Bucs WR Mike Evans - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Last year as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were signing big-name free agents like wide receiver DeSean Jackson, defensive tackle Chris Baker and safety J.J. Wilcox, Bucs general manager Jason Licht still operated with the awareness that a few of their young guys were going to be hitting their own big contracts soon.
One of those players was wide receiver Mike Evans.
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Evans has been a focal point of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive identity since the team drafted him No. 7 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. Since day one, Evans has ruled the aerial attack of those who have tried to stop him. He’s recorded over 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first four seasons, and is already No. 3 all-time in the franchise’s record book for most receiving yards by a Buccaneer – with health on his side, he’ll be the franchise’s best receiver of all-time as he closes out his rookie deal.
With accolades like that, Evans is sure to cash out in a big way. But, as the time draws near, the question centers on when that pay day will happen. Evans’ agent, Deryk Gilmore of Day 1 Sports & Entertainment, told PewterReport.com that he and his client are in no rush. Last year, the Bucs picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract and he is set to play the 2018 season making $13.2 million.
“We’re not doing any negotiating (right now). We’re just going to wait and play it out,” Gilmore said. “We think that the Buccaneers are a great organization. We feel that they really care about Mike; they care about the direction of the franchise and where it’s going.”
Beyond the yards, Evans has plenty of other Buccaneer records under his belt in just four seasons of play – and just 24 years of age. Evans holds the franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a season (12 – twice), most receiving touchdowns by a rookie in a season (12), currently has the most receiving yards per game in a career (75.4) and most consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons with four.
“He’s under contract so what we like to do is let him finish up,” Gilmore said. “We think [Evans’ stats and records] will speak for itself, and when it comes time to do the deal I think his deal will be in-line with what we plan.”
That may be what Evans and his camp are comfortable with, but the Bucs decision makers, both general manger Licht and director of football administration Mike Greenberg, the team’s capologist, like to plan ahead – that’s why Tampa Bay has one of the healthiest salary caps in the NFL. Planning ahead often deals with striking while a market is favorable and, in turn, securing your talent at the same time. It’s a balance of getting the most bang for you buck, if you will. However, at this time, as it pertains to Evans, if there is a plan to extend him this summer before his rookie contract runs out, that plan hasn’t come forward yet.
“If the Bucs come to us with something we’re going to evaluate it. But, at this point, we have not heard from them,” Gilmore said. “I have a great relationship with both Jason and Mike Greenberg. We talk often about a variety of things, but, at this point, we’re not really talking about contracts. We’re just letting it play out.”
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: PewterReport.com
When it comes to contracts in the NFL, the point and counterpoint among agents and teams often stems from what other players around the league are commanding in terms of monetary value. If one player is similar to a client in terms of roster importance and potential compensation, that’s often either a starting point or a middle ground for both sides to consider. When asked whether there were any wide receivers who have signed recently that Gilmore is keeping a close eye on when it comes to Evans’ future negotiations, he said yes, but went even further than just wide receivers when it came to determining Evans’ value.
“I look at every single deal that comes through whether it’s a wide receiver or even a quarterback,” Gilmore said. “One of the things that’s smart to say is that you look at Jimmy Garoppolo and if we said name the top five quarterbacks in the league it wouldn’t be Jimmy Garoppolo, but he’s paid the highest. If you look at that … I consider Mike [Evans] to be one of the top five players in the league.”
It’s unlikely that Evans will be signing a deal close to the one Garoppolo signed as the league’s highest paid player because he’s not a quarterback, but in terms of becoming the league’s highest-paid receiver, that could very much in reach for Evans.
Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown is currently the highest paid receiver per year, making $17 million per season with the Steelers. Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins has the largest contract value at $81 million over six years, averaging $16.2 million. Atlanta’s Julio Jones is the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFC South division, and the fifth-highest paid receiver in the league, averaging $14.25 million per season.
