2. Top free-agent wide receivers: Chris Godwin
One of Tom Brady’s favorite pass-catchers, Godwin finds himself in a different situation than he did a year ago. Godwin was franchise-tagged by the Buccaneers after they won the Super Bowl and he responded by catching 98 passes for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns.
Those numbers came in just 14 games as Godwin missed the end of the regular season and playoffs after tearing his ACL in December. That loss clearly impacted the Buccaneers as their offense wasn’t quite the same on their way to a Divisional Round playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams.
Brady has since retired and Tampa Bay has salary cap concerns which could be exacerbated by their desire to keep contending in a weak NFC South. Finding a quarterback to replace Brady should be Tampa’s top priority and if they are able to land a star it may be tough for them to find the money to retain Godwin.
There is a chance that the Buccaneers tag Godwin again but the more likely scenario is that he gets to test the open market coming off of the torn ACL. A guy with Godwin’s track record will be extremely attractive to teams in need of weapons, leading to a bidding war that Tampa Bay may not be able to win.