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Contract Talks Between The Buccaneers And Mike Evans Are Starting To Turn Sour

Richard Rodriguez. Getty Images.

Mike Evans is in the final season of a 5-year $82 million dollar deal that he signed in 2018. It's his lowest paying year of the deal at $15.95M as well. So he will be a free agent after the season and wants to re-up with the team he's spent the first nine years of his career with. Evans also holds the record for most consecutive seasons with 1,000+ yards to start a career (nine) and is only three more seasons away from breaking Jerry Rice's record of 11 straight seasons with 1,000+ yards. That record is important to him and the Buccaneers. If he achieves it, he's likely a Hall of Famer. 

A guy who most fans would see as a "Buccaneer for life", it was a bit surprising to envision him playing elsewhere. But that's exactly what may happen as Evans wants a new deal.

Per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Evans is seeking big money.

"Evans is believed to be seeking a deal similar to the three-year, $80.1 million contract signed by Rams receiver Cooper Kupp that included $75 million guaranteed and a $20 million signing bonus." - Rick Stroud (Tampa Bay Times)

But GM Jason Licht left all the options on the table when asked directly about an Evans extension yesterday.

Even at age 30, the mammoth 6'5" 231 lbs. Receiver still looks terrific. In fact with the division on the line in January, he went for 10 catches 207 yards and 3 TDs to seal up the division. 

He's a player you simply cannot play press against.

He's also an incredible teammate and has a winning mindset. This series always stood out to me. In the game against the Jets where Antonio Brown lost his marbles, Mike Evans tried to defuse the situation, then was able to compartmentalize what just happened, go out on the field and pick up a 1st down a critical 3rd & 7.

I get it, the Buccaneers likely are not competing for a Super Bowl this year. I sure hope Baker pans out and they win the NFC South and can go farther, but reality is they are the second biggest favorites to have the #1 pick next year. Liquidating some assets for to build for the future makes sense. That being said, I do not want to trade Mike Evans. He'd likely fetch an 2nd or 3rd Round pick which is nice, but he's done a lot for this organization. He started here, thrived and is on pace to set an NFL record. He's a great teammate and a team-first guy. He wants some security and I truly hope he gets it because everything he's done in his first nine seasons shows he deserves it.