Proposed Bucs Trade Sends $82.5 Million Star to Jets

Jason Licht

Getty Bucs general manager Jason Licht drafted Mike Evans in 2014 but could trade him this year.

If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers amount to the national narrative this fall, the New York Jets could come calling for star wide receiver Mike Evans.

Joe Caporoso of “Turn On The Jets Presents: Badlands” podcast proposed that the team could target Evans in a trade in light of Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ $35 million contract restructure. Caporoso talked about it during “The Manchild Show with Boy Green” on The Score 1260 with host Paul Esden Jr. on Friday, July 28, followed by a Twitter exchange on Saturday, July 29.

“Always a way to get creative. Can stack mid-round picks, use a player, can trade into 2025. They have a 2-year window with the deck cleared to be as aggressive as possible so I don’t write anything off,” Caporoso wrote.

During the show, Caporoso described Evans as a more likely trade target this year than the recent rumors of reuniting with Rodgers in Gotham. The Jets have a third-round pick and fourth-round pick for higher middle-round picks in 2024 per USA Today’s Jets Wire.

Tampa Bay could stock up on talent if the season goes off the rails early by trading a star such as Evans. He has one year left on his $82.5 million contract, so he could walk in free agency for 2024.

Bucs Don’t Buy National Narrative

The Bucs don’t believe their squad is destined for the NFC South cellar nor the No. 1 pick and Caleb Williams sweepstakes.

“We write our own narrative. We don’t listen to anything on the outside,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Monday, July 25. “It doesn’t bother us because we’re already motivated. We’re a motivated ballclub and we’re going to write and end our own narrative. That’s what we go by. We don’t go by the national media. It doesn’t bother me [and] predictions don’t bother me. It’s how you finish it.”

If the Bucs disprove naysayers, it likely will include Evans finishing the season with the team. That could include a 10th-consecutive 1,000-yard season along the way whether it’s Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask throwing the ball instead of Tom Brady.

“Mike can play with anybody. He is a good receiver,” Bowles said. “He can adapt to any offense — it’s not even about the quarterback. He can run short routes [or] deep routes, he can block, he can carry the ball. Mike’s thing is not about the quarterback, it’s about being the ultimate professional and that’s what he is.”

“He has had production every year since he’s been in the league, I think nine 1,000-yard seasons in a row and he has had a lot of different quarterbacks that he has played with. That’s not even an issue,” Bowles continued. “You don’t say 30 is old talking to an old guy [laughs].”

Mike Evans Contract Extension Still Awaits

Evans, who has played his whole career with the Bucs, could sign a contract extension before any of the aforementioned occurs. According to Pewter Report, a deal could get done before training camp ends.

“Both sides are still negotiating. Deal could be similar to Chris Godwin’s 3-year, $60 mil extension,” Pewter Report tweeted on July 20.

Evans’ agent, Deryk Glimore, gave a ray of hope before training camp that a deal could get done. The Bucs drafted Evans with the No. 7 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and he has made $95.86 million with the team thus far in his career.

“Mike loves Tampa,” Gilmore said via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “I know the feeling is mutual. His production is the best of all the guys out there. … The Bucs’ ownership has to love that Mike isn’t even an off-the-field conversation but an on-the-field terror. I’ve got to think they would like to lock him up to a third deal.”

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