Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Chris Godwin will not be playing on the franchise tag for the second straight year, as he and the Bucs have agreed on a three-year, $60 million deal that includes $40 million guaranteed at signing, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
The 26-year-old's new deal is strikingly similar to that of Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams, who reportedly agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with $40 million guaranteed as well just over a week ago. The AAV of $20 million per year is tied for fourth in the NFL, per Over The Cap. This deal appears to be a win-win for both sides, since Godwin receives the money he is worth and gets to hit free agency again at 29-years-old.
Godwin caught 98 passes for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns in 2021, but tore his ACL during the Week 15 loss to the New Orleans Saints in December. It was still a rebound campaign, as Godwin caught 65 passes for 840 yards and seven touchdowns while missing four games in 2020 playing on the tag.
The Penn State product was selected by the Buccaneers in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He started in just seven games over his first two seasons, but exploded in 2019 with 86 receptions, 1,333 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Godwin has been an important part of Tampa Bay's offense, and has led the Bucs in receiving two out of the last three seasons. General manager Jason Licht wanted to keep him in the fold moving forward, and they finally have the deal in place they have been working years toward.
After an offseason that began rough with the retirement of Tom Brady and the loss of their two starting offensive guards, things are beginning to look up for the Buccaneers. Brady decided to return for another season, Tampa Bay was able to retain center Ryan Jensen and cornerback Carlton Davis and then the Bucs reportedly added wide receiver Russell Gage in free agency and traded for New England Patriots offensive guard Shaq Mason.