The Buccaneers and wide receiver Mike Evans have agreed to a restructured contract (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Greg Auman). The deal will be finalized on Thursday to free up $8.94MM in cap room for the defending champs. Word of the move was first reported by Joey Knight and Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times
Evans was initially slated to earn $16.637MM this year. Now, a big chunk of that will be reclassified as a bonus to give the Buccaneers some much-needed space. After recent moves, the Bucs had less than $200K to work with. Now, they can afford to add veterans where necessary.
Evans’ base salary of $12.25MM will shift to a veteran minimum $1.075MM base salary with a $11.18 million in bonus (Twitter link via Auman). The bonus will be prorated over multiple years, lowering his cap number by $8.94MM, if they add three void years. If they add just one more void year, they’ll still shave off $7.45MM.
The star receiver has reworked his contract multiple times already to accommodate the team. He even volunteered to take a pay cut back in February, in order to keep the band together. Through sheer cap magic, the Buccaneers didn’t have to take him up on his offer — they retained tight end Rob Gronkowski, wide receivers Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, inside linebacker Lavonte David, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, edge rusher Shaquil Barrett for another big run.
Evans, who just turned 28, finished last year with 70 catches for 1,006 yards and 13 touchdowns. For his career, Evans has a per-16-games average of 80/1,248/9.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.