Does Evans Re-Signing Indicate The Buccaneers Intentions With Mayfield?


After plenty of speculation, a few days ago National Football League franchise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers confirmed that they had now come to an agreement with Mike Evans, and his new contract will keep him at the Raymond James Stadium for another two seasons.

The new deal obviously means the avoidance of free agency, and the 30 year old wide receiver and former Super Bowl champion, despite a few more recent struggles, could well see himself go from a seventh pick in 2014, to a Hall of Fame entry, all whilst wearing the Bucs uniform. For fans who like a flutter you can read more on The Punters Page about his chances of doing just that.

It has been reported that the five time Pro Bowl’s new two year deal is worth $52 million (reportedly including between a $29 to $35 million guaranteed clause), and that veteran Evans had expressed his desire to stay in Tampa this off season, despite having a fair amount of interest from other teams.

If more recent press speculation is to be believed, it was not the only thing that the Bucs had guaranteed Evans to ensure that he re-signed the deal that they had placed on the table. They have apparently also made an assurance that they will make their best efforts to get quarterback Baker Mayfield to recommit his own future to the franchise as well ahead of the coming season.

When the deal for Evans was announced, it was obvious that the Bucs’ next port of call would be to sort out the QB situation. The 28 year old, first round pick in the 2018 Draft, had the best season of his career in the 2023 NFL campaign, throwing for 4,044 yards, with 28 touchdowns against ten interceptions, and more than played his part in helping the Buccaneers to a pretty unexpected Divisional Round appearance.

Of his 28 touchdown conversions, Evans had been on the end of 13 of them – falling one catch short of his own career best so far, whilst still posting 1,000 receiving yards for the tenth straight season.

Looking at last season’s numbers and the partnership and understanding that started to form between the two players, it is wholly understandable as to why Evans would like to team up with Mayfield for another campaign, as they are both undoubtedly very confident that they can match and eclipse their performances last year, and continue to further maximise upon the understanding that has developed.

Whilst the Buccaneers are clearly open to doing a deal that sees him remain with them for at least their next campaign, many in the Bucs Nation will be expecting the franchise to take a more cautious approach to his negotiations once again, but we can undoubtedly expect some improvement on the very conservative 12 month, $4 million, a year deal signed last off season.

Many considered the move to be Mayfield’s last real chance at establishing himself as a starting QB after his time with the Cleveland Browns, the Carolina Panthers and the Los Angeles Rams, but having beaten off competition from Kyle Trask for the starting spot, his performances have ultimately more than earned another shot to prove he can do the job admirably, as opposed to simply having to settle himself as a career backup.

If he can at least repeat his performance levels in 2023, those worries for the future should well and truly be in the rear view as having exceeded his previous production, the QB did appear to get better as the season went on as his confidence and self belief in his own abilities spiked even further.

As said, we can definitely expect news that a deal worth north of the last agreement has been struck – if both parties find an understanding again – but an educated guess would say there will be a fail safe in there just in case Mayfield cannot live up to the potential he has now indicated he has.

We can certainly expect the deal to be far more conservative than the one the New York Giants handed to Daniel Jones – a four year, $160 million deal – after one good year, and they almost immediately regretted that choice, so the Bucs’ front office needs to be far more sensible than that, just on the off chance 2024 does not go how we all hope it will.

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