The Tampa Bay Buccaneers slapped the franchise tag on star wide receiver Chris Godwin, giving themselves some flexibility and extended time to work out a long term deal with the third-round pick. Now, the deadline is rapidly approaching and it doesn’t appear as if a deal will be struck.
Ian Rapoport reported that, although there were conversations and progress between the two sides, it doesn’t look like Godwin will get a deal ahead of the deadline meaning he will play the 2021 season on the franchise tag and become a free agent next March;
The #Bucs and star WR Chris Godwin are not expected to reach a long-term extension by tomorrow’s deadline, sources say, though the team clearly values Godwin as a core player. They will work to keep him long-term this coming offseason, as they did this past offseason.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 14, 2021
Much like the situation with Shaquil Barrett last year, the Buccaneers will place a priority on bringing Godwin back for years to come following the season, hopefully locking him up before the start of free agency where Godwin would have the opportunity to not only cash in, but likely become a team’s number one receiver.
With Tom Brady having two years left on his deal, he would probably not be the happpiest of people if Godwin - one of the big reasons he signed with Tampa in 2020 - were to leave in his final season. That said, the Bucs will still have some major salary cap gymnastics to perform in order to get Godwin signed to a long-term deal following the season.
Not saying it’s impossible, nor that it won’t get done, but there will once again plenty of holes to fill on the roster with all the one year deals the team issued this past offseason.
Godwin, the 84th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, has 3,540 yards receiving and 24 touchdowns in his 58 games played. In 2020, he missed four games and finished with just 840 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season.