Star wide receiver Chris Godwin recently emerged as a franchise tag target for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to keep him, but that doesn’t imply free-agent suitors will easily sail away with him.
“The goal obviously is to get paid, right, but I’m not stupid,” Godwin said on the Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday. “I’m not going to put myself in a situation where I’m going to be miserable for some years to come just for a couple extra dollars.”
Fresh off winning a Lombardi Trophy with the Bucs, Godwin knows well that the team could make another run for the Super Bowl in 2021. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Jason Licht alike made their intentions clear to keep the 2020 squad together.
Godwin is one of the top Bucs players up for new contracts or headed for free agency in March. He’s also one of the top free agent wide receivers this year and will command a big contract. He has hopes of that contract keeping him in Tampa, he told McAfee.
“I want to be here. 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 & your family,” Godwin told McAfee.
To Tag or Not to Tag?
The Bucs may consider it stupid to not franchise tag Godwin if the two can’t reach a new deal in time.
Rumors of the Bucs tagging Godwin emerged as the franchise tag window opened on Tuesday with a March 9 deadline. His value as a slot receiver in Arians’ offense behooves the Bucs to use the tag if needed per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
Arians made it clear how much he values Godwin in the offense per The Athletic’s Greg Auman. The coach noted blocking as a key reason for Godwin’s effectiveness. Arians said, per Auman, “it’s more than just stats.”
Godwin has pretty good stats, too, with 65 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games for the 2020 season. He missed four games due to injury. He shined in his last full season in 2019 with 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns, catching passes from a quarterback not named Tom Brady.
“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 told McAfee.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht hasn’t publicly committed to tagging Godwin, or any particular player, yet according to Stroud.
Godwin on Brady
Whether or not Godwin wears pewter and red next fall, he will take one key lesson learned from playing with Brady last season into 2021.
“I think the biggest thing that he brought was just the mentality of expecting to win over kinda hoping to win,” Godwin told McAfee. “We’ve had a bunch of talented guys for years, but could never really put it together.”
Godwin added that they brought that mindset into each game, including the Bucs’ 2-3 stretch in November 2020. “We really didn’t waiver,” Godwin told McAfee.
“Once the playoffs hit, there was no doubt in our mind that we’re going to win — it was just a matter of showing everyone else,” Godwin added per McAfee.