Bucs star named as surprise trade candidate ahead NFL Draft

Here we go again with this stuff.

Cincinnati Bengals v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cincinnati Bengals v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages
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This time last year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in a very different spot. The team had just lost Tom Brady, who retired and left a pile of dead money in his wake. The result was the Bucs needing to both cut the roster down to save money while also being in a bind that didn't allow for much movement in terms of adding pieces.

All of that led experts to assume the Bucs would trade their way out of the situation and use the draft to fill holes.

Part of that ended up being true, just not how everyone drew it up. Tampa Bay nailed its draft class with potential playmakers in Calijah Kancey, Yaya Diaby, and Trey Palmer but didn't trade up for a quarterback. In fact, the Bucs didn't trade anyone until this offseason when the team sent Carlton Davis III to Detroit for a third round pick.

Despite being in a much better -- and more competitive -- place than last year, experts are still assuming the Bucs are not only going to make some trades but give up key players for no real clear reason.

Chris Godwin is somehow being dubbed a potential trade candidate

CBS Sports looked at some potential trades that could go down before the NFL Draft and listed Chris Godwin among players who could get moved.

Riiiiiight.

Not only that, but some shade was thrown Godwin's way that goes to show how ridiculous the whole idea is.

"[The Bucs] may prefer Godwin to stick as a reliable, if unspectacular, starter. But he's entering the final year of an expensive deal, due a whopping $27.5 million in 2024, and Evans is commanding top dollar on his own new deal. Maybe they'd be open to replacing his role via the draft," Cody Benjamin wrote.

We did this last year with Mike Evans so it shouldn't be as annoying as it is, but it's still wild to think that folks think so little of the Bucs that trading Godwin is a move worth mentioning.

Even when thinking about offloading his contract the deal makes almost no sense as it sigificantly weakens Tampa Bay's offense. There could be a thread to pick at where you end up at the Bucs drafting someone like Keon Coleman or Brenden Rice to replace Godwin but in that scenario Tampa Bay can just have their cake and eat it too.

Part of the appeal of drafting a wide receiver this year is being able to put him in a trio with Evans and Godwin, with Palmer rounding out what would be an incredible receiver room. Taking Godwin out of the equation makes next to no sense, and that's before we arrive at combating the very strange criticism that he's 'unspectacular'.

Godwin had a down season last year, but to dismiss how important he's been to the offense the previous years before that is foolish. For as much good as Dave Canales did, one of the biggest criticisms about his play calling was how he'd somehow forget that Godwin existed and failed to create schemes his two best receivers.

Liam Coen could be a breath of fresh air for the Buccaneers offense and with that unlock the Godwin we're used to seeing. Tampa Bay is fine on the financial end and trading Godwin for anything less than a heist feels untethered from reality.

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