Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jason Licht’s underrated offseason win

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

As so many NFL franchises struggle to avoid alienating their star players, Buccaneers GM Jason Licht continues to provide the roadmap of how to keep stars in town.

We’ve seen it so many times lately; Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, A.J. Brown, and now Debo Samuel and Terry Mclaurin. Teams are struggling to keep their star WRs, either due to not being willing to pay them after their rookie deal, disagreements about player role/usage, and unhappiness over future franchise outlook.

All of these could have easily been issues in the Buccaneers’ attempt to keep Chris Godwin in Tampa.

Tampa could have easily low balled Godwin and not taken too much criticism in the court of public opinion due to his uncertain injury status.  Jason Licht, however, decided to commit $20 million per year to Godwin, showing a sign of good faith to the receiver that the franchise believes in his recovery and wants him back as a playmaker for our team.

Chris Godwin’s role could have easily become an issue in the quest to keep him as well. Signing Russell Gage COULD have been seen as a way of replacing Godwin, and making re-signing him to a deal this off season as a moot point.

However, Jason Licht again looked at things with the right lens. Even with a crowded WR room, one that PFF called the second best in the NFL, we aren’t at the same level without Godwin. I very much look forward to seeing what Russell Gage can do in a Tom Brady led offense and have high hopes for him this year…. But counting on him to replace one of the most productive receivers in football just isn’t a reality.

That’s not saying anything to disrespect Gage as he could easily be a solid number two receiver on many teams, but Chris Godwin elevates our group.  It keeps teams from being able to focus too heavily on JUST stopping Mike Evans.  We need the threat that Godwin brings. He is one of the best route runners in football and can win jump balls. He keeps defenses honest.

Lastly, the challenge of convincing the player of the team’s outlook for the duration of the contract.

Sure, a lot can be said for the Tom Brady effect. Let’s not forget that the GOAT already retired this past off season, and his prospects for playing past this season in Tampa are murky at best.  We saw this as a challenge for Davante Adams, where he admitted that Aaron Rogers future playing status definitely played a part in his desire to leave the Packers.

Chris Godwin still chose to sign for three years during the prime of his career because he still believes in what Tampa has built.  So many contending teams, Kansas City, Green Bay, and Tennessee to name a few, would have jumped at the chance to add Godwin to their roster at a reduced injury rate, but Tampa Bay has been building a winning culture, and it’s one that our players want to stay a part of.

It’s worth noting, in an off season where so many teams have not been able to keep their playmakers happy, how Tampa Bay was able to win in their efforts to keep Chris Godwin in a Buccaneer uniform!

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