New Proposed Trade Flips Recent Jets Draft Pick for Bucs Star Mike Evans

Mike Evans

Getty Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans in 2022.

The New York Jets were once again listed as a top suitor for Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans on September 7 — but this most recent link included a potential trade package between the two franchises.

“Let’s hypothesize [that Aaron] Rodgers quietly gives an indication that, based on his health, he’s planning to return [in 2024]. In that case: Do it,” Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon advised regarding an NYJ trade for Evans.

The NFL writer’s suggested compensation read as follows: “Along with a third-rounder, the Jets can ship reserve running back Michael Carter to Tampa.”

“Rachaad White is a quality starter,” Kenyon explained, “but the Bucs could use a boost at the position, and Carter is signed through 2024.” The third-round draft capital is also higher than the compensatory pick (a fifth) that Tampa Bay would receive from the league if Evans chooses to depart in free agency next spring.

Buccaneers ‘Trapped in a Layered Predicament’ When It Comes to WR Mike Evans

Kenyon detailed the situation the Bucs currently find themselves in when it comes to Evans.

“Heading into Week 1, his agency released a statement saying contract negotiations will not continue into the season.” Evans’ agent Deryk Gilmore also referred to Tampa Bay’s lack of a concrete extension offer as “disappointing.”

“The Bucs need to pay Evans now, or else he might be gone next spring,” Kenyon went on. “Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is trapped in a layered predicament that could result in trading the star wideout.”

He expounded on that point, relaying: “While the ideal outcome is extending Evans at an affordable rate, he’s eyeing an expensive raise. The Bucs need Evans to compete in a winnable NFC South, yet the longer they keep him in 2023, the less he’ll command in trade value. Evans can only bring back a fifth-round compensatory pick if he leaves in free agency, too.”

Jets WR Corps Is One Injury Away From Becoming an Issue

The entire NFL community witnessed first-hand how poor wide receiver play can impact a championship offense during the regular season opener on September 7.

Kansas City Chiefs reigning MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes II seemed to watch in agony as his weapons dropped target after target in big spots. Now, the Chiefs don’t have a wideout of Garrett Wilson’s caliber on their roster, but don’t discount the questions at this position after Corey Davis’ decision to step away from the sport in 2023.

Behind Wilson, the Jets have Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Mecole Hardman and three current or former undrafted rookies at wide receiver. One injury, and this unit could fall apart very quickly for Rodgers and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett — especially if that injury is to Wilson.

As Kenyon noted: “Evans would provide a clear upgrade over Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman Jr. as Rodgers’ top target after Garrett Wilson.” Quite frankly, that’s not even debatable.

Not only did Evans win a Super Bowl with Tom Brady after the legendary QB’s transition into a new organization, but he’s also registered a remarkably consistent nine straight seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards since entering the NFL — six of which included eight or more touchdown catches.

Trading for Evans would not only replace Davis, but it would also upgrade what the veteran could have been inside the NYJ offense. And if the Jets can get him for their 2024 third-round selection, approximately $13 million in cap space (max) and a third string running back, the answer is simple as can be: where do we sign?