Buccaneers urged to extend star player (and it's not Tristan Wirfs)

Buccaneers GM Jason Licht
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The offseason of new contracts may not be over for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

General manager Jason Licht remained busy by handing out new deals to Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans, Lavonte David, and Antoine Winfield Jr. this spring.

Be honest. Did you expect all of those star players to return in 2024? According to Spotrac, the Bucs spent $237.4 million on contract extensions this offseason, the fourth-highest total in the league.

Licht may need to ensure another star player signs an extension before too long. Tristan Wirfs only has a year remaining on his contract and is an obvious candidate for a new deal. However, ESPN believes the Buccaneers should prioritize extending another veteran first.

ESPN believes extending Chris Godwin is 'final' move Buccaneers need to make before training camp

With training camp just around the corner, ESPN's Aaron Schatz wrote about the "final" moves each team in the league should make. He believes the Buccaneers should work on an extension with wide receiver Chris Godwin.

"Godwin's contract voids after the 2024 season, but let's not overthink this. He's absolutely an above-average NFL starting wide receiver and someone Tampa Bay wants to keep around," writes Schatz. "An extension might also help spread out the cap hit for Godwin over the three void years where the Bucs would be carrying dead money for him under the current contract."

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Godwin is an "above-average" wide receiver? Three straight 1,000-yard seasons count as just above average? OK.

But that's another conversation. Extending Godwin is an interesting one, as the Buccaneers spent a third-round pick on Jalen McMillan. Can they afford to pay Godwin and Evans in the same offseason?

As Schatz points out, an extension could actually help the Buccaneers with the salary cap, allowing them to spread out the cap hits. Per Spotrac, they currently will pay $27.53 million this year, along with $18.85 million in dead money in 2025, despite Godwin's contract expiring.

Re-signing Godwin should be a priority, but the Buccaneers also need to figure out a long-term deal with Wirfs in the near future.

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