It was the news many of us expected but were waiting on - Chris Godwin will return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021 on the franchise tag. This comes courtesy of ESPN's Adam Schefter;
Buccaneers informed WR Chris Godwin he is being franchise tagged, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2021
The tag will cost the Bucs around $16-million dollars and will also allow defensive stars Lavonte David and Shaquil Barrett to hit free agency next week if deals can't be reached by then. The deadline for the franchise tag is 4:00 p.m. ET today despite the fact that teams still don't have an official cap number.
The legal negotiating window opens for NFL teams on Monday and players like David and Barrett as well as Leonard Fournette, Antonio Brown, Ndamukong Suh, and Rob Gronkowski can see what their market is and whether or not they will remain in Tampa with an opportunity to repeat as Super Bowl Champions.
Tagging Chris Godwin mean Shaq Barrett and Lavonte David are scheduled to be free agents, though Tampa has discussed deals with both players. https://t.co/Q3ZIOVZQtn— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2021
The Cleveland Browns have already been mentioned as one of the top suitors for Lavonte David if he hits the market, but the Bucs have time to try and hammer out a deal with their 2012 second round pick.
As for Godwin, tagging him may very well have saved the Bucs a little money as his market value was estimated in the $18-20 million range by places like Spotrac.
This move makes sure Tom Brady gets another year with the receiver he said has the best hands of anyone he'd ever played with while also giving the Bucs another year - and an increased cap in 2022 - to work out a deal that will keep in Tampa long term.