Star wide receiver Mike Evans remains at a “contract impasse” with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but one longtime insider sees a solution.
Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds explained that the Bucs can franchise tag Evans next year if a new deal isn’t reached by the Week 1 deadline. Evans will become a free agent next offseason, and his agent, Deryk Gilmore released a warning on Friday, September 1, to the Bucs about the deadline.
“The good news is there is still time to get a deal done, but I wouldn’t bank on getting a deal done before September 9,” Reynold said on “Pewter Pulse” on Friday. “But when I mean there’s still time, keep in mind there’s still time between the end of the season and January.”
“Keep in mind the Bucs can always use the franchise tag to keep Mike Evans as well,” Reynolds added. “I’m suspecting a big year from Mike Evans is in store. I think he’s a great fit for this Dave Canales offense, and this disappointing contract impasse should only motivate him to have a big season.”
Reynold emphasized “this may not be his last season in Tampa Bay after all” and that the Bucs really have until March 2024 before free agency to ink a new deal with Evans. The Bucs previously had star wide receiver Chris Godwin on the franchise tag in 2022 before the two sides reached an agreement before that season.
Bucs Have Parameters to Work Out a Deal With Mike Evans
Evans wants similar money to Los Angeles Rams star Cooper Kupp — a three-year, $80.1 million deal, which includes $75 million guaranteed — according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Evans currently has a five-year, $82.5 million deal, and he will count for $23.69 million against the salary cap this year.
Baker Mayfield ➡️ Mike Evans.
Will we get enough from this combo for Evans’ 10th straight 1,000-yard season to begin his career? #GoBucs pic.twitter.com/94vY1ZQy8b
— Kyle Burger (@kyle_burger) August 23, 2023
When Godwin reached a new deal with the Bucs, he received a three-year, $60 million contract. Godwin notably carries a bigger cap hit, $26.38 million, for 2024 than Evans’ 2023 cap hit.
Godwin produced six stellar seasons for the Bucs with 446 receptions for 5,666 yards and 32 touchdowns, but Evans has been historically good. He has nine-consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to start his career with the Bucs, an NFL record.
The former No. 7 pick by the Bucs in 2014, Evans has 683 catches for 10,425 yards and 81 touchdowns in his career.
Mike Evans Trade Speculation Rises
Amid the Bucs’ deadline Evans’ new deal, trade speculation arose. The Bucs would have until the trade deadline on October 31 to ship Evans if the contract deadline passes with no deal.
Gilmore stated that Evans “wants the next phase of his career to be with an organization who wants him and wants him to help win a Super Bowl”. The agent added that’s the reason for setting the contract discussion deadline for the Bucs organization.
CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo floated several teams as possibilities: the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Jets. DeArdo noted that Evans “would probably accept a smaller role on a team that has a good chance at winning it all”.
Evans previously had been linked to trade speculation throughout the offseason, but Evans expressed his interest in finishing his career with the Bucs on multiple occasions.
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