There is a belief that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are aiming to use the franchise tag on cornerback Carlton Davis. This was first being talked about in early February with myself and a party close to Carlton Davis. It is my understanding, through those conversations, that Davis wouldn’t mind playing on the franchise tag if it was offered. A majority of fans do not like this idea. According to Pewter Report, Jason Licht stated that all options are on the table for Carlton Davis and that it is believed that it is likely that the Bucs will use the tag on him.
“All options are on the table,” Licht said. “He’s a very good player. We’ve drafted a lot of corners over the years, and he’s been a very good player – when he’s been healthy.”
The team could use the franchise tag on Carlton Davis, which is cheaper than using it on Chris Godwin, cheaper by close to $2 million. The tag price for Davis? Close to $17.3 million. If Davis nor Godwin can come close to agreeing to terms on a long-term deal, it could go either way with the franchise tag, and considering the team has tagged someone every year for the past few, it does seem highly likely that one of them does get tagged. However, the Bucs will prioritize keeping Chris Godwin on the team, and Jason Licht certainly would love to have him back, as he stated when giving an update on his injury rehabilitation.
“From what I understand, his rehab is going well. He’s been a special player, as well, for us. He’s really overachieved in relation to where he was drafted and where we got him. It’s hard to imagine a Buccaneers’ offense without Chris Godwin, and we would love to have him back. We’ll continue to try and work towards that.”
Bucs head coach also expressed that he did not want to lose Godwin, having only just a few other wide receivers like him, and compared him to some very big named guys.
“Yeah, I’ve only had two before — Hines Ward and Larry Fitzgerald — so I don’t really want to lose Chris. They’re hard, hard to find. Reggie Wayne, too. He’s the other one.”
The team, of course, would like to have both Davis and Godwin return, but the logical choice for the franchise tag would be Chris Godwin. He is certainly the one the team does not want to let see what’s on the market and it is the belief going around the NFL that the Bucs are not going to allow the chance for him to see what is out there. The tag price for Godwin? $19.1 million, which is a million dollars more than what he is expected to reach per year in free agency. Hopefully, the team can bring back both of these guys. Davis could get the tag because of the lower price, but Godwin being tagged is most likely in the plans if they cannot come to an agreement, especially if the team is hoping to attract a championship-caliber quarterback. That is still not off the table.