It is attainable that the Eagles had Chris Godwin in thoughts after they drafted vast receivers J.J. Arcega-Whiteside within the second spherical in 2019 and Jalen Reagor within the first spherical in 2020.
As in, two gamers who, mixed, might be what Godwin is by himself.
In Arcega-Whiteside, the Eagles noticed a receiver who might come down with 50-50 balls and was a prepared blocker for his place. In Reagor, the Eagles noticed a pace receiver who might additionally play within the slot and run the jet sweeps.
Godwin, who grew up in Middletown, Delaware, then starred at Penn State, has completed all of that ever because the Bucs picked him within the third spherical of the 2017 draft.
Return to the NFC Championship sport final January, when Godwin outran and outleaped Packers security Darnell Savage, the Caravel Academy star, and hauled in a 52-yard go from Tom Brady to arrange a landing.
Godwin then clinched the Bucs’ upset win by gaining 6 yards on a jet sweep on Third-and-5 with lower than a minute left. That enabled the Bucs to expire the clock and stop Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers from getting an opportunity to guide a comeback victory.
Or when Godwin laid a punishing block earlier this season on a Dolphins defender that enabled operating again Leonard Fournette to attain a landing.
“Stuff like that, I get juiced up about, as a result of that’s me straight contributing in the direction of a win,” Godwin informed Delawareonline/The Information Journal in October about his block. “It’s not one thing that can present up within the stat sheet or something like that. It’s simply me doing my job to one of the best of my capability and serving to the crew.”
The Eagles will not see Godwin after they face the Buccaneers within the wildcard spherical of the NFC playoffs on Sunday. That is as a result of Godwin tore his ACL on Dec. 19 in opposition to the New Orleans Saints. He had surgical procedure final week.
“It’s a giant loss,” Eagles linebacker Alex Singleton stated. “Everybody is aware of how good Godwin is, and what he was in a position to do for them. We’re clearly not going to have to arrange for him, which is sort of good for us.”
The Bucs’ offensive juggernaut hasn’t been the identical with out Godwin. Positive, the Bucs nonetheless have a prolific offense led by quarterback Tom Brady. Tampa Bay ranks first in passing yards, averaging 308 per sport, and second in scoring at 30.1 factors per sport.
They usually nonetheless have prime receivers in Mike Evans, Breshad Perriman and tight finish Rob Gronkowski. Brady, at age 44, threw for five,316 yards and 43 touchdowns this season.
Or as Eagles coach Nick Sirianni put it: “It is the identical man pulling the set off again there.”
However Brady has not been as dominant during the last 4 video games, starting with Godwin’s damage and adopted a number of weeks later by Antonio Brown leaving the crew, then getting launched.
Brady has accomplished 64.9% of his passes throughout that span, a very good deal under his season mark of 67.5%. And his passer ranking over the 4 video games is 95.1, additionally off from his season ranking of 102.1.
“He’s an ideal participant,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians stated about Godwin in a convention name. “You speak about an All-Professional participant who’s had a profession season. He does a lot for us. And he’s a singular participant.
“We don’t attempt to ask different guys to be him. Byron (Leftwich, the Bucs’ offensive coordinator) has completed an ideal job taking the blokes that he has every week – it’s been a bunch of various ones – and placing them in place to the place they are often profitable.
“However none of them are Chris Godwin.”
Passing on Godwin in draft
Neither are Arcega-Whiteside and Reagor.
That is why the Eagles will most definitely spend the offseason looking out, whether or not in free company or by way of commerce, for a large receiver like Godwin.
Heck, it might find yourself being Godwin himself.
Godwin might be eligible at no cost company after signing the franchise tag final spring. The advantage of the franchise tag is Godwin was assured $15.98 million for this season.
The dangerous factor: It is a one-year contract, when Godwin most assuredly would have wished a long-term deal. Now he has a knee damage to rehab that might have an effect on his subsequent contract.
The Giants, for instance, signed Kenny Golladay final spring to a four-year free-agent deal value as a lot as $72 million, with $40 million assured. Golladay solely had 37 catches for 521 yards and 0 TDs.
That might be a very good place to begin for what Godwin might have gotten earlier than his damage.
