Despite being eliminated from the playoffs in the opening round, fans of the Washington Football Team still have a vested interest in this weekend’s Super Bowl.
For fans of eliminated teams, the offseason is in full swing, with free agency and the NFL Draft looming large. This is especially true for a team like the Washington Football Team, which seems to be just a couple of pieces away from being serious contenders for the NFC title.
While much of the offseason chatter surrounding Washington has dealt with the quarterback position, another pressing need that must be addressed is the wide receiver position. Running back J.D. McKissic ranked second on the team in receptions, which, while good for McKissic, does not bode well for the depth of the wide receiver position aside from Terry McLaurin.
More from Riggo's Rag
- Highlighting the best Commanders 2023 NFL Draft betting props
- 3 late Commanders rumors drawing buzz ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft
- 4 bold predictions for the Commanders 2023 NFL Draft
- Commanders News: Chase Young trade, draft day, CB riser and Sam Howell
- Bet365 VA Bonus Code – Claim $200 Guaranteed With Sign-Up Bonus
Finding a complement for McLaurin, who tallied 1,118 yards in 15 games, is crucial for the success of whatever signal-caller Washington’s front office entrusts for the 2021 campaign. In McLaurin’s two years in Washington, Cam Sims’ 477 receiving yards in 2020 is the closest any wide receiver has come to McLaurin’s yardage totals.
In the brief tenure of head coach Ron Rivera, Washington has shown that it is not afraid to make a big splash in free agency to bolster the position. Washington was heavily involved in negotiations for Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper last offseason. Cooper signed a five-year, $100 million deal to remain with Dallas, turning down an offer from Washington that was reportedly larger than that.
Washington can make a similar splash in the upcoming free agency with one of the stars of this weekend’s Super Bowl: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 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 fit for the Washington Football Team
Godwin’s production this season dipped slightly from his 2019 Pro Bowl campaign. In 12 games, Godwin totaled 840 yards and seven touchdowns. Both marks were second on Tampa Bay, trailing Mike Evans.
In his four-year career, Godwin has broken 800 receiving yards three times. The 2019 campaign so far was Godwin’s best, tallying career-highs in receiving yards (1,333) and touchdowns (nine). Godwin’s 1,333 yards were good for third in the NFL that season.
Despite the dip from 2019, Godwin has proven to be a valuable contributor to Tampa Bay’s run to the Super Bowl. Godwin has gained over 70 yards twice in three postseason games this season and caught a touchdown in Tampa Bay’s 31-23 victory over Washington on Wild Card weekend. All in all, Godwin has carved out a role as the second option 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. In addition, Tampa Bay is already on the hook for Evans’ $16.6 million cap hit.
Washington should have him at the top of any free agency discussion on wide receivers. Godwin is likely the only receiver in the class that could wrestle the No. 1 receiver role from McLaurin. While McLaurin is more than talented enough to be the top wideout on a roster, having him as the second option would instantly change how opposing defenses gameplan 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 as a $17.1 million annual salary. Spotrac estimates that Washington will have the sixth-most available cap space entering free agency this spring, and the most among NFC teams.
While signing a top-tier wide receiver might limit the team’s quarterback budget from a financial standpoint, the tradeoff is worth it with the offensive weapons Washington could offer a new signal-caller.
So, while a major quarterback signing makes 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 starts with overhauling the wide receiver room, which no available receiver accomplishes quite like Godwin.
Of course, the Buccaneers could throw a curveball into this entire scenario by using the one-year franchise tag on Godwin. Per the New York Post, the Buccaneers are likely to use the tag on either Godwin or defensive end Shaquil Barrett. Fortunately for Washington, the remaining free-agent wide receiver class is deep, with stars like Allen Robinson and JuJu Smith-Schuster potentially available at the right price.
But for now, as the Super Bowl approaches, Washington Football Team fans 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 this goal quite like Chris Godwin.