The Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to keep the Super Bowl window going, even if Tom Brady is retiring for the 2022 season. Tampa Bay still has a talented roster at its disposal, but there are a few key free agents the Buccaneers have to retain. 

One of those free agents is Chris Godwin, who the Buccaneers tagged last season as they sought a Super Bowl repeat. Godwin, set to become an unrestricted free agent, is coming off ACL surgery that will affect his market value. The Buccaneers feel they can reach a long-term deal with their wide receiver, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times

Of course, if the Buccaneers reach a long-term deal with Godwin, they can then use their franchise tag on a different player for the 2022 season.

Godwin finished with 98 catches for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns in just 14 games, his second 1,000-yard season in three years. Injuries have caused Godwin to miss games, but he would easily be one of the top wideouts available if he hits the open market. Tampa Bay wants to make sure it can keep Godwin in the fold, even if the ACL injury affects the start of his season. 

Godwin has averaged 81.9 receiving yards per game since the start of the 2019 season, fourth in the NFL. His 53 catches of 20-plus yards since the start of 2019 are third in the league and his 1,443 yards after the catch are fourth in the NFL. Godwin's seven receptions per game in 2021 were third in the NFL and 78.8 receiving yards per game were seventh in the league. 

After playing under the $15,983,000 franchise tag in 2021, Godwin could get a long-term deal worth more than that in free agency. At only 26 years old, the Buccaneers would be wise to reach a deal with Godwin sooner rather than later.