Still, the question remains, when will it happen? Sooner may be better than later for some, but it always takes two to strike a deal.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
Probably smart of Evans to wait after this lackluster season. The big question is definitely whether he deserves Top 5 receiver money or not.
He’s the ultimate 1st down machine possession receiver, and really the perfect guy for a QB like Jameis who needs a big target. But then there is the nearly non-existent YAC(worryingly so), and he has been Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde in the red zone from year to year. If you have a Brady or Brees, I think you can get big production out of a ton of receivers and not have to throw big money at them. But we’re rolling with Jameis, and I think we will end up having to pay up for Evans.
All good points Condor. Curious if the team believes his poor YAC stats are due to his lack of break-away ability or more a result of Jamies’ spotty accuracy not throwing him open.
Wonder who Trevor is referring to in his most recent Tweet then?
RE: A certain big time player signing a big time contract soon.
It’s Charles Sims III. Dancing with the Stars has seen all of his carries on film and has been dying to sign him.
You got a good one Tom Bergeron, Sims will be missed (by the rest of the NFC South). 😞
it was this article about Evans
If I were Mike I would go somewhere else. Go to a team with a chance of winning a super bowl.
no doubt. do you see how mad he gets about losing? my gut is he bails for a playoff team if bucs dont turn it around this year. you think he wants to be like GMC?
Evans holds ALL the cards here. The Buccaneers management has shown for the past 15 years how they can’t get outta their own way. As a 42 year season ticket holder, I’m finally coming to the point where I don’t care anymore. Between Donnie Trump telling us football fans and players who is and who isn’t a patriotic American and the Glazers not caring one iota about winning I’m having an extremely hard time writing another check for season tickets or passes as they now like to call them. Personally I think Evans would be wise to find a team with Owners that want to win and won’t bow down to the Authoritarianism we see taking over our country. I’m afraid it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better, both as a Buccaneer fan and as an American.
WTF? Evans has been one of only a handful of players that’s made the Bucs games watchable the past few years. Stop f’ing around and get the guy a f’ing contract.
I think this is all hype at this point. C’mon people, its February! The Bucs will re-sign Mike, Jameis, Kwon. And posts telling Mike he should go somewhere else, take your own advice. Go Bucs!!!
This is a smart move. They can always franchise him after this year if need be. Licht is on the hot seat, the Glazers are wise to see how things play out this year with players, coaches, and Licht. They are not going to let Licht make big decisions that can affect the teams long term future, when Licht might not have a future going forward. Evans is a very good receiver, but you’re being a real homer if you think he’s one of the best 5 players in the game, or even a top three receiver in the league. That’s how his agent is selling him. His numbers were down this year, his YAC was no where. In todays NFL 1000 yards receiving isn’t that big of a deal either. You only have to average 63 yards a game to do that. J. Jones had 253 in one game against us! A. Brown has those kind of games, if you want to be paid better then them, we’re going to have to see it Mike, before we pay it. I’ll take the negatives for saying this but it needs to be said. If I were calling the shots I’d have Evans, and Brate available for trade. We have options at receiver, and tight end, but need help every where else on the field. Not everyone can get paid, the Bucs have a lot of young players with contracts coming up. It’s the business side of football.
I totally agree that Evans needs to improve his YAC. I have to disagree and say Evans IS a top 5 receiver in the NFL. Julio Jones and Antonio Brown would have down years too if their team sign Desean Jackson and drafted OJ Howard. You also take to take Winstons shoulder injury into consideration. The whole team had a “down year”.
Is it weird that I involuntarily cringed when I read “the Glazers are wise”?
I 100% agree on all points! Mike Evans was a perfect bridge for a young Quarterback. But I believe we have something special with Chris Godwin and I am not sure we are wise to spend $17 MILL a year on a “possession receiver”. We would be better served by trading him and getting valuable picks AND saving the cap room for badly needed defensive picks. Our offense is pretty stout and Evans is roughly a 50/50 receiver with controversial reactions/maturity issues.
