The Buccaneers may be able to keep these players, but contingency plans need to be in place.
The limited salary cap will likely hurt the Buccaneers this offseason. While it would be nice to return all of the free agents and run it back with a Super Bowl-caliber team, a cap that is short 20 million dollars will be difficult to navigate.
Even after the cuts, the Bucs should have around 20 million dollars remaining in cap space for next season. This is good for one of the better amounts in the league, but it still won’t go far with the current players on the roster.
Tampa Bay needs to keep Shaquil Barrett for the future, and he alone could take up the majority of that space. Even with savvy cap maneuvers and cutting expensive players, the Bucs still need enough money to sign their new draft class and some more depth free agents, so the coming months will be difficult on the free-agent front.
Tampa Bay may be able to keep the band together for one more run, but the far more likely contingency is that some of the big-name free agents will walk this offseason to a team that can pay them what they deserve.
This is going to be extremely painful if it occurs. Godwin should be one of the highest-priority players to return, but he still falls under Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David. The Buccaneer offense is far better with Godwin on the roster, but the price tag will likely be too high to meet in the middle on.
If the Buccaneers lost in the Super Bowl, Godwin might have run it back on a cheaper deal to chase a ring, but at this point, even the franchise tag could prove far too expensive to bring Chris Godwin back for 2021.
Please, please, please don’t let this happen.