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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have a situation on their hands. For the third time in six days, Pro Bowl wide receiver Chris Godwin missed practice even though there have been no reports of him dealing with an injury. While several players got a maintenance day on Tuesday, Arians told reporters on Wednesday that rest was not the reason Godwin was absent — offering up this very cryptic quote:

“That’s for me to know and nobody else to find out,” Arians said, via ProFootballTalk. 

Godwin is coming off of a career year in which he caught 86 passes for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games played. Only Michael Thomas and Julio Jones recorded more yards in 2019. Godwin also registered a 71.1 catch percentage and averaged 11 yards per target. 

While Godwin could be dealing with an injury, there’s another possibility that seems more likely. The 24-year-old is scheduled to become a free agent after this season, and will make $2,133,000 in base salary this year, according to Spotrac. After two incredibly successful seasons, Godwin has evolved into one of the league’s premier wideouts, and he probably feels as though he deserves to be paid like one. A contract extension is something that has been discussed with Godwin, but nothing has come to fruition just yet. 

With Tom Brady now leading the Buccaneers, expectations for this unit are sky-high. While Tampa Bay is stacked with offensive weapons such as Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski, Godwin truly adds a different dimension to this offense, and he understands how important this year is.

“It’s gotta be the goal,” Godwin said earlier this offseason when asked if the Bucs were aiming for the Super Bowl. “If you’re not thinking like that, I think you’re in the wrong profession. That’s what we’re going for. Obviously, we’ve got Tom, we’ve got Gronk, we’ve got myself, Mike (Evans) … we’ve got a load of talent. The Super Bowl is in Tampa, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be striving for that.”

The Buccaneers are hoping to get this situation settled before they kick off the regular season against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 13. 

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