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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 Free Agent Profile: WR Chris Godwin

Breaking down the contract situation for each of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2022 free agents, beginning with wide receiver Chris Godwin.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in addition to replacing the greatest quarterback of all time, are tasked with addressing the status of 26 free agents this offseason, including 10 starters. 

Due to a lack of significant cap space — currently hovering just over $3 million, per Over the Cap — it won't be easy, if even possible, for the Bucs to bring all 26 players back, or even all of their first-teamers who are set to hit the market.

AllBucs is creating profiles for each of Tampa Bay's imminent free agents for the 2022 offseason, beginning with, arguably, the Buccaneers' most important player trending towards availability: Wide receiver Chris Godwin

We'll discuss the value each player provides the team and try our best to predict whether or not Tampa Bay will prioritize bringing them back.

WR Chris Godwin

2021 stats: 14 games, 127 targets 98 receptions, 1,103 yards, five touchdowns

Previous contract: Franchise tag — one year, $15.98 million

Spotrac market value and projected contract: $18.2 million annually; five years, $90.9 million

Godwin put his name in the conversation with Davante Adams to become the highest-paid wide receiver this offseason with his performance in 2021, even if only for a moment before Adams signs his deal or resetting the market after the fact. Godwin was the Buccaneers' leading receiver in targets, receptions and yards before tearing his ACL in Week 15, emerging as Brady's most trustworthy target.

If Brady needed a receiver to make a play on third down, Godwin would do it more often than not. He served as an occasional deep threat and made defenders pay after the catch with solid speed and great physicality, but Godwin was most impactful on short to intermediate routes, where his physicality and sure hands came in the clutch most of the time. 

For example, Godwin caught seven of eight screen pass attempts in 2021 and turned those plays into a 6.4 yard gain on average, per Pro Football Focus. Godwin also proved capable of making catches in traffic, hauling in seven of 11 such passes including five-of-eight in the middle of the field. In all, 55 of Godwin's 98 receptions turned into first downs.

Not to be forgotten, Godwin is a tenacious blocker as well, especially out of the slot where he can create outside gaps in the running game. Godwin earned a 74.0 PFF run-blocking grade, which is considered above average on the outlet's scale. He posted two games with grades of 90.0+, which is deemed elite.

Godwin even made an impact as a rusher, taking four jet sweeps for 21 yards and a touchdown this past season.

Godwin split his snaps in 2021 at roughly 70 percent in the slot and 30 percent outside and was productive at both positions. Teams looking for an upgrade at receiver will value that versatility, in addition to his skills as both a pass-catcher and blocker.

Whether it's in Tampa Bay or elsewhere, Godwin is going to earn a pretty penny this offseason. It may not be what Godwin is worth fully due to his injury, but teams aren't as scared of ACL tears in free agency as they were in years prior due to rehabilitation and recovery enhancements. 

Clubs will remain willing to get into a bidding war for Godwin, if necessary. That isn't great news for the Bucs.

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