Outside of a couple of splash plays from rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice, the Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers did nothing to promote confidence within Chiefs Kingdom during the team’s 21-20 loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 1.
Veteran Marquez Valdes-Scantling led the team in receiving with 48 yards. None of the receivers had more than 3 catches, and all of them — plus tight end Blake Bell and running back Jerick McKinnon — accounted for at least 7 drops.
That’s why, with uncertainty still looming in terms of Travis Kelce’s return from injury, Jarrett Bailey of USA Today is calling for the defending Super Bowl champions to pull off a Week 2 trade for Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans.
“Having him work the perimeter while (Travis) Kelce eats in the middle of the field would make a real conundrum for defensive coordinators, especially in the red zone,” Bailey wrote of Evans on September 8. “This is a no-brainer for both sides. The Chiefs need weapons, and the Buccaneers need draft capital- both sides should be able to get this done.”
What to Know About Mike Evans
Mike Evans, 30, entered the NFL as the 7th overall pick of the Buccaneers in 2014. Since then he has rattled off nine straight 1,000-yard seasons, which is an NFL record, and has also accumulated 81 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference.
Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 235 pounds, Evans is a big-bodied receiver who has made a Hall of Fame career out of dominating opposing defenders outside the numbers. The problem is, he’s on the wrong side of 30 now and wants a new contract.
As it currently stands, Evans has a base salary of $13 million in 2023 but also has a $23.6 million cap hit, which is by far the largest on the team (the second largest is linebacker Devin White at $11 million) per Over the Cap.
Evans set a deadline for the two sides to come to an agreement on a new contract for Saturday, September 9, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini. It’s also worth noting that Evans’ agent, Deryk Gilmore, also made it known to Russini that Evans would still play this season with or without a new deal.
Despite his desire to want to remain a Buccaneer for life, Tampa Bay does not plan to give Evans a new deal, per Russini. That means Evans is set to play out the 2023 season on the final year of his five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Bucs and could be looking for a new home in 2024.
Would Mike Evans Trade Make Sense for Chiefs?
Instead of letting him walk next offseason, it’s very possible that the Buccaneers could opt to trade Mike Evans in the event that they get off to a rough start to the 2023 season and as a result want to trade some assets prior to the October 31 trade deadline. But the Chiefs have some financial problems they need to address first before they think about trading for a receiver.
As it currently stands, the Chiefs are in a contract standoff with All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones, who is seeking a new deal that pays him $30 million annually, according to The Athletic’s Nate Taylor. He is the team’s star defender and is needed if Kansas City wants to continue its dynastic run in the NFL. So, figuring out a deal that both parties can agree upon is priority No. 1 for the Chiefs.
Doing such would also free up a large amount of cap space, as Jones — when he’s on the active roster — has a $28+ million cap hit for 2023. His cap hit is currently way lower due to him being placed on the Reserve/Did Not Report List, but the team needs to address Jones’ situation in some way so they know what they have in terms of roster spots and finances moving forward.
Once the Chiefs resolve their standoff with Chris Jones, depending on their situation at that point they could look to trade for a player like Mike Evans. But until that happens, it’s not worth discussing.