Earlier this month, the agent of Evans set a deadline for an extension for Saturday, urging the Bucs to do whatever it takes to keep such a talented player on their team, stating, “when you have a player that will undoubtedly be a Hall of Famer and still has four to six more years to make a significant impact in the league, you move Heaven and Earth to retain him.”
Tampa Bay didn’t exactly move heaven or earth, nor did they move Evans. You could say it’s a stalemate.
The star wide receiver, who has made the Pro Bowl four times, is projected to have a $23.7 million cap hit in 2023. If the Bucs were to trade him, they would incur $9.2 million in dead money this season.
Despite the ongoing contract negotiations, Evans remains focused on his on-field performance and is determined to have an exceptional season, regardless of whether he receives a new deal.
“Ownership and management will do what they believe is best for the team and its future, and I will do what is best for me and my future,” Evans explained. “Right now, that means playing great football.”
If the Bucs were to part ways with Evans, they would be losing one of the most dependable pass catchers in recent NFL history. Evans has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in each of his nine NFL seasons. Although he has never topped the league in receptions, receiving yards, or receiving touchdowns, he remains underappreciated for his era. However, the Bucs recognize his value and intend to keep him on board, especially in what is expected to be a rebuilding year.
Evans and Chris Godwin are expected to lead the Buccaneers’ receiving corps once again, even with the arrival of Baker Mayfield as the new starting quarterback, replacing the legendary Tom Brady. Their experience will be crucial as Tampa Bay’s offense, under the guidance of first-time Offensive Coordinator Dave Canales, navigates the anticipated challenges and growth period.
If the latest news is any indication, this season could potentially be the last hurrah for this dynamic duo.