Despite being knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, fans of the Washington football team still have a vested interest in this weekend’s Super Bowl.
For fans of the eliminated teams, the offseason is in full swing, with free agency and the NFL Draft looming on the horizon. This is especially true for a team like the Washington Football Team, which seems to be a few pieces away from being serious NFC title contenders.
While much of the offseason talk surrounding Washington has focused on the quarterback position, another pressing need that needs to be addressed is the wide receiver position. Running back JD McKissic ranked second on the team in receptions, which, while good for McKissic, doesn’t bode well for the depth of the wide receiver position aside from Terry McLaurin.
Finding a complement for McLaurin, who has 1,118 yards in 15 games, is crucial to the success of any signal Washington’s front office hands out for the 2021 campaign. In McLaurin’s two years in Washington, the 477 receiving yards of Cam Sims in 2020 are the closest of any wide receiver to McLaurin’s totals.
In head coach Ron Rivera’s brief tenure, Washington showed he wasn’t afraid to make a splash in free agency to bolster the position. Washington was heavily involved in negotiations for the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver amari cooper last offseason. Cooper signed a five-year, $100 million deal to stay with Dallas, turning down an offer from Washington that would have been bigger than that.
Washington can make a splash in the next free agency with one of the stars of this weekend’s Super Bowl: Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin. Godwin’s rookie contract with Tampa Bay is set to expire this offseason, where he will enter free agency at the top of the wide receiver class.
Why Chris Godwin is a good candidate for the Washington football team
Godwin’s production this season was down slightly from his 2019 Pro Bowl campaign. In 12 games, Godwin had 840 yards and seven touchdowns. Both brands were second in Tampa Bay, behind Mike Evans.
During his four-year career, Godwin broke for 800 receiving yards three times. The 2019 campaign has been Godwin’s best so far, with career highs in receiving yards (1,333) and touchdowns (nine). Godwin’s 1,333 yards were good for third place in the NFL that season.
Despite 2019’s decline, Godwin has proven to be a valuable contributor to Tampa Bay’s run to the Super Bowl. Godwin has rushed for more than 70 yards twice in three playoff games this season and scored a touchdown in Tampa Bay’s 31-23 win over Washington on Wild Card weekend. Overall, Godwin has carved out a second-choice role on a revamped Buccaneers team.
But Godwin has the talent to be the No. 1 option on many teams in the league. With Evans ahead of him in almost every metric, Godwin will struggle for the volume and success that Evans has achieved. Plus, Tampa Bay is already on the hook for Evans’ $16.6 million cap.
Washington should have him at the top of any wide receiver free agency discussion. Godwin is likely the only receiver in the class who could contend for McLaurin’s No. 1 receiver role. While McLaurin is more than talented enough to be the best wide on a roster, having him as a second option would instantly change the game plan for opposing defenses against Washington’s offense.
The Washington football team also has the finances to be able to offer Godwin a contract at market value, which Spotrac Estimates like an annual salary of $17.1 million. Spotrac estimates Washington will have the sixth most available cap space entering free agency this spring, and the most among NFC teams.
While signing a top wide receiver may limit the team’s quarterback budget financially, the trade-off is worth it with the offensive weapons Washington could offer a new caller. .
So during a major quarterback signing making waves and headlines in the early spring, Washington could have a similar impact by building around the quarterback position, rather than through it. This approach begins with the redesign of the wide reception room, which no available receiver accomplishes quite like Godwin.
Of course, the Buccaneers could throw a curve ball into this whole scenario by using the one-year franchise tag on Godwin. Speak New York Post, the Buccaneers are likely to use the tag on Godwin or defensive end Shaquil Barrett. Luckily for Washington, the remaining class of free agent wide receivers runs deep, with stars like Allen Robinson and JuJu Smith-Schuster potentially available at the right price.
But for now, as the Super Bowl approaches, fans of the Washington football team can sit back and dream of how Washington can get to the big game. When it comes to wide receivers, no available player can help Washington achieve that goal quite like Chris Godwin.