NFL Rumors: Mike Evans contemplates free agency amid Bucs return speculations

With Tom Brady hanging up his cleats, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have managed to maintain their competitive edge due to the dynamic duo of quarterback Baker Mayfield and star receiver Mike Evans. However, their championship hopes were dashed in the playoffs, leaving them hungry for another shot at the Lombardi Trophy.

The Buccaneers fans are excited for another potential championship run under the leadership of Mayfield and Evans. However, amidst the optimism, whispers regarding Evans’ long-term commitment to the team are starting to gain traction.

Mike Evans explores idea to test NFL free agency

With the free agency period just around the corner, star wideout Mike Evans is poised to hit the market for the very first time in his illustrious career, according to The Athletic’s Diana Russini. While negotiations are currently underway between Evans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the veteran pass-catcher is eager to gauge his worth and field offers from across the league.

In her report, Russini revealed that Evans hitting free agency doesn’t necessarily signal the end of his tenure with the Buccaneers. The receiver is open to hearing from various teams before making a final decision on his future.

The development marks a significant moment for him, who has spent his entire career with the Buccaneers since being selected in the 2014 NFL draft.

Throughout his impressive ten-season NFL career, he has consistently surpassed the 1,000 receiving yards milestone in every season, per SI.com. In recognition of his contributions, the Buccaneers rewarded him with a five-year contract extension in 2018.

His stellar performance continued in the 2023 season as well, where he accumulated 1,255 receiving yards and scored 13 touchdowns. The receiver’s excellence extended into the postseason, contributing significantly with 195 receiving yards and a touchdown in the Buccaneers’ two playoff games. 

Mike Evans Bucs’ future hangs in balance

With Mike Evans’ contract nearing expiration, the team faces uncertainty as negotiations for an extension remain unresolved, potentially paving the way for Evans to enter free agency.

Amidst speculation surrounding Evans’ contract status, NFL insider Adam Schefter revealed that the significant cap hit associated with the wide receiver makes him an unlikely candidate for the franchise tag. While his current contract is set to expire in March, the Buccaneers have yet to secure a long-term agreement with him.

The Buccaneers’ ongoing negotiations with other important players, such as Mayfield, who is also about to become a free agent, may also have an impact on their decision regarding Evans.

However, the failure to reach an extension agreement with Evans could result in approximately $7.4 million in dead money against the Buccaneers’ 2024 salary cap. 

With an impressive career spanning over a decade, Evans has amassed 11,680 receiving yards and earned five Pro Bowl selections during his tenure with the Buccaneers. Meanwhile, as talks continue, his remarkable track record and intangible skills have already garnered attention from the New York Jets.

As the Bucs team is facing issues with these negotiations, their aim is to secure a deal that benefits both Evans and the organization.

Shabiha Akter

1218 articles

Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.

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