Proposed Buccaneers Trade Would Send All-Pro to NFC West

Chris Godwin

Getty Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin.

It’s wheelin’ and dealin’ time for NFL general managers with just a little more than three weeks until the 2024 NFL draft. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be in the mix to make some moves.

Fansided’s John Buhler proposed a blockbuster trade that would send former NFL All-Pro wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Chris Godwin from the Buccaneers to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for three draft picks.

The Buccaneers, who already have the No. 26 overall pick, would receive the Cardinals’ first-round pick (No. 27) and two third-round picks (No. 66 and No. 77) in 2024.

The move would be to compliment the player the Cardinals are widely expected to take at No. 4 overall in Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

“Even adding the brilliant former Ohio State wide receiver may not be enough,” Buhler wrote on March 31. “General manager Monti Ossenfort may need to get Kyler Murray another weapon and Harrison a running mate outside the numbers. One such player who could be available for a trade is Chris Godwin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He got the bag a few years ago but is slightly overpaid for his production.”

Has Chris Godwin’s Productivity Gone Down?

The Buccaneers struck gold when they selected Godwin out of Penn State in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft. He’s played his entire career in Tampa Bay and has over 1,000 receiving yards in four of seven seasons, including an NFL All-Pro selection in 2019 with 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Godwin is on a streak of three consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards. His productivity actually went up in 2023 in relative terms. In 2022, he had 104 receptions for 1,023 yards. In 2023 he had 83 receptions for 1,024 yards — essentially the same production with 21 less catches.

Godwin played on a franchise tag for $15.3 million in 2021 then signed a three-year deal worth $60 million with $40 million guaranteed before the 2022 season. And money might be at the root of the trade on the Bucs’ side.

“For Tampa Bay, you get $20 million off the books for this year on a declining player, as well as picking up three top-75 picks in exchange for Godwin,” Buhler wrote. “The Buccaneers prioritized bringing back Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans and Lavonte David on new deals. There is only so much money to be had for their general manager Jason Licht. The three draft picks give them more time to sustain excellence.”

Stock Soaring for Wide Receivers in 2024 NFL Draft

The Buccaneers might not be inclined to gut their wide receiver room by trading Godwin if they don’t have a good replacement in place.

Tampa Bay got good value out of rookie wide receiver Trey Palmer after selecting him in the sixth round out of Nebraska in 2023 after he registered 39 receptions for 385 yards and 3 touchdowns and made eight starts — one more touchdown reception than Godwin.

Trading Godwin would also likely force the Buccaneers to use one of their proposed first-round picks on a wide receiver, but this might be the year to make that move. The latest PFF mock draft has a whopping eight wide receivers projected to go in the first round.

“It feels like we say this every year, but this is one of the deepest and most talented wide receiver classes of the last decade,” wrote PFF’s Trevor Sikkema in his latest 2024 wide receiver rankings on April 1.

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