Report: Buccaneers Evans Plans to Test Free Agency


Tampa Bay Buccaneers pending free agent wide receiver Mike Evans Plans to explore his options in free agency. The report from The Athletic’s Dianna Russini states that Evan plans to hit free agency to explore his options.

Russini goes on to say the Buccaneers and Evans are still in discussions. But he wants to hear from all teams interested in his services.

This appears to be a situation similar to how the Bucs handled linebacker Lavonte David’s recent contract negotiations. Let the player test the market but ultimately re-sign him. Let’s hope that’s how this plays out.

Our own Jeremy Morrow recently dropped a series of articles focused on which pending free agents the Bucs should re-sign or let walk. Here’s what he had to say about Evans.

As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head into the offseason we will be going over each potential free agent the team needs to make a decision on. Do the Pewter Pirates “Re-Sign or Let Walk” will be a series of articles analyzing who we think will/should stay and who will be let go to test the free agent market. Up next, wide receiver Mike Evans.

Spotrac’s Assessment

At this time Spotrac has Mike Evans sitting at $95.3 million over four years as his assessed value. That works out to approximately $23.8 million a year average. Taking into account other receiver’s close to Mike Evans caliber such as Stefon Diggs, Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill, and Davante Adams. The average length of those contracts is four years at $109 million. Putting the numbers at $27.2 million a year. Now the average age at the time of signing was a few years younger than Evans at 28.3 years old. Evans will be closer to 31 years old a the start of the 2024 season so one must assume that was a big factor in his contract assessment being lower than those mentioned.

Statistically these receivers are on par with Evans. Davante Adams, who was drafted the same year, has five season with over 1,000 yards. He also has lower yards per reception/game, with just one less touchdown. He too has delt with fluctuation at quarterback but predominantly and arguably had longer tenures with better talent throwing him the ball.

Diggs has six seasons with over 1,000 yards and was drafted the season after Mike. Again, Evans leads him on yards a reception/game and has a commanding lead in touchdowns. In order to catch Evans in that regard he would have to post over 27 touchdowns this season and Mike would have to catch zero.

Hill is in a category of his own and clearly is ahead in almost all statistical per game and catch categories. Lastly Kupp is in a place where he’s had two very strong seasons. But with the increase in talent around him he’s taken a back seat. Injuries have mounted and he’s an outlier like Hill. Just on the opposite side of the spectrum.


Much like Derrick Brooks, Mike Alstott, Ronde Barber, and Lavonte David, Mike Evans is one of those players that deserves and belongs in one uniform only. At this point, and unlikely to change, the players, staff, and front office all want Evans back. Baker Mayfield alluded to his staying with the Buccaneers if, and only if, the team retains Evans’ services. Todd Bowles and Jason Licht have stated that Evans needs to retire a Buccaneer. Well now it’s time to get it done. Especially before his dead money hits the cap in early February.

On Evans end his options are likely limited. Though there will be many suiters, Evans will not want to go to a rebuilding team. Nor one with an offense that struggled this season. Yes, he has succeeded with all the quarterback changes in Tampa, offensive coordinators, and fellow teammates but he won’t want to tempt fait of failure or end up with a non-competitive team.

That leaves teams like the Ravens, Bills, Chiefs, Bengals, and maybe the Colts. But once you look at their cap space it really only leaves the Colts, Bangles and Chiefs as potential suiters. So, in the grand scheme of things the Buccaneers are certainly the best fit for Evans and the clear front runner.

Contract Details

With rumors speculating Evans is seeking a at least three years at close to $25 million the Buccaneers find themselves with enough space to sign. It will just start to eat the cap space quickly. I can foresee Jason Licht offering a four year at $22-$23 million a year with $80 million guaranteed. It would give him more money in total than Kupps deal with more in guarantees. It’s also a long enough contract to possibly send Evans into retirement a happy man. Afterall this is a man who five times has adjusted his contract flipping salary into bonuses to help create cap space for this team. They can also add, though I hate them, void years much like they did for Tom Brady. Either way Evans gets paid and has a long term deal with those stipulations.

Final Thought

Evans is going no where. Again, if I’m the general manager I’m opening up the bank to ensure my most stable player in team history on the offensive side of the ball never wears another uniform. Licht is not going to let him get away.

I also believe by the team doing this you start to create an alure to the Buccaneers. Especially if you couple in Lavonte David in this mix. As long as Licht is general manager players drafted by this team, who are selfless players, and continue to play at a good level get rewarded by this franchise. It goes a long way to showing that loyalties are strong here in Tampa and players who show loyalty to the organization get rewarded. That’s a reputation you can’t beat and a bargaining chip with players who are brought in.

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