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Penn State in the NFL

Former Penn State WR Chris Godwin ‘Has Meant Everything to This Franchise,’ Tampa HC Says

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 07: Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) during an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers on January 7, 2024 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire)

Indianapolis– Former Penn State WR Chris Godwin has been with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers through a lot of good and bad.

He was there through consecutive 5-11 seasons before the team hired Bruce Arians to be its head coach.

He was there when Tom Brady arrived and turned Tampa from a run-of-the-mill franchise to a Super Bowl champion. 

He was there when Brady retired, came back, and retired again, and most recently, he was there this season. That was perhaps the most up-and-down the Bucs have had since Godwin got there from Penn State in 2017. 

Tampa Bay started 3-5, then was 6-8 with three games to play. Despite finishing 8-9, Tampa made the playoffs due to the rest of the NFL South not being very good. 

Godwin will be with the Bucs this season, with it being the last on his three-year, $60 million contract that he signed in the spring of 2022. 

That was the same year Todd Bowles took over as head coach, and Bowles spoke very highly of one of his top offensive players Tuesday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. 

“Chris Godwin has meant everything to this franchise,” Bowles said, “from a leadership standpoint, from a work ethic standpoint, from a making plays standpoint, just from a culture standpoint. He does everything the right way.”

So what are some of Godwin’s best attributes?

“His work ethic is unquestioned,” Bowels said, “unrivaled.” Great toughness, a really smart player. Can go out there and mix it up, can go outside and make plays, has great hands, very unselfish, can block as well as run with the football on jet sweeps. Everything Chris has done to this date, he’s been a marvelous example of what a Tampa Bay Buccaneer is.”

Godwin has carved out a solid career in Tampa Bay. 

He’s eclipsed 1,000 four times in his seven seasons, the most recent being this past year (1,024 yards, two TDs, 83 receptions) and has done all of it while being known for his blocking and physicality. 

Godwin was an all-pro in 2019 and a Super Bowl champ after the 2020 season.

But his career has had some rough patches, such as in early December 2021, when he suffered a torn ACL. 

Godwin fought on and made it back to the field by Week 1 the next season, only missing two games and going for 1,000+.

Jason Licht was the GM that drafted Godwin, and he’s still in Tampa Bay. 

He described the 84th overall pick of the 2017 draft as a “phenomenal” player and person.

“A great example to his entire team,” Licht said. “You almost take him for granted. He’s there every day, working his ass off. He came back from a brutal injury and came back faster than everybody expected. He’s just Mr. Consistency.”

Licht feels Godwin has proved himself capable of playing both on the outside and inside, but he feels Godwin’s better as a slot man. 

“Chris is a very physical player,” he said. “He’s not afraid to work the middle. He’s not intimidated and that’s a skill in itself. He’s got fantastic hands, very instinctive player. It’s just… he can play both spots, but he just seems to excel inside, and you saw that towards the end of the year.”

Overall, the Bucs see the former Penn State star as unique.

“It’s hard to find those guys,” Licht said, “and Chris is a good one.” 

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