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NFL insider says Tampa Bay Buccaneers trading Mike Evans in Oct. likely for 2 major reasons

If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not an obvious contender for a playoff spot by Halloween, an NFL insider believes the team is highly likely to trade star receiver Mike Evans for two major reasons.

There is no doubt that 10-year veteran Mike Evans will go down as the greatest wide receiver in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history. He is the franchise leader for receiving yards, catches, and touchdowns, and is also fourth all-time in games played behind team legends like Warren Sapp and Mike Alstott.

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Unfortunately, there is a very good chance his time in a Bucs uniform could come to an end this season. After months of negotiations, the receiver and the organization could not come to terms on an extension after he set a deadline for talks this past week.

If he is unwilling to talk about a new deal during the season, Tampa Bay will have a tough time trying to hold on to him if he tests his value in NFL free agency next Spring. That is why there have been rumblings the organization is open to listening to trade offers for the four-time Pro Bowler.

  • Mike Evans stats (2022): 77 catches, 1,124 yards, 6 TD, 14.6 YPC

Tampa Bay Buccaneers would have larger than normal cost if they franchise-tagged Mike Evans in 2024

tampa bay buccaneers
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Some Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans may be frustrated with such a possibility, but on Sunday, The 33rd Team NFL insider Ari Meirov explained the two huge reasons why trading Evans before the Oct. 31 NFL trade deadline would be the right thing for the organization to do.

“His franchise number next year, if the Bucs did not want him to become a free agent, is going to be north of $28 million because his cap number for this year is about $23 million. So his franchise number will not be the same as every other receiver.

“Secondly, the NFL awards compensatory picks if you have a player who leaves in free agency. But one of the rules is you can only get a max of fifth-round pick [in 2025] for a player who has been in the league for 10 or more years and is not a quarterback.”

– Ari Meirov

While there is no guarantee the Buccaneers can get more than a fifth-rounder for the man entering his tenth season in the league, there is a very good chance they will if Evans is having a strong season and there is competition for him on the trade market.

But, as Meirov mentions, if Tampa Bay surprises and Baker Mayfield ends up being a successful replacement for NFL icon Tom Brady, it is likely they do not look to trade him before Oct. 31.