How T.J. Watt’s Contract Could Impact Greenberg, Godwin Negotiations


Maintain up. What’s with that title? What does T.J. Watt need to do with Bucs extensive receiver Chris Godwin and vp of soccer administration Mike Greenberg?

Perhaps I used to be attempting to play a kind of “one among these just isn’t just like the others” video games. Bucs followers (and extra particularly Pewter Report readers) would shortly say that the plain selection could be TJ Watt, as each Godwin and Mike Greenberg (Bucs Vice President of Soccer Administration) are members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Basic soccer followers would possibly determine Greenberg because the odd man out, since Watt and Godwin are the one two soccer gamers. I perceive the confusion. However I guarantee you that every one three have turn into inextricably linked in current months.

Inspecting T.J. Watt’s Contract

On September 10, T.J. Watt signed a 4-year, $112 million contract extension with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The mega contract was largely anticipated. Watt is inarguably one of many league’s finest edge rushers, and edge rusher is a premium place that generates a few of the largest contracts within the NFL. The deal had reportedly been within the works all offseason. And but, it didn’t get finalized till only a few days previous to the Steelers’ first sport of the season.

Regardless of a presumably nice relationship between Watt and the Steelers group, the understanding that the typical annual worth (AAV) on the contract could be north of $25 million, in addition to the precedent that gamers of Watt’s caliber get locked as much as long-term contracts earlier than having the chance to check free company, the deal took a very long time to come back collectively. By most reporting, the hold-up was one among nice significance to the Bucs entrance workplace and their budding celebrity extensive receiver. In keeping with Steelers Depot, Watt and his illustration weren’t glad with the variety of years within the cope with assured salaries.

Within the NFL, contracts are sometimes reported for his or her most potential worth. However the essential numbers for groups and gamers is the assured worth. That is of particular concern to a Bucs entrance workplace that has created one of many NFL’s finest rosters by structuring contracts with little or no assured cash previous 12 months two of the contract. Listed here are some examples of post-rookie contracts the Bucs have signed gamers to within the Jason Licht period. Notice the max years/worth, signing bonus, and variety of assured years for every:

Clearly, the utmost worth of those contracts was important in size and worth. But when the participant was underperforming, he might be minimize (and plenty of have been) early within the contract with little-to-no penalty to the crew’s wage cap. This allowed the crew to maneuver on from one high-priced, disappointing participant early, signing or extending higher gamers as an alternative.

The Bucs’ technique, mixed with elite draft success over the previous 4 years, led to a roster that would help the substantial contracts of a premier quarterback, two extensive receivers, a good finish, three offensive linemen, two edge rushers, a defensive lineman and a linebacker. If these earlier contracts had bigger signing bonuses or extra assured years, transferring on from these gamers would have resulted in important useless cap. Such a catastrophe may need prevented the Bucs from maxing out their Tremendous Bowl window.

Bucs Greenberg & Godwin Should Agree On Ensures

Bucs VP of football administration

Bucs VP of soccer administration – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

This all comes again to Greenberg and Godwin. As followers of the Bucs, this technique of limiting danger in contracts is preferable. It presents substantial flexibility for a crew to maneuver on from their contractual errors and maximize its potential roster. There isn’t any query that Greenberg and his crew have excelled on this space. He’s been the architect of this efficient contract administration since earlier than Jason Licht took over as GM in 2014.

Nevertheless, Godwin’s finest pursuits are served by maximizing his ensures in each signing bonus and assured years. And that is the place the Watt contract comes into play. The Steelers group, very like the Bucs, have lengthy been detest to ensure salaries previous 12 months two in contracts. Nevertheless, with Watt they acquiesced. And that bodes effectively for Godwin, who’s now searching for a brand new contract. The Professional Bowl extensive receiver performed final season on the franchise tag.

Organizations will sometimes bend, break or blow up their modus operandi in two conditions. First, if they’re coping with an elite expertise. Second, when attempting to increase their playoff/Tremendous Bowl window. Some say Godwin doesn’t fairly fall into the primary class. However I might argue the Bucs group feels that he does, particularly contemplating the function he performs.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin

Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

In Bruce Arians’ offense, the slot receiver is a lynchpin in each the passing and working sport. It requires a singular mix of traits and skills. Godwin has the scale to be a matchup downside for historically smaller slot corners, and to assist block linebackers within the run-game. As well as, it calls for the power to run the complete route tree and be sure-handed in tight quarters. Lastly, Godwin’s post-catch talent set units him aside, particularly in comparison with different Bucs receivers. Godwin is one among a only a few receivers within the league who has all these traits.

Making use of further strain to Greenberg is the truth that the Bucs might nonetheless be of their Tremendous Bowl window subsequent 12 months. Greenberg confirmed indicators of bending his contract construction guidelines this previous offseason. To retain main free brokers from the 2020 season, he gave massive signing bonuses or void years to Lavonte David, Tom Brady, Shaq Barrett, Rob Gronkowski, and Ndamukong Suh. All these strikes both assure or doubtlessly create useless cap house sooner or later.

It’ll proceed this offseason. Godwin’s leverage with the Bucs is trying more and more like that of…TJ Watt’s leverage with the Steelers final 12 months. In fact, the excellent news is Godwin doesn’t carry the identical “bust” potential as Michael Johnson or Anthony Collins. Consequently, the Bucs won’t thoughts tying important cap to him for an prolonged time period.

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