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Chris Godwin could be Buc for life; Matt Gay will be challenged: Jason Licht

The Bucs general manager shared some long and short-term plans during an exclusive audio call with season pass members.
Chris Godwin was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season, when he led the Bucs with 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns.
Chris Godwin was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season, when he led the Bucs with 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns. [ Associated Press ]
Published Apr. 29, 2020
Updated Apr. 29, 2020

TAMPA — Chris Godwin will finish his NFL career with the Bucs. At least, that’s what general manager Jason Licht is planning.

The Bucs receiver — named to his first Pro Bowl after a 2019 season in which he led the team with 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns — will become a free agent following this coming season.

But Licht said Wednesday during an exclusive audio call with season pass holders that he hopes to reach a long-term agreement with the former third-round pick from Penn State.

However, Licht indicated those negotiations have not begun.

“First of all, we love Chris,'' Licht said. "Everybody and anybody in the organization can tell you that Chris is a huge piece of this team and and Chris is an impact player at the position. I’ve personally told Chris we want him to be here long-term and be a Buccaneer for life.

"In terms of when that happens? I can’t tell you right now when those talks will officially begin. But I do know that he is in our plans for the long-term.''

Matt Gay will have competition

Place-kicker Matt Gay had a pretty good rookie season by some measurements. He made five field goals of 50 yards or more.

But Gay made only 27 of 35 field goal attempts for a 77.1 percentage, which ranked 25th in the NFL. Gay was 43-of-48 in point-after attempts, which ranked 29th in the league.

Licht said Wednesday “there will be competition” for Gay this season.

“We feel Matt is going to be better this year,” Licht said. "We feel Matt has a big upside. But we’re definitely planning on adding competition. When we address that, I can’t tell you right now.

"It’s a little complex without being able to just bring in guys for workouts and physicals which are very important, especially at that position. But we do plan to address that, bringing in another kicker to have strong competition for Matt.''

How about another New England Patriot to join quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski? Stephen Gostkowski is a free agent.