Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans has let his feelings be known about a contract extension. If it were up to him, he would remain in Tampa Bay for the duration of his career, signing a new deal to keep him with the franchise. Alas, it sounds he isn’t going to get what he is seeking.
According to sources that spoke to Dianna Russini of The Athletic, the Buccaneers have no plans to offer Evans a contract extension. This is certainly some shocking news, as Evans and his representatives had set a deadline of Saturday to get a deal done. With about 24 hours to continue working, the plug has been pulled on negotiations.
Evans is entering the final year of a five-year, $82.5 million extension that he signed in 2018 at the completion of his rookie contract. He has certainly earned another contract with his level of performance as he is one of the most consistent wide receivers in the NFL.
The No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft has recorded 1,000+ receiving yards in every season of his career to this point. He has been named to the Pro Bowl team four times with one All-Pro Second Team nomination on his resume.
When Evans’ representation shared a statement earlier this week, his agent Deryk Gilmore revealed that the Buccaneers didn’t want to pay a second wide receiver $20 million annually. That is how much Chris Godwin makes on the contract he signed as a free agent last year.
Despite there being no agreement between Evans and the Buccaneers, his playing status will remain unchanged. Evans will be out there playing and helping the team win games despite his future being up in the air.
You can be sure that trade rumors will now pick up once again. There are plenty of teams around the NFL who could use a player of Evans’ caliber. He made it clear that he will test the market in 2024, so the Buccaneers could look to recoup some value in a trade centered around him.
At the very least, an early Day 2 pick could be acquired. Depending on how desperate a team gets, a first-rounder could even be put on the table. But there is no doubt the Buccaneers would be better off trading him for an asset instead of seeing him walk in free agency and getting, at most, a fifth-round compensatory pick.