Buccaneers Predicted to Sign Star to $108 Million Contract

Bruce Arians

Getty Bruce Arians is still involved with the Buccaneers front office.

Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still has two years remaining on his five-year, $82.5 million contract, but the team could look to sign the wide receiver to an extension sooner rather than later. Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger predicted that the Bucs would sign Evans to a new four-year, $108 million contract with $72 million of guaranteed money.

“Evans has been remarkably unselfish the past few years, prioritizing Lombardi Trophies with quarterback Tom Brady and offering to take less money so other players can be added to the Buccaneers’ loaded roster,” Spielberger wrote on July 19. “There are still two years remaining on Evan’s five-year, $82.5 million extension signed in 2018, but there were also two years remaining on Los Angeles Rams star receiver Cooper Kupp‘s and Buffalo Bills star receiver Stefon Diggs’ deals before the teams extended them this offseason. Evans is younger than Kupp despite entering the league three years earlier.”

Spielberger also noted the contracts signed in March by the Las Vegas Raiders‘ Davante Adams and the Miami Dolphins’ Tyreek Hill.

“Adams’ and Hill’s three-year new-money cash flows are $67.5 and $75 million, respectively — less than the $78 million for Diggs and $80.1 million for Kupp, as they have later years artificially inflating the total values of their deals. Evans doesn’t seem like the type of guy interested in winning fake contract metrics, so the total value could be lower than our projection, but what ultimately matters will be the cash flow in the earlier years of the deal.”

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Evans on Brady’s Return: ‘I Just Had No Reason to Believe That He Would Come Back’

Evans has become one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL, posting more than 1,000 yards in each of his eight seasons. The veteran wideout notched 74 receptions for 1,035 yards and 14 touchdowns during his 16 starts in 2021. Evans will get at least one more year playing with Tom Brady, something the receiver admitted he did not think would happen.

“I was down here, and then I went up here,” Evans said of Brady’s un-retirement during a June 8 press conference. “I just had no reason to believe that he would come back. I mean, he’s done everything and made a lot of money, best career ever and he still wants to play.

“He just loves this game and he loves his teammates, and he wants to win. He said there’s a sour taste left in his mouth. [There] was one [in] mine as well. Happy we got him back for at least one more year.”

The Bucs Could Trade for a Quarterback in 2023, Says Insider

Beyond Evans’ contract, the Buccaneers have other concerns, namely who will be the team’s next QB1 once Brady steps away from the game for good. Tampa Bay selected Kyle Trask in the second round of the 2021 draft, but the quarterback has yet to take a snap in an NFL game. The Bucs hinted that Trask may once again be the third-string quarterback in 2022. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted that a trade cannot be ruled out for Tampa Bay if Brady retires in 2023.

“We already touched on it a bit, but it’s an obvious one here,” Fowler detailed on July 20. “The Bucs have to lock up a succession plan to Brady, who is a free agent in 2023. There are a bunch of directions Tampa Bay could go, and the 2023 draft is well stocked with passers. The roster is good enough to lure a free agent or veteran via trade, too. After all, that plan worked with Brady two years ago.”

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