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Would You Rather: Keep Chris Godwin or Shaquil Barrett in Free Agency?

Isaiah De Los Santos
Who should the Tampa Bay Buccaneers keep in free agency: Chris Godwin or Shaquil Barrett?
Who should the Tampa Bay Buccaneers keep in free agency: Chris Godwin or Shaquil Barrett? / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are riding high after their Super Bowl LV win. While the victory lap is much-deserved, they have many key upcoming free agents to make decisions on, including wide receiver Chris Godwin and EDGE Shaquil Barrett.

Both could be in line for decent paydays, and the Bucs may be forced to pick one or other. With that in mind, who should the Bucs keep if they're forced to decide between Godwin or Barrett?

Chris Godwin and Shaquil Barrett Free Agency

The 2020 season featured slightly down numbers for Godwin compared to 2019, but he did only suit up in 12 games. He still made an impact, racking up 65 receptions (second-most on team), 840 yards (second-most on team) and 7 TDs (tied for second-most on team).

Godwin gave Tom Brady a second WR threat to turn to with Mike Evans drawing his own attention. It was Godwin who had two huge games in the playoffs, combining for 10 catches, 189 yards and 1 TD in the Wild Card and NFC Championship rounds.

Barrett, meanwhile, continued to bring a pass-rushing threat to the Bucs' top-rated defense. He followed up a league-leading 19.5 sacks in 2019 with 8.0 this year, good for third on the team. His 2 forced fumbles also tied him for the third-most for Tampa this season.

The EDGE made his presence felt in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl, registering a combined 4.0 sacks and 8 QB hits while facing top talents in Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes.

If faced with a decision between one or the other, Barrett seems like the best option. Brady has made a career out of getting the most from role players, so there's not a pressing need to overpay in order to keep Godwin.

Barrett, meanwhile, is integral to Tampa's defense, giving them a disruptor whom opponents must gameplan around. It was the Bucs' defensive talent that pushed them over the top on their Super Bowl run, and they'd be smart to prioritize starters from that side of the ball in free agency.

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