver in the offseason and one high-profile name could be in the cards.

The Patriots are currently 8-4 and tied for the best record in the AFC. While New England is clearly doing just fine without a star receiver, acquiring that playmaker at the position could make the Patriots the clear-cut team to beat in the conference.

There won’t be any shortage of top-flight receivers on the market with Chris Godwin, Davante Adams and Allen Robinson hitting free agency. And according to Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling, the Patriots are a “potential suitor” for Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Chris Godwin.

“Playing on the franchise tag after winning it all, Godwin has 67 catches for 806 yards and five touchdowns, averaging a healthy 12.0 yards per catch. He has averaged 14.0 yards per catch for his career and still has a chance of matching or passing career highs of 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns set in 2019.

Godwin’s age, plus his ability to make plays down the field independent of quarterback or scheme reliance will make him one of the rare wideouts to get a monster deal on the open market. There’s a reason Spotrac projects his market value at $17 million per year, just a hair under Tyreek Hill and Amari Cooper.

On paper, it would make sense for Godwin to leave Tampa Bay to get out of Mike Evans’ shadow, be a passing attack’s unquestioned No. 1 and maximize his earning potential, possibly in a bigger market.?”

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Would Godwin Leave Tampa?

As Roling mentions, Godwin won’t be cheap. The former Pro Bowl receiver has a market value of $17 million per season. For perspective, the Patriots have $30 million in cap space next offseason.

Considering Godwin already has won a Super Bowl and could win another this season, the allure of joining the Patriots won’t be due to the chance of winning a championship — he can that do by simply re-signing with Tampa.

However, the allure of being the unquestioned No. 1 receiver in New England — a role he currently shares with touchdown machine Mike Evans — and the idea of playing with a young franchise quarterback for a number of years in Mac Jones may be enough to entice Godwin to leave Tampa Bay.

Head coach Bill Belichick has pulled off big moves in the past for notable wide receivers. He’s done so with the likes of Randy Moss, Antonio Brown and Chad Johnson. He also pulled off a draft day trade in 2007 that brought in Wes Welker before he emerged as the best slot receiver in the league.

Gilmore Not Happy With How Patriots Handled Rehab

Former Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore clearly wasn’t happy with how things ended in New England.

The current Carolina Panthers corner discussed his road to rehabilitation from quad surgery during his final days in New England. Needless to say, he feels the situation was mishandled.

“When you return to play, you want to rehab back to return to play,” Gilmore told Joseph Person of The Athletic. “But I felt like they were doing more workouts than rehab, more working out like someone (who) was 100 percent healthy and in the offseason program. But I was rehabbing, coming back from surgery. So that’s different. I think you should take steps to come back and play.

“It was just making me do all types of running and lifting way more than I was supposed to. I’m just happy everything — I feel like God puts you in position to be in a better place. They handled it right here, and I’m on the right track. I feel good — better and better every week. And I feel more confident.”

Gilmore was eventually traded to the Panthers for a sixth-round draft pick in October. He has appeared in five games with Carolina this season.

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