With the recent acquisitions of kicker Ryan Succop and running back Leonard Fournette the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were tight against the 2020 salary cap and had to once again go to Mike Evans for relief.

For the second time in two years since the team signed Evans to a five-year, $82.5 million contract in 2018, Buce general manager Jason Licht and director of football administration Mike Greenberg have restructured the Pro Bowl wide receiver’s contract to create cap space.

According to OverTheCap.com, the Bucs had just $2,185,547 worth of cap space available before adding running back Leonard Fournette’s $2 million base salary to the team’s Top 51 cap values, which is how NFL team’s salary caps are calculated. Fournette has agreed to terms with the Bucs, but is in the COVID-19 testing protocol and won’t be finished with the protocol until Sunday – assuming he does not test positive – when he will be allowed inside the team’s headquarters to take his physical and sign his one-year deal, which is worth a maximum of $3.5 million with incentives.

Bucs WR Mike Evans
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Evans was scheduled to make $16.75 million in base salary in 2020 with a $17.95 million cap hit due to a previous restructure, and was the second-highest paid Buccaneer behind quarterback Tom Brady and his $25 million salary. The Bucs reduced Evans’ 2020 cap charge to $8,387,500 ($7,187,500 for this year and a $1.2 million proration from last year’s restructure) by reducing Evans’ base salary this year to $4 million and converting $12.75 million into per-game roster bonuses that are guaranteed.

This move created $9,562,500 in cap space that can be used to sign Fournette, who will actually count $2.5 million towards the cap because of $500,000 in likely to be earned incentives, and the team’s practice squad players, in addition to having cap room to be used for players that are on injured reserve during the 2020 season.

After roster cuts pare the team down to 53 players, Tampa Bay will begin to assemble its 16-player practice squad on Sunday afternoon after the waiver process is complete.

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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inspecto

Evens is a class act !!!
Go Bucs !!!

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Rating: +24. From 24 votes.
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J.A.S.H.E.R.

He’s still making the same $, this ain’t a pay cut

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Rating: 0. From 22 votes.
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Dave

It’s a restructure, not a pay cut. It’s a way to free up more money, but changing how and when the money is paid.

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Rating: +12. From 12 votes.
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76bucsfan46

Thanks again Mike Evan’s, you do more than your share to bring wins to Tampa Bay. Your character is unquestioned.

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Rating: +22. From 22 votes.
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J.A.S.H.E.R.

He didn’t take a pay cut, they just moved the numbers around

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Rating: -9. From 23 votes.
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BigPhil

THe NFL world always talk about Tom Brady team friendly contracts, but our Mike Evans is also a true team player. He accept to restructure every year now (and even three times in four years, if I remember well), not because he wants, but because the team needs it. Bravo Mike!

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Rating: +22. From 22 votes.
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DannyC

They just moved his money from salary to bonus. He still is getting all of it. It’s all accounting.

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Rating: +5. From 15 votes.
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Captain Sly

Lol! Not sure why you guys are thankful to Mike Evans. The Bucs are doing him a solid by handing him a Huge Bonus Check.

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Rating: +1. From 17 votes.
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surferdudes

How much would they save if they cut the other Evans? You know the one who’s made a nice career on IR the last two years. Don’t see the upside of keeping him.

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Rating: -4. From 12 votes.
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BucRy

Cutting him would save us 1.1 mil. I don’t see why it’s taking so long to cut our losses. Hate it for him but we have to do what’s best for us.

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FLBoy84

May be working out an injury settlement.

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Rating: +5. From 7 votes.
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chuckfrench

If this team does not end up playing in the Superbowl this season it will be a disappointment. Never have I felt that way about any Buccaneer team. Evans is a quality player and will put the numbers up this year to be considered one of the elite.

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Rating: +1. From 9 votes.
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PiratePete71

Media: Mr Evans, just why have you and the Bucs been pro-actively making these bold moves lately?

Mike Evans: “WINNING.”

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Rating: +6. From 6 votes.
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JS8797

converting $12.75 million into per-game roster bonuses that are guaranteed.

I would imagine per game includes games lost to covid if there are any. Class act and genius IMO.

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Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
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scubog

Really befuddling to me that folks give a “thumbs down” to posters who are merely stating the facts about M.E.13 collecting the same amount, but in a different category. Call it what you want, it’s still the same when it hits the bank.

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drdneast

Don’t ask me how they do math in the NFL,
He’s going to make the same amount of money this year but it’s going to be less of a cap hit because it is being paid as a bonus instead of a salary.
If things weren’t different they would be the same.

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