Buccaneers WR Mike Evans Seeking $25MM Per Season?

MARCH 2: Evans’ agent informed Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz that the high-profile wideout has no desire to play with a rookie contract on his next deal. That comes as no surprise given his age, though a Bucs-Mayfield agreement being worked out would make that condition a moot one if he were to remain in Tampa Bay.

Several outside suitors will no doubt be interested in Evans, but Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 reports the Texans will not be among them. If Houston is to make a big-money offensive investment (comparatively speaking), the team is expected to focus more on the running back position than a top-end pass catcher.

MARCH 1, 7:43pm: Dianna Russini of The Athletic reports that Evans now plans to hit free agency for the first time in his career. The ten-year veteran may still end up a life-long Buccaneer, but he fully intends to field offers from around the NFL. Despite ongoing discussions with Tampa Bay, Evans wants to keep his options open before deciding if he wants to return.

12:01pm: With Baker Mayfield in line for a multi-year contract and Antoine Winfield Jr. likely to receive the franchise tag, Mike Evans faces the distinct possibility of testing free agency later this month. The Buccaneers intend to keep all three members of that trio in the fold, but the latter could come with a hefty price tag.

Evans is aiming for a deal with an annual average value in the $25MM range, NFL Network’s Jeffri Chadhia reports. Securing a figure of that magnitude on a third contract would come as a surprise, as only four wideouts average $25MM or more on their current deals. Given his age (31 at the start of the 2024 season), Evans will likely be hard-pressed to command a new pact that close to the top of the market.

Still, his play remained at a Pro Bowl level in 2023, the first with Mayfield at quarterback. Evans posted 1,255 yards – his highest total since 2018 – and tied for the league lead with 13 touchdowns. Having topped the 1,000-yard mark in each of his 10 seasons, the second-team All-Pro will provide a high floor to the Buccaneers or a new team next season. A short-term pact in particular could prove to be a sound investment for Tampa Bay or an outside suitor.

At a minimum, Evans’ next deal can be expected to comfortably outpace the $16.5MM AAV of his previous one. That five-year accord provided major value to the Buccaneers, but the top of the market has surged in recent years. That trend could continue in 2024 with Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase and Amon-Ra St. Brown among the young wideouts eligible for mega-deals. Each member of that trio would be expected to command a more lucrative pact than Evans, but the latter could still generate a notable market for himself.

The Texas A&M alum went up until the start of last season during contract talks with the Buccaneers, but no agreement was reached. Reports from last month stated the sides are not close after the latest round of negotiations, meaning Evans could at least test the market once the new league year begins. Further clarity on Mayfield and Winfield (and, as such, Tampa Bay’s cap situation) will likely be in place by that point. It will be interesting to see where Evans’ asking price checks in during talks with the Buccaneers or other interested parties over the coming days and weeks.

View Comments (33)