Buccaneers once again disrespected by All-Pro voters

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /

The first and second All-Pro teams were released with several questionable decisions regarding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After legendary Buccaneers defensive back Ronde Barber was omitted as a finalist for the 2020 Hall of Fame class it seemed as though the Bucs could be disrespected no further for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, after the All-Pro teams were released it quickly became apparent that the disrespect would only continue.

Shaquil Barrett and Chris Godwin were the only two Buccaneers to receive All-Pro honors. This is a massive accomplishment for these players as it is their first time on the team but the fact remains that both players received second-team honors despite deserving a spot on the first team.

Both Barrett and Godwin far and away exceeded their expectations for the season. Barrett was a free agent who was only supposed to provide depth and wasn’t even pegged to be a starter before week one yet he ended up leading the league in sacks with 19.5. Chris Godwin was expected to have a breakout year and serve as a great compliment to Mike Evans but no one expected Godwin to lead the league in yards for most of the season and play an All-Pro level.

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Shaquil Barrett is an interesting case in that it is incredibly unique that a league sack leader did not receive first-team All-Pro honors. Barrett was edged out by Chandler Jones and T.J. Watt. Barrett led the league in stats for most of the season with only Myles Garrett and Chandler Jones providing any competition for the title.

Garrett fell off after his run-in with Mason Rudolph and Barrett only passed Jones in the last game of the season. All three of these players had incredible seasons but when looking at the stats one has to wonder why Barrett was passed over.

By just about any metric one has to wonder what the All-Pro voters were thinking when omitting Shaquil Barrett from the first team. Barrett led in sacks over Watt by a healthy margin, led in QB hits and tackles for loss over both other players, and only trailed in forced fumbles by two. Perhaps forced fumbles are the only true metric to measure a pass rusher by for the All-Pro voters.

Barrett 19.5 sacks | 6 forced fumbles | 37 QB hits | 19 tackles for loss | 1 interception

Watt 14.5 sacks | 8 forced fumbles | 36 QB hits | 14 tackles for loss | 2 interceptions

Jones 19 sacks | 8 forced fumbles | 26 QB hits | 11 tackles for loss | 0 interceptions

Unfortunately, the disrespect towards Chris Godwin is far more egregious. Chris Godwin was one of the most dominant receivers in the league and was surely one of the most complete. Godwin’s blocking abilities were second to none of the other All-Pro’s and his receiving stats may have held up better.

Michael Thomas was obviously the first receiver on the All-Pro team and rightfully so considering he broke Marvin Harrison‘s single-season reception record. The second receiver taken was downright head-scratching and calls into question the entire process for determining who will make the All-Pro teams in general.

Michael Thomas was paired up with DeAndre Hopkins of the Houston Texans who is still an incredible player but was by no means better than Chris Godwin. Godwin finished the season 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns through 14 games. Deandre Hopkins finished with 104 receptions for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns through 15 games.

By any metric other than receptions, Godwin has a substantial lead over Hopkins and in one less game. Godwin finished the season with 15.5 yards per reception while Hopkins only finished with 11.2 yards per reception. When the stat differential looks this big one has to wonder if the voters actually looked at the stats from the season or simply voted on the big-time names.

The final player on the Buccaneers who is on the losing end of the All-Pro voting is Lavonte David. David was only one vote shy of making the second team but that vote questionably went to making T.J. Watt a second team All-Pro linebacker in addition to being a first team All-Pro edge rusher.

This entire situation is incredibly perplexing to any Buccaneer fan as David has been one of the most loyal and consistent parts of the team for his tenure in Tampa Bay and surely deserves any honors that can come his way with Luke Kuechly and Bobby Wagner being the perennial Pro Bowlers for the NFC.

While T.J. Watt is a stellar player and surely the future of the league, any process that makes him a double All-Pro despite his stats that were beaten out by a number of other players is one that is at the very least highly questionable. Lavonte David surely deserved that spot on the second team and was more beaten out by a flawed system more so than by a player.

Next. Buccaneers great Ronde Barber again snubbed from HOF finalists. dark

In the end the Buccaneers did have two very good players receive All-Pro honors which is something to be celebrated even if it was not as prestigious as they deserved. Tampa Bay can be extremely proud of these players and Barrett, Godwin, and David can look to prove the voters wrong by maintaining their currently level of play in the next season and beyond.

The future is bright for the Buccaneers on the All-Pro teams and Bucs fans can look forward to seeing some new faces on the team in the coming years.