This Jets-Buccaneers Trade Sends Mike Evans To New York

Mike Evans, Jets
NFL Analysis Network

The New York Jets offense is going to look vastly different in 2023 than it did for the 2022 season. The biggest change is at quarterback, where the team made a huge upgrade by acquiring Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers.

While Rodgers is familiar with some of the weapons on the team from his time in Green Bay, New York’s wide receiver group was overhauled as well. By the time the season kicks off, reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson could be the only holdover from last season.

Corey Davis and Denzel Mims remain on the roster, for now, but there is a chance they are moved on from. Cutting Davis would save the Jets a ton of money while Mims is buried on the depth chart and has been awaiting a trade. 

That is the fate that Elijah Moore happily received earlier this offseason as the 2021 second-round pick was traded to the Cleveland Browns. Braxton Berrios was released and signed with the Miami Dolphins earlier in the offseason as well.

Replacing them is Allen Lazard, who signed a four-year, $44 million deal to reunite with Rodgers. Randall Cobb also came over from the Packers, while Mecole Hardman, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, signed a one-year deal as well.

The Jets know they have a one or two-year window with Rodgers at the helm to win a Super Bowl. So, they should do everything in their power to maximize that opportunity. While head coach Robert Saleh said the team likes their wide receiver room and won’t be pursuing DeAndre Hopkins, could he be open to making a deal for a different player?

A shocking trade target suggested by Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report is the Jets going after Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have given no indication they want to move on from Evans, but given the harsh reality they are facing as a franchise, it could make some sense.

Evans is in the final year of his contract and the team is adjusting to life after Tom Brady. As the New England Patriots experienced, that is a brutal transition to make. As a result, it wouldn’t be too surprising if they tried cashing in on Evans and acquiring some long-term assets.

What could a trade between the Jets and Buccaneers look like? New York could offer a third and fourth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft along with a 2025 second-round pick to Tampa Bay in exchange for Evans.

New York’s second-round pick in 2024 could convey to the Packers depending on how many snaps Rodgers plays. Because of that, they will have to dip into future draft capital to make a compelling offer. To compensate for the best pick being two years down the road, the Jets include an extra early Day 3 pick in 2024.

Evans is a legitimate No. 1 option and star at the position, making four Pro Bowls and reaching the 1,000-yard plateau in all eight seasons of his career. A wide receiver isn’t a pressing need for the Jets, but he would make for a star pairing with Wilson, while Lazard, Hardman and Cobb fill in as complementary pieces behind them.