An NFL insider throws out a possible trade that would send Chris Godwin to the New York Giants, but should the Bucs listen to an offer?
With the Tom Brady era officially over in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers face an incredibly important offseason that may involve some very serious change. The team needs to figure out a plan at quarterback, both in the immediate future and long term, and has to make tough decisions across some key areas of the roster.
Notably, the Bucs need to get back under the salary cap — of which they enter the offseason $55 million over. This could mean players like Leonard Fournette, Donovan Smith, and even Lavonte David don’t return next season.
It could also mean moving players who are still under contract to try and offset costs while also using the opportunity to flip them for future assets to help rebuild the team down the line.
One of those guys could be wide receiver Chris Godwin.
ESPN suggests Bucs trade Chris Godwin to Giants
In his bold offseason predictions column for ESPN, Bill Barnwell speculates the Buccaneers might be wise to cash in on Chris Godwin’s recent success — and return to health — in order to pick up pieces to help build a future in Tampa Bay.
One team he points to as a potential trade partner is the New York Giants, who could offer up a first-round pick to land Godwin as part of Brian Daboll’s offense.
"The Giants sit at No. 25 and don’t have a significant receiver on the roster for quarterback Daniel Jones. Would trading for Godwin accelerate their offense? I wouldn’t advocate trading Godwin for pennies on the dollar, but Licht should be willing to take calls on him."
Keep in mind that this is merely a musing, and Barnwell isn’t reporting via sources that he’s hearing a deal is close or even being talked about. This isn’t a question of whether the Bucs are trading Godwin, it’s debate about if they should seriously consider such a thing if the right deal comes along?
For the sake of argument, let’s live in this hypothetical for a moment.
“Licht should be willing to take calls on him,” is the crux of it, as the Bucs would be foolish to not consider offers for key players right now who might not factor into the future.
Tampa Bay need to figure out a path forward, and it’s not going to be easy. Right now the team is trying to get out from under a $55 million salary cap bill before it can begin to make moves, something that has taken the team out of the running for Derek Carr.
Getting a first-round pick for Godwin this year could go a long way. It frees up roughly $8 million and takes his $20 million next season off the books. A trade would hit the Bucs with another $15 million in dead cap, which is on top of the $35 million dead cap space left in the wake of Tom Brady’s retirement, but trading Godwin would be a sure fire signal that the front office is tearing off band-aids now to free up moves in the future.
Taking Godwin’s money off the books and getting a first-round pick that could be used to replace him — either with the No. 25 pick or trading is for more capital — seems like a tough decision now that could pay off later.
Make no mistake, losing Godwin would hurt. But he’s a free agent after next season and who’s to say the Bucs aren’t in a better situation heading into 2025 and he decides to come back home?