Godwin had 98 catches for 1,103 yards in 14 video games this season. Each numbers nonetheless led the Buccaneers. In 2019, Godwin had 1,333 yards receiving and was chosen to the Professional Bowl.
Mixed, Arcega-Whiteside and Reagor have 60 catches for 985 yards – of their careers.
In fact, if the Eagles do go after Godwin, they may seemingly have to attend a minimum of into the early a part of subsequent season earlier than he could be able to play.0.
And it is attainable the Bucs might determine to position the franchise tag on him once more, or signal him to a long-term deal earlier than the beginning of the brand new league 12 months.
But when the Eagles do get Godwin, they’d be righting a unsuitable by not drafting him within the first place.
Sure, that might have occurred in 2017.
The Eagles initially had the 74th total choose within the third spherical. Within the second spherical, they selected cornerback Sidney Jones, who was going to overlook most or all of his rookie season after tearing his Achilles throughout his pre-draft Professional Day.
The Eagles seemingly figured that they wanted to draft one other cornerback who might play that season, so they traded again from No. 74 to No. 99 and picked Rasul Douglas.
The Bucs took Godwin at No. 84.
The Eagles launched each Jones and Douglas after the 2019 season. Each gamers have bounced across the NFL since, however each turned starters this season – Jones with the Seattle Seahawks, and Douglas with the Packers.
Douglas, it ought to be famous, was plucked off Arizona’s follow squad earlier this season as a result of Inexperienced Bay was decimated by accidents at cornerback. He ended up beginning, intercepting 5 passes, and was named a Professional Bowl alternate.
Eagles WR scenario in ’17
However there’s extra in relation to how the Eagles botched not drafting Godwin.
On the one hand, it appeared just like the Eagles had been set at vast receiver in 2017. That they had simply signed veteran Alshon Jeffery as a free agent, and so they had Nelson Agholor, their first-round choose in 2015, together with Torrey Smith.
After two disappointing seasons, Agholor lived as much as his billing in 2017 when the Eagles received the Tremendous Bowl. And Jeffery was additionally a prime receiver that season.
Then again, the Eagles had been searching for a pipeline of younger vast receivers, in order that they drafted Mack Hollins within the fourth spherical and Shelton Gibson within the fifth spherical.
Neither panned out, though Hollins has managed to carve out a job with the Dolphins. Gibson has by no means performed in an NFL sport after leaving the Eagles.
The accidents and age caught as much as Jeffery after that Tremendous Bowl season. Agholor by no means duplicated his 2017 season. And DeSean Jackson, Godwin’s teammate his first two seasons in Tampa Bay, stored breaking down with accidents after the Eagles traded for him within the spring of 2019.
That left the Eagles in determined want of a large receiver within the 2019 draft.
So that they took Arcega-Whiteside within the second spherical. When he struggled as a rookie, the Eagles took Reagor within the first spherical in 2020.
Positive, the Eagles might have fastened their vast receiver points with both D.Ok. Metcalf in 2019 (he went seven picks after Arcega-Whiteside) and/or Justin Jefferson in 2020 (he went proper after Reagor).
The Eagles then picked DeVonta Smith within the first spherical final spring. Smith broke Jackson’s franchise rookie receiving file with 916 yards. Jackson had 912 yards in 2008.
However the Eagles clearly want one other confirmed vast receiver to pair with Smith, and that might come both in free company or by way of commerce. As a free agent, Godwin could be an ideal match as somebody who might get open each deep and beneath, run the jet sweep and block.
Chances are high, if Brady returns for one more season, he would need Godwin to return, too. Definitely, the Bucs would make that occur to maintain Brady glad.
Brady has typically made it clear how a lot he admires Godwin and enjoys taking part in with him.
Earlier than the Tremendous Bowl, Brady was requested what it meant to him for Godwin to modify from No. 12 to No. 14 to accommodate Brady when he signed with Tampa Bay within the spring of 2020:
“I simply love my expertise with Chris,” Brady stated. “He’s a stud, it doesn’t matter what quantity he’s carrying. He’s a baller.”
Contact Martin Frank at [email protected] Observe on Twitter @Mfranknfl.