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Bucs’ Chris Godwin will play under franchise player contract as deadline passes

The receiver will earn $15.9 million in 2021 and could become a free agent next March.
The Bucs didn't have a lot of wiggle room under the cap this year to offer a long-term deal to wide receiver Chris Godwin.
The Bucs didn't have a lot of wiggle room under the cap this year to offer a long-term deal to wide receiver Chris Godwin. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jul. 15
Updated Jul. 15

TAMPA — Chris Godwin will earn more than $15.9 million as the Bucs’ franchise player this season but a bigger pay day will have to wait.

As expected, the Bucs and Godwin did not reach an agreement on a long-term deal before Thursday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

Godwin was among a half-dozen NFL franchise players unable to extend their contracts, a list that includes Bears receiver Allen Robinson, Washington tackle Brandon Scherff, Panthers left tackle Cam Robinson, Jets safety Marcus Maye and Saints safety Marcus Williams.

Offensive tackle Taylor Moton, the Panthers’ franchise player, reached an agreement on a four-year, $72 million extension.

The Bucs are attempting defend their Super Bowl 55 championship and return 22 starters, including Godwin. But they have only $488,000 under the salary cap, the least amount of space in the NFL.

A year ago, the Bucs used the franchise player tag on outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who signed a four-year, $72 million contract in March to remain with the team before the start of free agency.

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

The Bucs have an embarrassment of riches — Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson — at the receiver position.

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