Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said after the Super Bowl that he was “very. very confident” the team would be able to retain their key free agents and reiterated that confidence when the team celebrated their title at a boat parade last week.
Arians got another chance to weigh in on the topic when he spoke to reporters and his tone was a bit different. Arians said that he thinks players “know they have something special,” but touched on the financial realities that often drive decisions for free agents.
He said he thinks players will stay if the money is close and that can be a problem for coveted players like wide receiver Chris Godwin. Arians said he doesn’t get involved with contracts, but suggested the Bucs will be willing to pony up for the wideout.
“I think he loves it here,” Arians said, via Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s hard to leave and go to another system just for money. But it’s not bad paying two No. 1 receivers, that’s for sure, when they’re as good as our two No. 1s.”
The Bucs could use the franchise tag on Godwin to ensure he gets a big raise while remaining in Tampa, but that could complicate efforts to keep others like Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David, Ndamukong Suh, and Rob Gronkowski in the fold.