This is setting up to be the year of a lifetime for wide receiver Chris Godwin. Last March, having come off a career season with Jameis Winston as his quarterback, Godwin got the upgrade of a lifetime heading into his contract campaign.
Living legend and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady decided to take his talents to the Tampa Bay area last March, making the possibilities for an already talented pass catcher seemingly limitless.
While Godwin’s 2020 season statistically fell short of his 2019 campaign, his profile rose immensely playing on the most popular team in the NFL. Having to share the wealth with Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller, Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate, the fourth year professional out of Penn State still snared 65 catches for 840 yards and 7 touchdowns. He made those plays in games played heavily in primetime, which has only helped increase the perception that he’s one of the best wide outs in football.
Winning a Super Bowl had to feel extremely sweet for Godwin, but as if that wasn’t enough, he’s about to hit free agency at the tender age of 25. Mid twenties with a Super Bowl ring and about to put pen to paper on a lucrative pay day – what a time to be alive!
Let’s take a closer look at which teams might be knocking on Godwin’s door (or asking to setup a Zoom meeting with his agent) when free agency begins.
Ok, so this might seem like a “penthouse to the outhouse” type of prognostication—how could someone who just spent the last year playing in big time games go to a franchise that’s about as far from competing for a Super Bowl as can possibly be?
Well, nearly $75 million in projected cap space for the Jacksonville Jaguars could sway Godwin to stomach a couple of non playoff seasons.
Of course, all of that money won’t go to Godwin, but Jaguars management won’t want to leave the cupboard completely bare for anticipated number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence. Plus, Godwin could spend another few years of his career in Florida–one of the few states that don’t levy state income tax—which would allow him to pocket more of the deal.
If Godwin was a free agent in 2016, 2017, or 2018, the New England Patriots would not be a likely suitor for his services. The Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick are known for allocating their cap space intelligently across the entire team, and usually don’t bend over backwards to individual players from a financial or preferential treatment perspective.
However, here in 2021, New England has tried to upgrade an aging and disappointing receiving corps for many seasons without much success.
Julian Edelman appears to be running on empty, while former first round pick N’Keal Harry has not developed into the difference maker the organization hoped he would become. Jacobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd had flashes with Cam Newton in 2020, but don’t figure to be cornerstones either. If there was ever time the Patriots would be desperate enough to unload some of their cap space to bolster a faltering area of their roster, it’s now with Godwin.
If the NFL had their offseason setup the same way as the NBA did, then the Miami Dolphins might not be a logical suitor for Godwin. In basketball, the draft comes first, followed by free agency a few days later. In the NFL, it’s the exact opposite, with free agency opening first, and the draft following over a month later.
Miami figures to be very much in play for talented University of Alabama wide receiver Devonta Smith, who could be a difference making selection at number 3.
However, there’s no guarantee that the New York Jets don’t snatch him at 2, or a team vaults the Dolphins to select Smith. As a result, they might take a long look at Godwin a month earlier to help make Tua Tagovailoa’s life a little easier in 2021. Miami’s depth chart isn’t totally barren in the receiver department, but bringing in a guy like Godwin to play opposite DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki could really take the team to another level next season. Not to mention, the state income tax consideration comes into play here, as well.