Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

As the Buccaneers gear up for a Super Bowl title defense in 2021, they are ensuring that one of Tom Brady's go-to weapons remains aboard the pirate ship. Tampa Bay has placed the franchise tag on receiver Chris Godwin. The 25-year-old pass-catcher was set to be one of the more talented wide receivers on the open market, but the Buccaneers have elected to deploy the tag and retain him for at least one more season. 

It will be interesting to see how this situation develops with Godwin and whether or not he'll actually be playing on the tag or if it'll simply be a placeholder for a long-term deal. The receiver noted earlier this offseason that he felt the Buccaneers were "heading in the right direction" following their Super Bowl win and that he wanted to remain In Tampa. 

As it relates to the tag, Godwin appeared open to playing on it while speaking about his then-pending free agent status on the Pat McAfee Show in late February but admitted that his preference is to be locked in for multiple years.  

"Like, you want to get some long-term security, you want the team to commit to you, as well," he said at the time. "I think an extension would be ideal, but at the end of the day if the franchise [tag] is what happens, then that's what I gotta do and then we'll revisit later. I want to be in Tampa, but at the end of the day I want to get paid too."

Over the course of his rookie contract, Godwin has taken home a total of around $4.6 million in career earnings, according to Spotrac. Under the tag, the receiver will make around $16 million for 2021, which means he is getting the bag, albeit without long-term security. 

In 12 games played over the course of the regular season, Godwin hauled in 65 of his 84 targets for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. During Tampa Bay's run to a Super Bowl LV championship, he added 232 yards and a touchdown, while notching the first title of his young career. 

Godwin has been with the Buccaneers since the club drafted him in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Penn State. He exploded with a career-year in 2019 where he earned second-team All-Pro honors along with his first Pro Bowl nod. In 2020, he formed quite a strong on-field bond with quarterback Tom Brady and they'll look to continue that heading into next season. 

While Godwin is now locked in for the Bucs, it will be curious to see how this move impacts the defensive side of the ball with Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David scheduled to be free agents.