With the deadline around corner for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to either sign Chris Godwin or keep him on the franchise tag, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport sees from both sides that it will be the later.
Rapoport, who said he talked with bot the Bucs and Godwin’s agents, said on the Pat McAfee Show on Thursday that long-term deal will have to wait.
“Everybody would like a long-term deal, but the player’s not sad he’s going to be a free agent next year. The Bucs are OK because they keep their guy,” Rapoport said.
Rapoport tweeted late on Wednesday that no long-term deal looked iminent for Godwin and the Bucs. Godwin will otherwise play under the team’s franchise tag for $15.983 million this fall according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero via NFL.com’s Kevin Patra.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported earlier on Wednesday that Godwin’s agents and the Bucs were still in talks about a long-term deal for the star wide receiver. The big challenge, as Stroud noted, lies in salary cap space. Tampa has a league-low of $488,000. Godwin made $2.133 million base salary last year.
Godwin figures to be one of the key targets for star quarterback Tom Brady again this season. The former third-round draft pick caught 65 passes for 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 2020 despite nagging injuries. He made another 16 receptions for 232 yards and a touchdown in the Bucs postseason run.
Tampa took him with the 8th pick out of Penn State in 2017, and he made an impact on the field right away. He had 34 receptions for 525 yards and touchdown in 2017 and built on that in 2018 with 59 catches, 842 yards, and seven touchdowns. He became a Pro Bowler in 2019 after making 86 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns that season.
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Godwin on Future in Tampa
Godwin made it clear that he wants to remain a Buc for the foreseeable future ahead of accepting the franchise tag in March when NFL teams have a deadline to choose whom to tag. He would have become a free agent otherwise.
“I want to be here,” Godwin said on the Pat McAfee Show in February. “I love the guys on the team. I think we have something special. But at the same time you got to consider all the possibilities and doing what’s best for you and your family.”
“An extension would be ideal but at the end of the day if the franchise tag is what happens that’s what I got to do then we’ll revisit later,” Godwin added.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians also expressed the importance of Godwin in the offense in February before the franchise tag deadline.
“He brings so much more than just targets,” Arians said per Greg Auman of The Athletic.
Busy Offseason for Godwin
Godwin kept busy this offseason with getting married to his high school sweetheart, Mariah DelPerico. He also wrote a guest column for Peter King’s Football Morning in America and appeared on the cover of Eastbay.
His column gave some insight into what he values on and off the field. He emphasized the importance of gratitude in particular.
“Of course I’m going to be happy, and be positive, and have a tremendous amount of gratitude for where I am in life,” Godwin wrote in his column. “But part of that gratitude is my attitude. It always has been. The best people I’ve met have one thing in common, and it’s that they choose a positive attitude. That doesn’t just automatically come with things like money or fame.”
“No, you don’t need to win a Super Bowl or get married to have gratitude,” Godwin added. “It’s a mentality shift. It’s choosing to see the good in a given situation over the bad. Life throws curveballs at all of us, some more than others, but acknowledging how amazing it is to be alive each day and finding light in even our darkest moment is a beautiful thing.”