TAMPA- A key piece to the Super Bow LV winning team will be back for the 2021 season.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers officially tagged wide receiver Chris Godwin, who was set to enter free agency unless tagged otherwise by Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers went ahead to ensure they locked up one of the top wide receivers in the National Football League.
Godwin had to battle the injury bug for the first time in his career, but nonetheless still put up solid numbers regardless of time missed. The former Penn State star caught 65 passes for 840 yards and scored seven touchdowns for the Super Bowl champions. In the year before in 2019, Godwin surpassed the 1,000-yard mark with Jameis Winston under center.
There was mutual interest in getting a deal finalized by the time free agency hit, but with so many free agents to tend to, the Buccaneers opted to just tag Godwin for the 2021 season instead. Tampa Bay has a laundry list of players that are slated to hit the free agent market and many are key contributors to winning the Super Bowl. Amongst the big names are Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette.
The expected players that will re-sign are Gronkowski and Barrett, but big question marks surround all the other players as the Buccaneers look to repeat as Super Bow champions. Many factors are playing into whether Tampa Bay can retain the core of players that helped carry the team to the championship they won in Tampa over the Kansas City Chiefs. Biggest is the money, which the salary cap is around $180 million for NFL teams this season.
Quarterback Tom Brady is working on an extension with Tampa Bay’s front office and it could include taking less money annually so the Buccaneers have more to work with in retaining players for 2021. Amongst one of the biggest rumors this off-season is Brady’s want for Tampa Bay to trade for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who plays for the Cleveland Browns. A trade like that would require some magic from general manager Jason Licht.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.