Chris Godwin Rumors: Bucs 'Doubt' More Than 1 or 2 FA WRs Will Make $10-12M

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 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

One of the reasons the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used the franchise tag on receiver Chris Godwin was because there are fewer high-end options available at the position this offseason, as Peter King of NBC Sports explained. 

"Tampa Bay doubts there will be more than one or two free-agent receivers (Kenny Golladay, JuJu Smith-Schuster) who will make more than $10-12 million a year, so that could put the team in better position to sign Godwin long term," King wrote.

Godwin will make $15.98 million in 2021 if he plays on the franchise tag, but the Buccaneers could try to re-sign him for a multiyear deal projected around $45 million over three years, according to King.

Golladay and JuJu Smith-Schuster represent the top of the class, although there are still several high-upside receivers who could get big deals this offseason.

Will Fuller V, Corey Davis, Curtis Samuel and Nelson Agholor are still emerging as weapons, while A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, Golden Tate and Sammy Watkins can provide help to a lot of teams. Antonio Brown could also be a wild card in the class after helping the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl.

With 22 receivers already heading into the 2021 season with an average annual salary of at least $10 million, per Spotrac, this class could certainly add to that.

One hindrance could be the reduced salary cap limiting all deals this offseason, but teams could still pay big to land an impact player on offense.

The Buccaneers will at least be able to keep Godwin for another season thanks to the tag, meaning they have retained a key player in a passing attack that finished No. 2 in the NFL last year on the way to a Super Bowl title. The 25-year-old finished with 65 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns, second on the team to Mike Evans in each category.

In 2019, Godwin ranked second in the NFL with 95.2 yards per game and had 1,333 receiving yards in 14 games.

There likely would have been plenty of suitors if Tampa Bay let him hit the open market this offseason.