Perry: Why Patriots should pursue a trade for Bucs’ Chris Godwin

Perry: Why Patriots should pursue a trade for Bucs’ Chris Godwin originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots have made several investments at wide receiver this offseason, signing K.J. Osborn in free agency and adding Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker in the 2024 NFL Draft with picks No. 37 and 110, respectively.

But they still lack an elite veteran wide receiver. Which is where Chris Godwin could come in.

While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t made Godwin publicly available for trade, the 28-year-old wideout is entering the final year of his contract, and the Bucs may not have the resources to keep him beyond this season after handing Pro Bowler Mike Evans a two-year, $52 million contract.

Add in the fact that Tampa Bay used a third-round draft pick on Washington wide receiver Jalen McMillan, and there’s a case to be made for dealing Godwin. And our Phil Perry believes the Patriots should be one of his suitors.

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“They have, in my opinion, indicated that they were looking to build some receiver depth, maybe to give them a little bit of flexibility just in case they want to move on from somebody like Chris Godwin,” Perry said Wednesday of the Bucs on NBC Sports Boston’s Arbella Early Edition. “Because in the third round, they drafted Washington’s Jalen McMillan, who kind of plays the same type of game as Chris Godwin. They’re both sort of big slots.

“I get it: You could move Godwin all over the formation — it’s part of the reason why, in my opinion, the Patriots should be interested in Chris Godwin — but (the Bucs) are one of the tightest teams to the cap. They’re actually over the cap right now as we sit here today. … There’s some wonky sort of cap manipulation stuff, but if they trade him after June 1st, they can end up saving $7 million.

“So, if the team — if ownership, specifically — is looking at this and saying, ‘We just gave a lot of real guaranteed money to Mike Evans, real guaranteed money to Baker Mayfield, we can’t keep everybody. We’re about to lose this guy (Godwin) for maybe nothing. We’ve got to get something in return right now,’ that’s a deal that I would be interested in. Because even if he’s not a true No. 1, he’d be your No. 1 if you’re the New England Patriots.”

Godwin is coming off his third straight 1,000-plus-yard season in Tampa Bay. While Tom Brady was his quarterback for two of those seasons, the seven-year veteran still racked up 1,024 yards on a team-high 83 receptions in 2023 with Baker Mayfield under center. He’d easily be the top wideout in a Patriots receiver room currently featuring Kendrick Bourne (coming off a torn ACL), Osborn, JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeMario Douglas, Tyquan Thornton, Jalen Reagor, and two rookies in Polk and Baker.

New England needs more offensive firepower to put rookie quarterback Drake Maye in the best position to succeed, and Perry believes the trade market is the best path toward boosting the receiver room.

“I just look at this and I say to myself, how are you going to get the receiver talent you need to help Drake Maye become the best version of himself over the course of the next couple of years?” Perry added. “Because we just saw in free agency with Calvin Ridley — I think until this team proves that it is legit and until the quarterback proves that he is legit, it’s going to be really hard for them to convince a top-tier receiver to come here and sign as a free agent.”

“So how do you get him? You could try to draft him — or you could trade.”

Check out Perry’s full argument for a Godwin trade in the video player above.

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