Mike Evans strikes a deal to stay with the Buccaneers

    Mike Evans won’t have a new NFL home after all.

    Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday, the Buccaneers and Evans reached an agreement on a deal for an average annual value of $26M. 

    Not many wide receivers get that kind of payday heading into their age-31 season, but not many wide receivers are of Evans’ caliber.

    Evans has played all 10 seasons in the NFL with the Buccaneers, reaching at least 1,000 yards receiving in each of them — a streak achieved by no other NFL receiver in the first 10 years of his career, not even Jerry Rice

    Evans has also hauled in 94 regular-season touchdown passes, so he has a good chance to become the 11th member of the NFL’s 100-touchdown reception club this season.  Notably, he also has the chance to reach 100 TDs receiving with one team. 

    Evans — who will likely be in the market for a smaller deal when this contract finishes, as he will be heading into his age-33 season — is likely to be a career Buccaneer. It would be a fitting outcome for a longtime team captain and one of the greatest players in franchise history.

    Tampa Bay’s retention of Evans before free agency kicks off March 13 also makes it a more attractive destination for quarterbacks, most notably incumbent starter Baker Mayfield, who will hit unrestricted free agency after playing last season on a one-year deal.

    Wide receiver Chris Godwin is still under contract as well, so Mayfield could stick around and keep throwing to the star duo that led him to a resurgent 2023 season.

    If Mayfield chases a bigger payday elsewhere, the door would be open for a free agent or even a rookie passer to play with one of the NFL’s best receiver pairs. 

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