After nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, four-time Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans is headed into a contract year. Does that mean, after helping the Bucs secure their second Super Bowl in team history, that Evans could be on his way out of Tampa Bay?
His contract status would suggest yes, Evans could be set for departure, especially as the team enters a potentially tumultuous season with Baker Mayfield at QB instead of Tom Brady.
But other signs point to Evans, the team’s all-time leading receiver, signing another contract for what would be his third with the Buccaneers before he ever hits free agency. It could even get done this summer.
According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, contract extension discussions with Evans and the Bucs are already underway. Sources suggest both sides would like a new agreement to be reached, with his agent, Deryk Gilmore, recently admitting that “Mike loves Tampa.”
For now, the 29-year-old receiver is set to have a $23.6 million cap hit this season, but it’s possible an extension brings that number down. Then again, Tampa Bay may prefer to take a larger cap hit this season instead of in the future as they’re not exactly projected to compete for another Lombardi Trophy in 2024.
If Evans did reach an agreement with the Buccaneers, what might his next contract look like? Stroud, a respected Buccaneers insider, compared his situation to Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders, who dominated with the Green Bay Packers for years before reaching a massive five-year, $140 million contract with $65M guaranteed.
Could Evans receive a similar deal, one that offers an average annual value of $28 million? If so, he’d become the second-highest-paid receiver in the NFL, just behind Tyreek Hill, who rakes in $30 million annually from the Miami Dolphins.
If Evans did sign a contract that compares to what Adams received, it would raise a lot of eyebrows, particularly due to him being set to turn 30 in August. Then again, after becoming the only player in NFL history to record nine consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons to begin his career, it’s hard to suggest he hasn’t already earned a top-rate contract, even if Evans isn’t considered among the very best receivers in football today.