After playing last season under the franchise tag, Bucs WR Chris Godwin ‘s free agency grew even more intriguing following a knee injury and Tom Brady’s retirement.
To play under the franchise tag is to play with fire. Sure, a tagged player receives a sizable salary, but just for one season. And in a league as violent as the NFL, long-term financial stability is the utmost priority. Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin understands this firsthand now.
His 2020 campaign ended in a Super Bowl championship following a regular season saw Godwin catch 65 balls for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. This time around, the 2019 Pro Bowler and Second Team All-Pro selection was on track for one of the biggest paydays of the current free agent class, but an ACL injury in December cut his 2021 season short and made the precise size of his eventual bag an intriguing question, to say nothing of the impact of Tom Brady’s retirement.
Before the offseason period officially kicks off on March 16, let’s establish the key facts and figures regarding Chris Godwin’s free agency, including some potential landing spots if he opts to leave Tampa.
Chris Godwin Contract Details & Career Earnings
2021 Salary: $15,983,000
Expiring Contract: 1 year, $15,983,000 (franchise tag)
Previous Contract: 4 years, $3,284,164 (2017-20)
Career base salary earnings:: $20,631,664
Career bonus and incentive earnings: $792,164
Total NFL earnings: $20,631,664
Chris Godwin Free Agency Breakdown
Godwin’s knee injury will obviously impact the value of his new contract, though just how much that turns out to be cannot be presently known. For the record, Spotrac’s “estimated market value” tool pegs him at $18,200,000, notably higher than last year’s franchise tag number for wide receivers.
Though re-signing with the Buccaneers is generally considered to be the most likely outcome, Godwin could also be among those waiting for fellow free agent receiver (and the No. 1 overall player on the current free agent board) Davante Adams to set the market. Additionally, the bag Odell Beckham Jr. receives after injuring his own knee in the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl LVI victory could also sketch out a workable benchmark for Godwin.
Notably, at 26 years of age, Godwin is younger than both Adams (29) and Beckham (29), and is surely using that to his advantage in any potential negotiations. The only wild card, however, is that Godwin was already the Bucs’ No. 2 guy behind Mike Evans, and with Tom Brady’s retirement following an MVP-quality season, Bruce Arians’ long-term plan at QB looming large over the proceedings as well.
But if it is time for Godwin to depart, don’t count out the East or North divisions of the AFC.
Potential Godwin Free Agent Destinations (In alphabetical order):
- Chicago Bears
- Cleveland Browns
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Miami Dolphins
- New England Patriots
Tampa Bay 2022 Salary Cap Space
Active contracts: $176,338,766
Dead money: $11,977,021
Total salary cap usage: $188,315,787
Salary cap space: $21,310,880
Godwin’s Milestones & Accomplishments
NFL Draft: 2017, Round 3, No. 84 overall
Career receptions: 342
Career receiving yards: 4,643
Career receiving TDs: 29
Super Bowl LV champion
2019 All-Pro Second Team
2019 Pro Bowl