It was reported on Tuesday that former Nittany Lion wide receiver Chris Godwin will indeed receive a franchise tag from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2021 season.
Buccaneers informed WR Chris Godwin he is being franchise tagged, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2021
It was widely-expected that Tampa would use the franchise tag to keep Godwin around for at least another season, given the important role he plays within the high-flying offense for the Super Bowl champions. Though he missed a good chunk of time in 2020 due to various injuries, when healthy, Godwin proved that he is still one of the more dangerous receivers in the league.
In all, Godwin appeared in 12 games in 2020, amassing 84 catches for 840 receiving yards (12.9 yards per reception) and 7 touchdowns. It was a down year after his 86 catch, 1,333 yard, 9 touchdown performance in 2019, but the injuries played a large part in the production drop. It's also worth noting, as evidenced by the drop in yards per reception (15.5 in 2019), his role in the offense changed a bit with the additions of Tom Brady and Antonio Brown to the offense. The combination of Evans and Brown did most of the work downfield, which meant Godwin did a lot more of his work in the intermediate depth and across the middle of the field. In a lot of ways, Godwin became Brady's new Julian Edelman in 2020.
It was projected that Godwin could have earned as much as $17.2 million annually on a 4-year deal or better on the open market. While he won't get the long-term security he surely desires just yet, he will still earn a nice salary on the franchise tag in 2021, a projected figure of $15.8 million.
Godwin was originally a third-round selection for Tampa Bay in the 2017 NFL Draft after three years in Happy Valley. Over his collegiate career, he accumulated 154 catches, 2,421 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns in 40 career games.