I believe we could benefit from his salary relief more than his contributions on the field and potential distractions…
these people saying that evans should sign with another team are insane. Are you kidding me? Evans is one of the best receivers in the league and he is the best this bucs franchise has EVER had. Only 24 years old and already 3rd in receiving yeards in franchise history. Evans is about to get a huge contract. The bucs should give him a contract extension before he hits free agency next year.
Some of you aren’t reading the article obviously. Evans doesn’t WANT a contract now, wants to play it out and go for bigger dollars next year. It’s a risk on his part.
Mike Evans is a VERY good WO but the lack of YAC is an issue. At any rate, the Buccaneers have no choice in the matter.
On a side note. Mike is getting paid 13.2 million dollars in 2018. He can afford to do whatever the hell he wants to do on one freaking year alone.
That’s fine if he doesn’t WANT it now I understand hes comfortable and is making plenty of loot in 2018. Wether they make an offer during the season or shortly after, it needs to happen. We cant let him hit free agency. I’m sure a lot of teams would be interested and willing to pay top dollar.
Just think if every first-rounder or second-rounder wants to be paid these kind of dollars, how on Earth can any team afford to pay several players huge dollars and the rest peanuts? Patriots have this right when they trade players after four or five years and at least get something for them. No way is Evans worth over 10 million a year! No wonder the NFL Market is shrinking.
Horse, On Thursday a week ago the San Francisco 49ers signed QB Jimmy Garoppolo, with his seven career starts, to a record five-year, $137.5 million deal. That’s $27.5 million per year. Garoppolo went from Tom Brady’s back-up in 4 months to the highest paid player in NFL history. As you recall, the Raiders signed coach Jon Gruden to a 10 year 100mil contract fully guaranteed. Sign of the times, my friend. I don’t make this stuff up, I just watch it as it happens.
And Roger Goodell making $40m to $50m a year. For a game that is being more controlled by screw ball rules and refs than players, is taking longer, with announcers that can’t seem to understand they don’t need to fill every second of air time with inane commentary. I used to watch most games just for the love of the game. No more. I watch the Bucs and that’s about it. And thank God for the mute button!
Maccabee, how do they work the cap space without screwing other players? I would think that would affect the team concept for sure?
Horse don’t worry about cap space – not a problem. See my comments below. In the meantime, in your spare time read this article on cap space manipulation.
QB’s are ALWAYS the exception. They ALWAYS get the biggest contracts and for very obvious reasons. There is no player on any offense who is worth half of the QB. The QB touches the ball on every play and so as he plays so does the offense, period. ALL other players on offense are there to help the QB get the job done.
Just look at the desperation in the draft to find a QB! Jimmy Garopollo’s signing by the 49ers was actually very smart.
Anyway Evans will get his money, a lot of it. But is he a top 5 WO now? Personally I don’t think so simply because of too many drops and a terrible YAC. Like I typed before, he’s taking a risk but not that big a one considering he’s getting 13.2 million in 2018 alone.
Sorry but I disagree. Of course I agree that salaries for pro athletes are ridiculous but, in the scheme of the market Evans is with MUCH more than 10 million.
I love Mike, but he’s not top 5 anything. Again, as others have stated, his YAC is non-existent and he needs to improve in that area.
I have said it before and will again trade Evans. He would being a 1st rd pick. As much as I like him teams can’t keep all their good players. Winston if Bucs sign will be 130 million plus. So IMO we can’t keep all of are star players. Also Godwin needs to be on the field MORE.
Not to worry Horse, the Bucs are rife with cash. There are 100 ways to manipulate the salary cap and the Bucs have one of the best capologist in the business, Hank Greenberg.
Bucs projected cap space for 2018 per OverTheCap (OTC) is 60.38mil. Three Buc high-priced veterans may be cap casualties. Savings if Martin is cut 6.75mil, Ayers 6.0mil, Baker 4.87mil = 17.62mil + 60.38mil = approx. 78mil cap.
