Buccaneers Encouraged to Extend $60 Million WR

Chris Godwin

Getty Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL with veterans Mike Evans and Chris Godwin — only one of them is under contract past 2024.

ESPN’s Aaron Schatz encouraged the Buccaneers to extend Godwin’s contract in his rundown of the most important move all 32 NFL teams need to make before training camp begins in July.

“Godwin’s contract voids after the 2024 season, but let’s not overthink this,” Schatz wrote. “He’s absolutely an above-average NFL starting wide receiver and someone Tampa Bay wants to keep around. An extension might also help spread out the cap hit for Godwin over the three void years where the Bucs would be carrying dead money for him under the current contract.”

Godwin’s current contract is a 3-year, $60 million contract extension he signed in March 2022 that will pay him $20 million in 2024. Evans received a 2-year, $52 million contract in March 2024.

Godwin One of NFL’s Most Consistent Receivers

Godwin’s career has been a model of consistency since the Buccaneers drafted him in the third round (No. 84 overall) out of Penn State in 2017.

He only started seven games over his first two seasons but had a breakout season in 2019 with career highs of 1,333 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns on 86 receptions in 14 games, earning NFL All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time.

Godwin missed four games due to injuries in 2020 and had 65 receptions for 840 yards and 7 touchdowns in 12 games but returned for the Buccaneers’ run to a Super Bowl title and had 16 receptions for 232 yards and 1 touchdown in four games.

Godwin enters 2024 on a streak of three consecutive seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards and had a career-high 104 receptions in 2022.

That type of production usually equals a player who is WR1 on almost every team in the NFL, but Evans has been even more productive and set an NFL record with his 10th consecutive season of at least 1,000 receiving yards in 2023.

Buccaneers Have Unexpected Depth at Receiver

Godwin was at his most productive in 2023 after he moved back to the slot wide receiver position late in the season and had over 75 receiving yards in three of the Buccaneers’ last four games, including a season-high 10 receptions for 155 yards in a win over the Green Bay Packers.

The Buccaneers used a third-round pick (No. 92 overall) in 2024 on Washington wide receiver Jalen McMillan, who is at his best in the slot but will be Godwin’s presumptive backup with Evans and Trey Palmer starting on the outside spots.

Tampa Bay finds itself with unexpected depth at wide receiver in 2024 after struggling to find options outside of Godwin and Evans in 2023 with the addition of McMillan and the signing of free agent wide receiver Sterling Shepard in June 2024.

Shepard was teammates with Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma.

“Wherever they want to plug me in, I have experience playing on the outside probably more than the inside and I look at myself as a true inside receiver,” Shepard told Buccaneers.com after signing. “I have a lot of experience outside, so I am a guy that you can bounce around and help Mike and Chris out.”

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