Chris Godwin Signs Buccaneers Franchise Tender Contract; Will Earn $15.9M

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
David Becker/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin reportedly signed the one-year, $15.9 million contract tender associated with the franchise tag on Thursday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the decision locks in the guaranteed salary for Godwin in 2021 if the sides don't reach an agreement on a long-term extension before the July 15 deadline.

Godwin, who received the Bucs' franchise tag last week, is coming off a solid 2020 season that saw him record 65 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns across 12 games. He added 16 receptions for 232 yards and one score during the team's playoff run to the Super Bowl LV title.

Although his numbers dropped from his career-best year in 2019 (86 catches for 1,333 yards and nine TDs), that wasn't because of a dip in performance.

He missed four games because of injuries (concussion, hamstring and finger) and was part of one of the NFL's deepest pass-catching groups when healthy. He had to contend with fellow wideouts Mike Evans, Antonio Brown and Scotty Miller as well as tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate for targets.

Evans led the team with a modest 70 receptions and was the only one to top 1,000 yards in 2020.

Godwin, who's tallied 23 touchdowns over the past three years, still received a strong 79.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus last season.

The 25-year-old Penn State product explained last month on the Pat McAfee Show (h/t Nick Shook of NFL.com) he didn't want to leave the Bucs but preferred an extension.

"Like, you want to get some long-term security, you want the team to commit to you, as well," he said. "I think an extension would be ideal, but at the end of the day if the franchise [tag] is what happens, then that's what I gotta do and then we'll revisit later. I want to be in Tampa, but at the end of the day I want to get paid too."

The Bucs' receiving corps remains overflowing with talent, so Godwin's individual numbers may lag behind his 2019 numbers once again in 2021.

That said, Tampa's front office showed it understands the receiver's value by using the franchise tag to keep him, and it wouldn't be a surprise if they agree to a long-term extension before July 15.