The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and wide receiver Chris Godwin have until Thursday at 4 p.m. ET to come to terms on a long-term deal that would enable the ex-Penn State star to play this year with some multiseason security.
Tampa Bay placed the franchise tag on Godwin in March, but it appears that the wideout will have to look for a long-term deal after this year, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that an agreement doesn't look likely.
"The Bucs and star wide receiver 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," Rapoport tweeted Wednesday. "They will work to keep him long-term this coming offseason, as they did this past offseason."
All hope is not lost, however, as Rapoport referenced that edge-rusher Shaquil Barrett played out last season on the franchise tag before the team signed him to a long-term deal this offseason. The Bucs do have some decisions to make on other young players, though.
"The Bucs went through a similar situation with Shaq Barrett and locked him up this past FA," Rapoport wrote.
"The Super Bowl champs also have several homegrown players who could get new deals in the coming years, from Devin White to Vita Vea to Carlton Davis and more. A nod to their scouting."
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network previously reported on July 8 that there is "nothing imminent on that front" between the Godwin and the Bucs.
Godwin is one of the NFL's best young wide receivers, catching 65 passes for 840 yards and seven touchdowns last season despite missing four games.
The year before, Godwin earned his first-ever Pro Bowl appearance after catching 86 passes for 1,333 yards and eight touchdowns. He accomplished those feats even with sitting two games.
If Tampa Bay isn't able to sign him to a lucrative long-term deal before the franchise tag deadline, another team could undoubtedly step in and break the bank for Godwin, who isn't turning 26 years old until next February.
For now, Godwin is set to return to the Bucs for at least one more year. The same goes for the rest of the 22 starters on the defending Super Bowl champions, who open the regular season on Sept. 9 versus the Dallas Cowboys.