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Mike Evans plans to explore free agency in 2024 as contract deadline with Tampa Bay Buccaneers draws near

No player has symbolized the Tampa Bay Buccaneers more than Mike Evans has for the past nine seasons. The four-time Pro Bowl receiver has recorded at least 1,000 receiving yards every year since arriving as the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, setting an NFL record.

But now Evans is preparing for his 10th season, and he’s entering the final year of his contract with the Buccaneers, setting up an uncertain future. Yet, it’s not like Evans’ camp isn’t trying to negotiate a contract extension that would likely ensure he retires as a member of the Buccaneers.

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However, Evans has set a deadline for today, limiting the Buccaneers’ chances to negotiate an extension with their leading receiver. Then again, it’s not like everyone involved hasn’t had several months or even years to get a contract done. There’s no need to draw it out to the last moment as the organization seems to be.

Technically, Evans could continue having his agent negotiate a contract once the regular season begins too, but as mentioned, Evans would like all discussions wrapped up before gameday begins on Sunday.

Complicating matters even further, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Evans won’t be willing to extend the contract negotiation deadline past today. This gives the Buccaneers just hours to get a deal done if they want to enter the season with more long-term stability at the receiver position alongside Chris Godwin.

Sources say Evans plans to explore unrestricted free agency during the 2024 offseason if an extension is not reached. It would be the first time Evans hits the open market in his NFL career, and he’d be doing so with a strong resume.

The Buccaneers also have rookie sixth-round pick Trey Palmer, undrafted rookie Rakim Jarrett, and last year’s undrafted signee Deven Thompkins. Sooner or later, they’ll need to add a lot more depth at the position, especially if the Bucs let Evans test free agency.

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