Bruce Arians and the rest of the Bucs higher-ups have always spoken highly of receiver Chris Godwin. Despite that, The NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Thursday that there is “nothing imminent on that front” when it comes to the Bucs and Godwin finalizing a long-term deal.
The Bucs franchised Godwin back in March in order to keep the fifth-year wideout from hitting the market. He is currently set to make $15.983 million this year. The franchise tag is a direct hit on the salary cap, which means Godwin’s services will essentially cost the Bucs $16 million in 2021, alone.
Godwin is one of the premier slot receivers in the NFL and showed the league what he can do when fully healthy back in 2019. He missed four games due to injuries in 2020, but still managed to haul in 65 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns on a career-high 77.4% catch rate.
But it’s not just about what Godwin does as a receiver. He’s one of the better run-blocking receivers in the NFL and his role on the offense is crucial. Aside from Tom Brady and the quarterback position, one could argue it’s the most important role on the team.
A long-term deal would not only keep the Bucs from getting into a potential bidding war in 2022, but it would also help reduce Godwin’s cap hit in 2021 and possibly beyond. The Bucs currently have around $488k in cap space, which is dead-last, per Over The Cap.
The deadline for franchised players to receive a long-term deal is next Thursday, July 15.