Free agency is a dance, between the free agent and the organization. Oftentimes there are several moving parts to any deal. In the case of Chris Godwin, there are 4 beats to this song, which we’re going to look into here, in context of Godwin’s most recent statements that he wants “to stay but also wants to get paid”.
Mutual Interest – This would mean that both the player and organization want a deal to get done and will work towards this, but doesn’t guarantee a deal. In some cases, there isn’t the mutual interest and this is only one sided, sometimes a player wants a new challenge (we’ll discuss later) or the franchise wants to move on from a player. With Chris Godwin, both sides have certainly expressed their mutual interest. The Buccaneers re-sign Godwin, who is a known quantity and is rapidly becoming one of the best receivers in the league. Godwin gets to continue the status quo and build within a team and players he knows. The free agent wideout has often expressed his happiness with life in Tampa which will definitely help both sides.
Money – The great equalizer of any potential negotiation is the almighty dollar. In all my years covering the game, and I’m sure yours as fans, I’ve often seen a player sign a huge dollar amount on a new team. Sometimes this team isn’t a good fit, or challenging for a championship; but they had the money. Godwin himself has stated that, although he wants to be paid, he doesn’t want to be “unhappy for a few extra dollars”. As stated previously, Godwin is happy in Tampa and wants to re-sign, provided the front office in Tampa doesn’t low-ball him. Players are very aware of market value and where they are in terms of what they should be paid, and we cannot ignore that contracts aren’t essentially about the dollars, but the respect that is indicated by the size of the contract.
Prospects – How good is the team interested in a players services? In some cases, teams that are rebuilding need to spend on free agents to help the rebuilding process, others will throw money at a player they believe they can build a franchise around. In rare cases, a team that is ready to win it all comes calling. For Tampa Bay, they are world champions, and the re-signing of key free agents could propel them to another Super Bowl. Chris Godwin must decide between teams that enquire about his signature, how competitive each team will be. Personally, I doubt that Godwin will leave to a rebuilding team, after being part of so many poor teams in Tampa until his final year.
Fresh Pastures – Players are people too. We’ve all experienced a time when we have felt stale in a situation or employment, this affects players too. It might be family reasons, personal reasons, or even the player just feels that it’s time to move on.
Conclusion – The likelihood of Godwin remaining in Pewter and Red is high. Looking at the things that free agents generally consider when signing or re-signing point that the Bucs are the best potential destination. Both the team and the player want to return. The estimated market value for Godwin seems to be around the $17million area and it’s highly likely that if the front office is around this price that Godwin continues to catch passes from Tom Brady in the immediate future. Taking Godwin’s comments about not being “unhappy for a few extra dollars” it’s even more possible that Godwin isn’t looking for a huge payday, regardless of who is signing the cheque. What makes me believe that Godwin will return comes down to the prospects of the Buccaneers, football is a fun game, but it’s even more fun when you’re winning