The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are placing the franchise tag on star receiver Chris Godwin, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The news does not keep Godwin in Tampa past the 2021 season, but it gives the receiver a significant raise from his $2.1 million salary he played on during the team’s Super Bowl run. Godwin is projected to make $16 million in 2021 on the franchise tag, per Spotrac.
It is a hefty price tag for the Bucs to pay, but the receiver likely would have commanded a bigger deal if he was able to test out free agency. The big question now is if the team will be able to work out a new contract with Shaq Barrett, who played on the franchise tag last season.
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Godwin on Franchise Tag: ‘I’ll Play on It & Go Back to War With My Guys’
This move means the Buccaneers will not be able to tag Barrett for a second season allowing him to hit free agency. Earlier this offseason, Godwin noted he would have no problem playing on the franchise tag even though his preference is to have a long-term contract.
“Yeah, I mean, the way I look at it, similar to like a lot of guys,” Godwin told NFL Network, per Pro Football Talk. “Obviously, we all want to have long-term security; we all want to be able to take care of the people that we love. So that’s the ideal situation. But, you know, a franchise tag is not something that I can control. If that’s what keeps me here, then that’s what it is. And I’ll play on it and go back to war with my guys. Like I said, I love it here in in Tampa. I love what we have building, and I would love to stay.”
Arians Kept His Word After Telling Godwin He Wasn’t Leaving Tampa
During the championship parade, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians famously told a lot of the team’s free agents that they were not going to be signing elsewhere. Godwin was the first of what the Bucs hope to be many re-signings this offseason as Tampa looks to repeat as champions.
“Your a– ain’t going nowhere, neither,” Arians told Godwin at the time, per Bleacher Report.
The Bucs Believe Godwin ‘Brings So Much More Than Targets’
The Buccaneers face another challenging decision with Antonio Brown, but it will be worth watching what kind of market the receiver has given the ongoing legal investigation. Arians explained why Godwin is an integral part of the Buccaneers’ offensive success.
“He brings so much more than targets,” Arians noted, per The Athletic’s Greg Auman. “Look at what he does as an outside receiver and a slot receiver. He’s so unique in that regard. You put his blocking in there, he’s a huge part of what we do offensively. It’s more than stats. It’s also what the guy brings to the huddle. Chris is very, very unique.”