Super Bowl Champion and four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans is looking for a new contract and set a deadline for an extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Week 1. HIs representation also has indicated to the Buccaneers that he will look to play somewhere else in 2024 if the two sides cannot agree to a deal by the start of this season.
This would be a massive blow to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that could win the NFC South as the rest of the division attempts to find their footing. Evans is currently on the final season of a five-year, $82.5 million deal with $55 million of that guaranteed. His current deal is 18th amongst wide receivers with $16.5 million per season and he likely would want a jump to some of the elite wide receivers as his running mate Chris Godwin is currently making $20 million per season.
What will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do with Mike Evans?
According to Spotrac, the Buccaneers currently have $19.7 million in cap space in 2024, which is a little less than the league average. Evans is entering his age-30 season in 2023 and has at least 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first nine seasons. He is certainly a wide receiver one and making him a Buccaneer for life should be the top priority for general manager Jason Licht and the Buccaneers’ front office.
Evans has been the poster child for the team since being drafted in 2014 as he has never had an off-the-field issue but his age is going to be a question mark. Locking up an all-time Buccaneer should be the priority with the window in the NFC South not being closed and this gives the team a chance to either have Baker Mayfield or a different quarterback the chance to have one of the biggest targets in the game.
What will happen?
Personally, the Buccaneers have lost a majority of the offense from the Super Bowl victory a few seasons ago. The Buccaneers may not agree to a contract before the season but it is indicative for the team to do so. However, with their window closing of being a contender in the NFC, it is easy to believe Mike Evans will be catching passes in a different uniform next season.
The team could be hitting the reset button in 2024 as a lot of impactful pieces on both sides of the ball like Devin White, Lavonte David and Antoine Winfield Jr. are also free agents. It will be interesting to see what Tampa Bay does going forward in the future. A lot of greats happen to play for more than one team in their career and the opportunity for that to happen to Evans is more realistic than ever.