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Chris Godwin on Franchise Tag: ‘I’ll Play on It and Go Back to War’ with Bucs

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) walks to the locker room prior to an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Kevin Sabitus)

Kevin Sabitus/Associated Press

Wide receiver Chris Godwin is open to returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if the team used the franchise tag on him.

“A franchise tag is not something that I can control. If that’s what keeps me here, then that’s what it is,” Godwin told NFL Network’s MJ Acosta (h/t Grant Gordon of NFL.com). “And I’ll play on it and go back to war with my guys. Like I said, I love it here in Tampa, I love what we have building and I would love to stay.”

His latest statement is similar to what he said during the lead-up to the Super Bowl, when he said that he loved the team but that free agency was “definitely something I’m really considering.” 

Godwin was the Bucs’ second-most productive receiver during the regular season, with 840 yards and seven touchdowns to trail Mike Evans’ 1,006 yards and 13 scores. A third-round pick in 2017, Godwin is coming off the rookie deal he signed when the team drafted him out of Penn State.

The 24-year-old has expressed his desire for a raise on his next contract after earning $3.3 million on his rookie deal. With his consistent production—coming off of a 1,333-yard 2019 season—he’s due to earn roughly five times that salary on a new deal.

If he does stick around, that would provide a major opportunity for the Bucs to run it back in 2021. Quarterback Tom Brady, Evans, leading running back Ronald Jones II and linebacker Devin White are among players who are under contract for the upcoming season. 

The deadline to place the franchise tag on players is March 9. 

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