The NFL is arguably the hardest sport to break into and it’s even harder to sustain a long, effective career.
So, it’s easy to see why players want to get paid after playing well, especially if they do it over a few years. You never know when you’ve played your last snap until it’s too late.
Get that money.
Well, it just so happens that the Bucs have a couple of players on their roster that are going to get PAID very soon, and one of those guys is third-year receiver, Chris Godwin.
Godwin signed a 4-year/$3.3 million deal with Tampa Bay when he was drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He will become a free agent in 2021, but it doesn’t have to happen that way. He may not have to wait until 2021 for a new deal from the Bucs.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay’s number one receiver, will miss the rest of the season after pulling his hamstring against the Colts. Plenty of folks who cover the Bucs - myself included - have said that Godwin could be a WR1 for this team and many others in the NFL. I mean, he’s already one of the best WR2s in the league.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Godwin has the perfect opportunity to show that he can in fact be “the guy” in the receiver room over these next three weeks. With Evans out, the team will be looking his way more often than ever before.
If he does step up as expected over the next three weeks, then it would make a lot of sense for the Bucs to go ahead and extend him after this season. Not only would they avoid losing him - and possibly overpaying him - in a bidding war, but they would also have one of the NFL’s best receiving duos locked up through 2023.
Godwin was already in line for a raise in 2020 based off playing time alone, but his production has been some of the best in the league since he entered the NFL.
He has the fourth-most receptions (174) and receiving yards (2,579) amongst all receivers that entered the league in 2017. He is tied for third with 17 receiving touchdowns and is fifth in terms of yards per catch (14.82) among receivers with at least 100 catches over that span.
The numbers have improved each year to the point where he is one of the top receivers in 2019. He is currently fifth in the NFL with 81 receptions, second with 1,212 yards and is tied for second with nine touchdowns. Football Outsiders have him ranked as the second-best overall receiver in the league behind Michael Thomas.
It’s not just the numbers, either. Godwin stands out on film every week.
And he does it all. He blocks, he can play the slot, he can lineup outside, and he can run any type of route that you ask him to run. His work ethic is off the charts and he is the ultimate team player.
Have I said enough good things about him yet?
The schedule plays in his favor, as well. Tampa Bay’s next three opponents are the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, and Atlanta Falcons. All three of those teams rank 25th or lower when it comes to Football Outsider’s defensive passing metric.
But regardless of what he’s done in the past, now is the time for Godwin to show what he can do. Now is the time to show this franchise that he can be the top guy in the league’s second-ranked passing attack.
If he can go out and show the Bucs that he can do all of this, then Tampa Bay would be wise to follow the legendary words of Teddy KGB:
Should the Bucs extend Chris Godwin after 2019?
This poll is closed
It depends on these last three games