Chris Godwin
Chris Godwin isn’t going anywhere. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have slapped the star wide receiver with the franchise tag. (Tori Richman/Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Chris Godwin will not hit the free agent market after all. Tampa Bay arguably has the best wide receiver trio in the NFL with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown. They’re making sure the former Penn State product isn’t going anywhere.

Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report the news:

Godwin, 25, is in line for a big pay raise. After earning $4.65 in the final year of his rookie contract, he’s now in line for a $16+ million check with the tag. It would seem like the tag is a placeholder for now until the two sides work out a contract extension.

Many players are hesitant to play on the tag. In the past, Godwin doesn’t seem bothered by the idea of playing on it.

“Yeah, I mean, the way I look at it, similar to like a lot of guys,” Godwin said to MJ Acosta of (via Charean Williams of “Obviously, we all want to have long-term security; we all want to be able to take care of the people that we love. So that’s the ideal situation. But, you know, a franchise tag is not something that I can control. If that’s what keeps me here, then that’s what it is. And I’ll play on it and go back to war with my guys. Like I said, I love it here in in Tampa. I love what we have building, and I would love to stay.”

Godwin is a vital part of the Bucs offense and a fan favorite of Bruce Arians. It was hard to see the Bucs parting ways even with limited financial resources. In 12 games this past season, Godwin notched 65 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns.