Mike Evans Breaks Silence on Bucs Contract Drama

Mike Evans

Getty Mike Evans remains in contract limbo.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans would not promise any extension of Saturday, September 10, the contract negotiation deadline when he spoke with the media on Thursday, September 7.

“Ownership and management are going to do what they feel is best for the team’s future, and I’m going to do what’s best for my future,” Evans told reporters, “and right now that’s just playing some good ball.”

Evans enters the final year on his five-year, $82.5 million deal, and he will become a free agent in 2024 if the Bucs don’t strike a new deal with Evans before the Week 1 game against the Minnesota VikingsRick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Evans wants a contract similar to that of Los Angeles star wide receiver Cooper Kupp — three years, $80.1 million.

With that said, Evans wants to focus on the 2022 season and appreciates what he’s accomplished. A former No. 7 NFL Draft pick by the Bucs in 2014, Evans amassed an NFL-record nine-consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to start his career.

“I’ve been blessed to play this game for a really long time. I’ve made a lot of plays. Made a lot of money, It’s not even about that. I’m just happy to be in this position I’m in,” Evans said.

“A lot of people dream of making it to Year 10. I’m happy to be here. I feel great. I look forward to a great season,” Evans added.

Mike Evans Doubles Down on His Agent Setting the Contract Talks Deadline With the Bucs

Evans reiterated that his agent, Deryk Gilmore, “set the deadline” for a new deal with the Bucs. Evans previously expressed his desire to finish his career with Tampa Bay.

“My agent set the deadline. I’m mean, I’m sure you read the statement,” Evans said. “Obviously, we’ve been working for over a year now trying to get something done. Any player in my position would want to be solidified and secure. But if a deal is done or not, either way I’ll be OK. I’m looking forward to having a great season.”

Evans wouldn’t gauge how close or not the sides are at in terms of reaching a deal.

“I don’t know,” Evans said. “We’ve got a little bit of time left. We’ll see.”

Bucs Have Many Expenses for 2024 Besides Mike Evans

The question that lingers of Evans’ contractual future comes down to what the Bucs can spend after the 2023 season. Tampa Bay has $23.55 million in salary cap space for 2024 according to Spotrac’s projection, but that could get eaten up quickly with other key players to re-sign besides Evans.

Spotrac projects Evans to command $22.9 million annually, and the Bucs also have the likes of linebacker Devin White and safety Antoine  Winfield Jr. to re-sign. White could command $20.1 million annually and Winfield Jr. could require $14.3 million annually according to Spotrac.

Evans believes the Bucs could pull off re-signing everyone. The team notably massaged the salary cap during Tom Brady‘s time with the squad between 2020 and 2022 to keep star players.

“I think other teams have done something similar. But this is my last time talking about contracts. I’m looking forward to having a great season this year and, you know, whatever happens, happens. I’ll be alright.”

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Denny Fields
Denny Fields
14 days ago

This writer doesn’t seem to know what year this is, if you caught it.