Buccaneers' Updated Salary Cap for 2021 Season After Chris Godwin Franchise Tag

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 9, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) walks to the locker room prior to an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Kevin Sabitus)
Kevin Sabitus/Associated Press

As has been expected, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly used their franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the move.

The NFL has yet to announce official franchise values and the salary cap for next season, but Over the Cap projects the wide receiver tag will cost the Bucs $16.43 million in 2021. 

Per Spotrac, which uses an estimated $184.55 million cap, the Buccaneers had $18.15 million in space available before factoring the value of Godwin's franchise tender. 

If the tag and cap stay at those projected values, Tampa Bay will only have $1.72 million available to re-sign its own players and sign any potential free agents. 

Godwin is one of several key roster decisions the Buccaneers have to figure out this offseason. Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown are among the key free agents for the reigning Super Bowl champions. 

It's important to note Mark Maske, Ben Strauss and Jay Greene of the Washington Post reported last week the NFL is working to complete new television deals with CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN-ABC as well as a streaming agreement with Amazon. 

If those new television contracts get done soon, Jabari Young of CNBC noted the NFL may not have to decrease the salary cap as much as initially planned due to lost revenue in 2020 stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the NFL informed teams in a memo that the 2021 cap floor has been increased from $175 million to $180 million. 

The Buccaneers can also create cap space if they extend Tom Brady's contract. General manager Jason Licht told The Rich Eisen Show last month that an extension for the Super Bowl LV MVP is "a possibility."

Godwin has spent his entire career with the Bucs since being selected in the third round out of Penn State in the 2017 NFL draft. He ranked second on the team with 65 receptions, 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games during the 2020 regular season.