Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin says he would 'play on' franchise tag

With free agency awaiting, newly crowned Super Bowl champion Chris Godwin has made it known that he would love to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but cashing in is a priority, as well.

One possible outcome would be the Buccaneers applying the franchise tag to Godwin. Though he hardly seemed excited about the prospect, the four-year NFL pro indicated Thursday he'd accept the tag and would play the 2021 season on it.

"Yeah, I mean, the way I look at it, similar to like a lot of guys. Obviously, we all want to have long-term security, we all want to be able to take care of the people that we love So, that's the ideal situation. But, you know, 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 on NFL Total Access. "And I'll play on it and go back to war with my guys. Like I said, I love it here in in Tampa, I love what we have building and I would love to stay."

Godwin's contributions as part of a stellar Buccaneers wide receiver corps were crucial in Tampa's drive to a Super Bowl LV championship, but he's also part of a talented crop of impending Bucs free agents.

One of those free agents is pass rusher Shaquil Barrett, whom the Bucs tagged last season. Barrett played on the tag and things worked out about as well as possible for the now- reigning champions.

The decision to stay in Tampa at a discount or move on to greener pastures is a choice Godwin has spoken on aplenty during his media rounds. Teams have until March 9 to designate franchise players -- and thereafter until July 15 to work out an extension with players who sign their tag -- and Godwin's been forecasted as a top tag contender.

Godwin, a 2017 third-round pick, played out a four-year rookie contract in which he garnered $3.2 million over four seasons, per Over the Cap.

Free agency will bring about a huge raise, but so too would the tag, with wide receivers projected to earn $16.43 million on a 2021 tag ($14.26 on the transition tag), according to Over the Cap.

Tag or not, Tampa Bay or not, the one-time Pro Bowler and one-time Super Bowl champ is getting a massive pay bump in 2021. However, Godwin's willingness, begrudging as it might sound, to play a season on the franchise tag could bode better for the Bucs keeping the band together.

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