Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Realistic player contracts in free agency
By Rob Leeds
Top Buccaneers that could go either way
Chris Godwin, overkill for 2021?
As it stands, Chris Godwin has received the franchise tag. The Buccaneers had until later today to make the deal official. Godwin has been criminally underrated from a pay standpoint during his time as a Buc, and it makes sense that he could want more than the tag, but the Bucs’ hands are tied.
With Mike Evans already being one of the highest earners in the league at the position, the Buccaneers are not far off from having the most expensive wide receiver room in the league.
The franchise tag for Godwin currently looks like $16.5 million for 2021, and that alone puts the Buccaneers over their remaining cap space.
The best-case scenario for the Bucs on the Godwin front is more overall money over more time but less on a per-year basis.
Somewhere between 12-14 million dollars per year over four years would be the best way to make this deal work, but even that is a lot to have invested in a second receiver.
Lavonte David, replaceable position, irreplaceable leader
Off-ball linebacker is the second easiest position in the sport to replace behind running back. Unfortunately, Lavonte David is not an easy player to replace by any stretch of the imagination.
As one of the best linebackers in the NFL, the Buccaneers should do everything in their power to keep their captain on the roster, but his price tag won’t be cheap.
The highest-paid linebacker in the NFL, Bobby Wagner, makes nearly 18 million dollars per year from the Seahawks. Lavonte David, who is on par with Wagner as a player, can’t make anything close to that from the Bucs.
The best bet for the Bucs and David is for a smaller contract to stay in place, and that could look like 25-27 million dollars over three years. This price is fair to David, without completely overpaying on the position.