You can cross Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin off your team’s free-agent wish list.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Tuesday that the Buccaneers are placing the franchise tag on the talented young pass-catcher.
Buccaneers informed WR Chris Godwin he is being franchise tagged, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2021
Godwin exploded in 2019 when he registered 86 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns in just 14 games, but he regressed in 2020 — in part due to injury — totaling 65 catches for 840 yards and seven scores in 12 games.
Despite the statistical regression, Godwin remains one of the most dangerous wideouts in the game. He turned 25 years old in February and is just entering the prime of his career. Had Godwin been allowed to hit the open market, he would’ve cashed in on a contract near or in excess of $20 million per season.
With Godwin off the market, the run on wide receivers early in Round 1 of the 2021 NFL draft is even more likely now. Free agency shifts team needs quite a bit, and clubs at the top of the first round that have been identified as receiver-needy would’ve certainly had Godwin high on their wish list. Now that he’s gone, the next best option could come via a first-round pick.