Chris Godwin is arguably the best wide receiver available in NFL free agencies, not named Davante Adams. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers star suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the Week 14 loss to the New Orleans Saints. As long as the rehab process goes well, he should be a highly sought after commodity.
Several NFL teams are in the market for a no. 1 receiver. Godwin played in a talented offense at Tampa Bay, but he has the skill set to step into the lead role. He recorded 98 receptions for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games.
These five teams should be in play for the Penn State product once NFL free agency opens.
Chris Godwin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during game with the Philadelphia Eagles | Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Upgrading the wide receiver position has to be the No. 1 priority for the Cleveland Browns front office heading into NFL free agency. The 2022 season could be Baker Mayfield’s last opportunity to put his stamp on the starting quarterback job, and he’ll need talented weapons to throw the ball to.
Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t pan out in Cleveland. Jarvis Landry reclaimed his role as the team’s top target, but he seemed better suited in the No. 2 role at this stage of his career. Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz are promising young pieces, but neither is likely to ever step into that role. That’s where Chris Godwin comes in.
The Buccaneers wideout has two 1,000-yard seasons and a Pro Bowl selection under his belt. He recorded 98 receptions for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns in 2021. That was in 14 games while sharing touches with several talented weapons. He won’t have that competition with the Browns.
New England Patriots
Here’s a good look at what went wrong on that play, with two Patriots receivers running into each other and cutting off their own routes. pic.twitter.com/q8JIsgIJSG
— Henry McKenna (@McKennAnalysis) January 9, 2022
Cleveland isn’t exactly a dream destination after their 2021 performance. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots could be a match made in heaven. It’s been a while since Bill Belichick’s squad had a true No. 1 wide receiver. Chris Godwin could fill that void.
Mac Jones had a roller-coaster rookie season. The Alabama product looked good in the middle of the season but hit the rookie wall down the stretch. Having a reliable pass-catcher in the fold could help the young quarterback develop and grow his confidence.
Godwin’s presence would take pressure off guys like Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne. New England’s offense must elevate to make it out of the AFC. Pursuing the Bucs wideout in NFL free agency could be a step in the right direction.
the Chicago Bears are in a similar situation as New England, except their rookie quarterback struggled a bit more often in the 2021 season. Justin Fields is immensely talented, but the environment wasn’t conducive for success in his first season. The preseason QB battle drama, Matt Nagy’s scheme, and poor offensive line play capped fields’ ceiling in year one.
Allen Robinson II grew frustrated with his production and role within the offense. Even though Nagy is no longer in town, the veteran receiver could opt to sign elsewhere in the offseason. If he does, Chris Godwin should be on Chicago’s radar.
The offensive line should be the top priority, but wide receiver should be next. If the Bears want to maximize Fields’ potential, they must put him in every position to succeed. A core of Godwin, Darnell Mooney, David Montgomery, and Cole Kmet is a solid start.
I don’t know how you look at the Steelers receivers this year and say Ike Hilliard deserved a contract extension. It was the right move to go in another direction, IMO.
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) February 8, 2022
The 2022 offseason will be interesting for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mike Tomlin and company are preparing for life after legendary quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It’s unclear whether Pittsburgh will look for a replacement via free agency or the draft or enter the next season with a guy already on the roster. Regardless, the Steelers could look to add talent at wide receiver.
Diontae Johnson has emerged as a potential star in the making. However, he’s had some problems with drops over the past couple of seasons. Chase Claypool is a high-upside player whose maturity has sometimes come into question. Chris Godwin is a proven talent. He gets better every year and would be an upgrade over JuJu Smith-Schuster, who may be leaving in free agency himself.
If the Steelers get it right at quarterback and land Godwin, their offense could once again return to relevancy in 2022.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Godwin wants to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. The fifth-year wideout will be seeking a big payday, and he’s certainly earned that. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to get back to the playoffs in 2022, it would be wise for them to pay Godwin.
Godwin and Mike Evans would return as one of the league’s best one-two punches at wide receiver. The quarterback position in Tampa Bay is uncertain moving forward. Still, whoever is under center would benefit from having a well-round player like Godwin at his disposal.
The 25-year-old can run the entire route tree. He excels in short-yardage situations but can also stretch the field. Tampa Bay is Godwin’s most likely home for 2022, and it is not difficult to see why.
All stats courtesy of Pro football reference