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Bucs, Chris Godwin still trying to reach a long-term deal by Thursday deadline

The team’s franchise player signed his $15.9 million tender in March.
Bucs wide receiver Scott Miller (10) celebrates with wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) after Godwin's reception during regular-season finale against Atlanta.
Bucs wide receiver Scott Miller (10) celebrates with wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) after Godwin's reception during regular-season finale against Atlanta. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]
Published Jul. 14
Updated Jul. 14

TAMPA — The Bucs will continue discussions with the agents for Chris Godwin today in hopes of striking a long-term deal with their franchise player before Thursday’s deadline.

The Bucs receiver signed his franchise tender March 18 worth $15.983 million, which is guaranteed for the 2021 season.

That’s a substantial bump for Godwin, who earned a total of $4.64 million as a third-round pick from Penn State in 2017. His base salary was $2.133 million in 2020.

Of course, both Godwin and the Bucs would like to strike a long-term deal. But Tampa Bay has the least amount of salary cap space in the NFL with just more than $488,000.

Godwin, 25, overcame injuries last season to catch 65 passes for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. He led the Bucs in receiving in 2019 with 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine TDs while earning his first Pro Bowl selection.

Tampa Bay already has a substantial investment at the receiver position. In addition to Godwin, Mike Evans salary cap value for 2021 is $16,637,500 – the highest on the club. That’s a lot of resources committed to a pair of receivers.

If the Bucs and Godwin don’t strike a long-term deal by Thursday, they have until the start of the next league year next March to do so.

A year ago, outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett played under the franchise player salary but reached a four-year, $72-million extension with the Bucs before the start of free agency. That includes $34 million guaranteed and $4 million in escalators based on sacks the first two seasons.

So if the Bucs are unable to reach a long-term deal with Godwin by Thursday, it doesn’t mean his Bucs career is over. Far from it.

“Yeah, I mean, the way I look at it, similar to like a lot of guys,” Godwin said before signing his franchise tender.

“Obviously, we all want to have long-term security, we all want to be able to take care of the people that we love. So, that’s the ideal situation. But, you know, a franchise tag is not something that I can control. If that’s what keeps me here, then that’s what it is. And I’ll play on it and go back to war with my guys. Like I said, I love it here in in Tampa, I love what we have building and I would love to stay.”

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