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Reports: Chris Godwin & Mike Gesicki Face Franchise Tag As Allen Robinson Hits Free Agency

Update, March 16: Chris Godwin has reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport.

Godwin’s new $60 million deal reportedly includes $40 million fully guaranteed at signing. He’d next become a free agent when he’s 29.

Original Story: Per reports from league analysts, former Penn State stars Chris Godwin and Mike Gesicki will receive franchise tags before the NFL’s 4 p.m. deadline on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears are expected to let Allen Robinson hit free agency after getting tagged last year.

Both the Buccaneers and the Dolphins can still sign their tagged players to long-term deals. The franchise tag allows them to retain plays for another season and hold negotiating rights instead of permitting their players to enter free agency.

Under the tag, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would pay Godwin around $19 million guaranteed for this upcoming year. The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, would pay Gesicki slightly under $11 million. Robinson will be free to negotiate with any team when the free agency window opens on March 16.

If the Buccaneers and Chris Godwin fail to agree to a longterm contract, the former Nittany Lion star will begin his second straight offseason under the franchise tag. The Buccaneers are still expected to pursue a long-term deal, though reportedly “no deal is close or imminent.” Regardless, it appears Godwin will remain in Tampa Bay for 2022.

Without a longterm deal, Godwin will almost certainly hit free agency next offseason. With the compounding values of the franchise tag, the cost of a third consecutive tag would be vastly above the wide receiver’s market.

As Tom Brady’s favorite target in 2021, Godwin set career marks in targets and catches with 127 and 98, respectively. He likely would have set a career high in receiving yards as well, before an untimely ACL tear in week 14. Through 14 games, Godwin amassed 1103 receiving yards – just 230 short of the total from his 2019 Pro Bowl campaign.

In three seasons at Penn State, Godwin recorded 2,421 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns on 154 receptions. His career yard total is the sixth-highest in program history. In his final game, Penn State’s classic Rose Bowl appearance against USC, Godwin caught nine passes for 187 yards and two touchdown passes.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Gesicki’s tag Tuesday morning. Gesicki was rumored to receive the tag in days prior, but there was some debate over what position he would be tagged as. The former Nittany Lion star preferred to be tagged as a wide receiver, which would warrant a higher salary for the year, though the Dolphins ultimately opted to designate him as a tight end.

Gesicki finished the season as the Dolphins’ No. 2 pass catching option behind rookie receiver Jaylen Waddle. Over 17 games, Gesicki recorded 73 receptions on 112 targets, 780 yards, and two touchdowns.

At Penn State, Gesicki’s career totals reached 129 receptions, 1481 receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns. After four seasons, Gesicki finished with the 10th-most receptions in school history as well as the most from a Penn State tight end ever.

Since last year, rumors have persisted about Robinson’s dissatisfaction with his situation in Chicago. Now, that saga figures to close as sources report that the Bears will skip tagging Robinson.

In 2019 and 2020, Robinson recorded consecutive seasons with over 1,000 yards. However, the Penn Stater’s success was limited in 2021. Over the season, Robinson was only targeted 66 times, less than 44% of his previous season’s total. He converted his targets into a measly 38 receptions, 410 yards, and a lone touchdown.

Robinson played three seasons as a Nittany Lion. In those three years, Robinson recorded 177 catches for 2479 yards and 17 touchdowns. Most of his production came from his sophomore and junior seasons, as he caught only three passes as a freshman. In the 2012 season, Robinson became the first Penn State receiver to lead the Big Ten in receptions and receiving yards since 1985 before doing it again the following year.

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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