The Buffalo Bills are seen as a top candidate to land Mike Evans if he hits the trade block — even if they can’t afford his salary as it currently stands.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver is seeking a new contract but may not get it before his self-imposed deadline before the start of the season. ESPN NFL insider Dan Graziano predicted that the Buccaneers could trade Evans rather than commit to a long-term deal, finding a willing partner and building assets for an expected rebuild.
“Teams spent the offseason struggling for solutions at wide receiver, and not all of them found those solutions,” Graziano wrote. “The demand will continue as the season rolls along and as injuries set in. The Buccaneers are in rebuild mode after Tom Brady’s retirement, and they’re carrying almost $77 million in dead cap money this year, trying to dump as much of that hit as possible into this year so they can go back into acquisition mode next year.”
Pro Football Network’s Dallas Robinson believes the Bills could be one of those willing trade partners.
Bills Could Find Creative Way to Add Mike Evans
Robinson noted that the Bills would not have enough cap space to add Evans at his current salary, and would need to give him an extension or restructure other contracts. Though it would take some work, Robinson wrote that it “might be worth it for Buffalo as they start another quest for a Super Bowl.”
Star Tampa Bay #Buccaneers WR Mike Evans is likely playing his last season with the team, due to talks regarding an extension have stalled, per@NFLSTROUD #NFLRumors #gobucs
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) September 1, 2023
“Adding a veteran like Evans would give the Bills one of the best one-two punches in the league, with Stefon Diggs and Evans offering complementary skill sets,” Robinson wrote. “Gabe Davis would be pushed down a peg and become Buffalo’s WR3, a role he’s perhaps better suited for.”
The Bills have been named a potential suitor for other top receivers in recent months, including DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr., but held off on making any big moves.
The Bills did make some smaller upgrades on offense, moving up in the first round of the NFL Draft to select tight end Dalton Kincaid. The Bills also added speedy receiver and return specialist Deonte Harty along with former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Trent Sherfield, while also signing veteran running backs Damien Harris and Latavius Murray.
Rival Could Also Pursue Bucs Receiver
If the Bills don’t end up landing Evans, they could see him join a rising divisional rival. Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports picked the New York Jets as a top potential suitor for the four-time Pro Bowler, noting that he could help complete the offseason overhaul.
“Another Super Bowl hopeful who hasn’t been shy about adding big-name players to its roster,” DeArdo wrote. “Evans has already thrived playing alongside Tom Brady, so developing chemistry with Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t be an issue. Evans would also be an ideal mentor for budding star and reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson.”
The Buccaneers may not be moving Evans anytime soon. As ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported on September 1, Evans said he has no plans for a holdout and will be playing in the team’s first game on September 10.
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