YOU TALKIN’ TO ME – MARCH 6
By Leo Haggerty & Rob Kriete
WHO SHOULD THE BUCS FRANCHISE
Brooklyn, you listening, this is a no-brainer. The Buccaneers need to hang the franchise tag on WR Chris Godwin for three reasons.
First, Godwin is the most versatile of all the wide receivers on the Pewter Pirates roster. We both know that he can play outside against the top NFL cornerback outside the numbers. The former Penn State star can also be effective inside when he lines up in the slot and works the middle of the field.
Second, the 6′ 1″ Philadelphia native will play hurt. He fractured his left index finger against the Raiders on October 25 in Las Vegas. That led to surgery on Tuesday to stabilize the digit. Normally, you would think that severe of an injury would sideline someone, especially a receiver, for multiple weeks at best.
The ONLY game the 2017 3rd round draft pick of the Bucs missed was the Monday night contest in New York against the Giants. The Middleton (DE) High School sensation was back on the gridiron the following Sunday against the Saints. Can’t question his toughness, right?
Finally, the 209 pounder is just hitting his stride. Godwin, who just turned 25 last week, is two years younger than possible Hall of Fame teammate Mike Evans who set an NFL record with seven consecutive 1,000 plus receiving yards. Having Godwin on-field definitely helps Evans get single coverage.
Defenses cannot just double team the 6′ 4″ Texas A&M alum because #14 can do as much damage as #13. This isn’t Robin playing second fiddle to Batman. This is Agent J on an equal plane as Agent K with the difference being this is the “Men in Pewter” sequel. You catch my drift here, BKLYN?
No slight of Shaq but this is the smart way to go. Hey, Brooklyn, top that one, big boy. Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you.
Hey, now, Low Ball.
I like Chris Godwin the same. When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks a few years ago, Godwin was the guy who stood out to me even then. His drive and work ethic, combined with his steady hands make him an unbelievable offensive weapon.
But, on this Buccaneer team, seemingly every receiver on offense is a legitimate weapon for Tom Brady. The key for this team to return to the Super Bowl lies with the defense, so the Bucs must franchise-tag Shaq Barrett!
The single-season sack leader for the Bucs (19.5 in 2019), Barrett has been integral in pressuring opposing quarterbacks as the Tampa Bay defense got better each game from November through the playoffs. Beating future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and (most likely) Patrick Mahomes, took more than Tom Brady. Ask ’em.
Shaq Barrett sacked each of those quarterbacks this season with three against Rodgers in Green Bay and one against Mahomes in Super Bowl LV.
Low Ball, this is the most offensively talented Buccaneer team this town has ever seen. Players from around the league are clamoring to join Tom Brady for another run at the Super Bowl. Last I looked, there remains one ball. Unfortunately, Godwin, doesn’t play at a position of need for this team.
Shaq Barrett is a necessary piece of the Bucs 2021 Super Bowl LVI aspirations. A leader on a defense that has grown into a defensive force in the NFL. Without Shaq, the Bucs will continue to score a ton of points but will be more susceptible to giving a lot up if he is not chasing down quarterbacks for the Bucs in 2021.
Sorry, Low Ball, Barrett is the guy the Bucs need over Chris Godwin next season.