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Chris Godwin’s 2022 free agency: Landing spots, expected contract, prediction for Buccaneers wide receiver

By on March 2, 2022 0

Chris Godwin has been one of the most productive wide receivers over the past three years, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers star is set to become a free agent for the first time in his career.

Godwin has averaged 81.9 receiving yards per game since the start of the 2019 season, fourth in the NFL. His 53 catches over 20 yards since the start of 2019 are third in the league and his 1,443 yards after catch are fourth in the NFL. One of the best slot receivers in the game, Godwin has 152 catches (fifth in the NFL), 2,082 yards (fourth) and 11 touchdowns (tied for eighth) in the slot over the past three years. – despite missing nine games with injuries.

Playing under the franchise tag in 2021, Godwin hit his salary of $15,983,000. 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. Godwin’s seven receptions per game in 2021 was third in the NFL and 78.8 receiving yards per game was seventh in the league.

Injuries have meant Godwin has missed games, but he will easily be one of the best players available if he makes it onto the open market. Tampa Bay would prefer to keep Godwin in the fold, even if the ACL injury that ended his 2021 season prematurely affects the start of his 2022 season.

Everything you need to know about Godwin’s free agency is available here. From projected landing spots to market value, CBS Sports has all the news and updates. Godwin will be one of the most intriguing players in the market this month.

The salary cap figures come from above the ceiling

Potential landing spots

  • Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars desperately need a play catcher as Trevor Lawrence enters his second season and they have the cap space ($56,822,427) to overpay a wide. Godwin should be on their radar as the best pass-catching option for Lawrence and a reliable option in the slot. He would instantly make the Jaguars better.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: After Mike Evans, who has Tampa Bay as a wide receiver? The Antonio Brown fiasco left the Buccaneers in a major hole, leaving Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller, Jaelon Darden and Breshad Perriman as the best options. The Buccaneers need Godwin back no matter who the quarterback is in 2022.
  • Kansas City Chiefs: Getting a No. 2 wide receiver is essential for Kansas City to return to the Super Bowl, putting Patrick Mahomes in prime position to win his second Super Bowl title in four years. The Chiefs also need to focus on their pass rush and free agency secondary, so Godwin may not be the top priority with $11,188,535 of cap space available. Godwin could trade with Tyreek Hill on the outside and in the slot, giving the Chiefs an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver for Mahomes.
  • Green Bay Packers: A good way to convince Aaron Rodgers to stay in Green Bay would be to give him a point guard in the slot to partner with Davante Adams (assuming they can keep Adams). Godwin would be a perfect fit for a team that has won more than 13 games and had one of the best offenses in each of the past three years. If the Packers can’t reach a deal with Adams, they’ll have to move to wide receiver, with Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling also being free agents. Signing Godwin is a long shot, but the Packers have a chance if they can get creative with the salary cap.
  • Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles need a No. 2 wide receiver in the worst possible way, especially in the slot. Philadelphia has a No. 1 in DeVonta Smith and a rising star at tight end in Dallas Goedert, but not much else in the pass-catching department outside of Quez Watkins. If the Eagles are committed to Jalen Hurts for 2022, they need to give him more help at wide receiver. Godwin in the slot would be a natural fit.
  • New England Patriots: The Patriots’ top wide receivers last season were Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne as a free agent signing Nelson Agholor had a lackluster first year with the team. New England needs to get Mac Jones a No. 1 wide receiver, a player who can catch the ball and is a reliable target in midfield. The Patriots have $8,329,412 available in cap space and can free up enough room to make a play for Godwin.
  • Indianapolis Colts: Whether Indianapolis decides to keep Carson Wentz for 2022 or not, the Colts need wide receiver help outside of Michael Pittman. Zach Pascal was the team’s second best receiver with just 384 yards, so a massive upgrade is needed. With $35,847,327 in headline space available, the Colts can throw a lot of money at Godwin. They should be a player for his services.

Provisional contract

Spotrac has the projected value of Godwin at five years and $90,979,940, an average annual value of $18,195,988. Based on players who received similar offers around Godwin’s age, Keenan Allen received a four-year, $80.1 million deal while Tyreek Hill received a three-year, $54 million deal. years. Amari Cooper also got a five-year, $100 million deal and Adam Thielen got a four-year, $64.2 million deal.

Godwin would be the sixth-highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL if he received that amount. He has the 11th most catches (249), the ninth most yards (3,276) and tied for the 13th most touchdowns (21) since the start of the 2019 season – despite missing nine games.

The value seems to correspond to what the player is worth. If Godwin could stay healthy, the deal could provide immense value in a few years.

Prediction

If Godwin makes it to the free agent market, the Colts and Jaguars should be major players in signing the 26-year-old wide receiver. Hard to see Tampa Bay letting Godwin walk without a fight, especially since his value may have taken a hit with his ACL injury. The Buccaneers find a way to keep Godwin on a team-friendly deal that earns Godwin big money up front. If Godwin is leaving, it’s because of the quarterback’s situation in Tampa Bay.

Free agent timeline

Buccaneers would like to strike a long-term deal with Godwin

February 25: The Buccaneers believe they can work out a long-term deal with Godwin, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Of course, if the Buccaneers reach a long-term deal with Godwin, then they can use their franchise tag on another player for the 2022 season – which could be used on cornerback Carlton Davis.