Buccaneers GM Has Telling Comments on Chris Godwin’s Future

Chris Godwin

Getty The Buccaneers are optimistic about re-signing Chris Godwin.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin will command a big contract in free agency, and he could still find that in his current team this month.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht expressed his commitment to re-sign Godwin when NFL free agency officially kicks off on March 16. A former Pro Bowler and second team All-Pro, Godwin ranks second among free agents at any position by NFL.com.

“It’s hard to imagine a Buccaneers’ offense without Chris Godwin, and we would love to have him back,” Licht told the media at the NFL Combine on Tuesday, March 1. “We’ll continue to try and work towards that.”

Godwin emerged as a star receiver within a couple of seasons after the Bucs drafted him in the third round in 2017 out of Penn State. He made second-team All-Pro and the Pro Bowl in 2019 with 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns. He already showed flashes of brilliance the year before in 2018 with seven touchdown catches.

His production only continued strong in 2020 with 65 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games played due to various injuries. His 2021 season got cut short due to an ACL tear but not before he tallied 98 receptions for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games.

“He’s really overachieved in relation to where he was drafted and where we got him,” Licht told the media.

Godwin played on the franchise tag in 2021 after the Bucs couldn’t reach a deal with him before free agency. He made $15.98 million in 2021 on the tag, and Spot Trac lists his market value at $18.1 million.

Bruce Arians: ‘We Really, Really Want Him Back’

Speaking to media at the NFL Combine, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians concurred with Licht that Godwin is a high priority in free agency.

“Chris is so valuable to what we do. Obviously, we really, really want him back.”

Arians compared Godwin to future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Steelers great Hines Ward, who made four Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl MVP. Arians coached both Fitzgerald and Ward during their careers in Arizona and Pittsburgh.

“Yeah, I’ve only had two before — Hines Ward and Larry Fitzgerald — so I don’t really want to lose Chris,” Arians told the media. “They’re hard, hard to find. Reggie Wayne too, he’s the other one.”

Arians coached Wayne, a six-time Pro Bowler and former All-Pro, in Indianapolis.

The Bucs coach previously noted in 2021 that Godwin’s effective blocking in addition to pass catching. Godwin also compliments fellow star receiver Mike Evans, which gives the Bucs the best receiver duo in the league as NFL Network’s Nate Burleson described in 2021.

Godwin’s ACL Tear Recovery Progress Not a Concern

Both Arians and Licht sounded confident that Godwin will make it back on the field quickly in 2022.

“From what I understand, his rehab is going well,” Licht told the media.

Godwin had the surgery on Jan. 3 according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The injury occurred on Dec. 19, 2021, against New Orleans.

“Knowing Chris and the way he works — he had a good surgery and those guys are coming back faster and faster now. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem at all,” Arians told the media about Godwin’s recovery.

Read More