Last week, it was revealed that star wide receiver Mike Evans had given the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a deadline for a contract extension. All talks would be cut off once Week 1 of the 2023 season rolled around, and if no deal was reached, Mike Evans would test the market in 2024.
That has left the Buccaneers in a tough spot. They reportedly don’t want to give another wide receiver a contract that pays $20 million annually, as they have one in Chris Godwin. Godwin and the Buccaneers agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal last offseason.
Mike Evans has made his intentions clear that he prefers to remain with the Buccaneers for the duration of his career. But, he wants to be compensated fairly and know that the team is going to do whatever it can to vie for another Super Bowl.
Naturally, trade rumors began to pick up about where Mike Evans could end up should no contract be reached. However, a recent update provided by Josina Anderson of CBS Sports makes it seem a trade is unlikely.
According to Anderson, the vibe being given off isn’t that Mike Evans would be traded. In fact, quite the opposite. There has been positive dialogue as the Buccaneers have received the structure of a contract he would accept.
That is certainly a step in the right direction, whether it was a recent step or one taken previously. The Buccaneers knowing what kind of deal Mike Evans is looking for makes negotiations a lot easier from their perspective to see where they could make a concession or where his representation could be willing to bend.
Based on Anderson’s reports, there doesn’t seem to be any contention between the two sides despite a deadline being put in place. Alas, if the Buccaneers aren’t going to be able to pay Mike Evans what he is seeking, a trade is the best route for them.
Tampa Bay would be able to recoup some nice assets, likely an early Day 2 pick at the very least while clearing more cap space. They don’t want to admit it, but a rebuild is likely what’s best for the Buccaneers in the near future.