The cap increased 10mil again this year and will continue that trend. The NFL just signed FOX to a 3.3 billion contract for Thursday Night Football. DirectTV has launched a streaming service that needs no satellite or cable box and is in negotiations with the NFL to stream Sunday Ticket – right now Verizon has that streaming contract for mobile phones. The NFL is going to Mexico and Canada like they are in London. Wait and see how much the Carolina Panthers sell for. There will be no shortage of cash in the NFL!
Garv, with all that money players are going to get their share. I’m not saying players, ie, QBs or other positions shouldn’t be paid high salaries. I’m saying get ready for it (sign of the times), they are going to be paid more – a lot more. With Garopolo receiving such a lucrative contract, Cousins will want more. And do you think Brady is going to sit idly by or Drew Brees who is due now are not going to want more? And they’re going to get it. That rising tide is going to lift all boats.
I’m have no objection. I’m a casual observer. What Evans will be paid, and he will be paid, is peanuts in the scheme of things. This year is going to be interesting but simply a continuation of bigger things to come. Go Bucs!
Macabee, With respect, I caution your optimism about the NFL ballooning to such unforeseen heights of money and viewership. .It’s like the stock market when equities are consistently up people bow to all the optimism and believe it will continue and then BAM! The truth is behind all this optimism with NFL expansion into other countries and marketing dollars continuously increasing a time will come when they don’t. NFL viewership consistently is going down 10% 2 years ago and another 8% this past year. This continued downtrend will at some point make the marketing dollars reverse. In my view the marketing dollars continuously find creative ways to increase dollars without increase in viewership. Consistent increase in ticket prices and the fact (my view) millennials generation interest is much less due to other interest in life events not easily available in my generation suggest a crash may come. I certainly could be wrong it wouldn’t be the first time but in my view the NFL has grown incredibly fast in such a short time suggesting a spiral effect downward is likely. I’m curious as to what the NFL would be like today if it wasn’t for Fantasy Football…I have more friends watch the red zone than actual games..?!
I agree Dbuc, a correction is likely. You know the adage – everything that goes up must eventually come down. My point is probably not before Mike Evans gets an extension. lol. But what you say is true. Already cracks in the ceiling – just a matter of time!
If the quarterback passing the ball in stride without overthrowing him or make him come back to a spot he would have more yards after the catch
Jameis missed Mike a couple times for sure, but I’m sure Mike’s YAC would improve if he didn’t fall down after every other catch.
The fans that complain about McCoy are clueless. Absolutely clueless. You are grinding away on an asinine confirmation bias with no basis in reality.
Sorry, just look at how many games he’s dominated in the 4th quarter – none. He’s good player, but not clutch. Maybe it’s scheme, who knows, but anyone can see he’s not a closer or a guy that can take over a game..
The idea of trading away your best players for the opportunity to draft a question mark just astounds me. That’s not to say I would never consider that option if the right deal presented itself. Bucs’ history is filled with dubious trades of premium Draft choices for players whose contributions were minimal. A second rounder for Steve Spurrier, a first rounder for Wally Chambers, a first rounder for Chris Chandler come to mind. As I recall we have but one trade of a player where it was the other team that was duped. That being the trade of Craig Erickson for Indy’s # 1 pick.
If some desperate team needing a DT is willing to pony up sufficient compensation for GMC; at 30 years old and likely beginning to decline, I’d consider it. No way I’m trading Mike Evans. Trading the undrafted Cameron Brate for a first round choice, and nothing less, would be one to consider.
Having Evans, Godwin, Humphreys, Howard and Brate as a core would be many NFL Offensive Coordinator’s dream, I think. (With or without Djax.) Koettter should be falling all over himself with glee this year. We will see how creative a play caller he really is (or is not.)
If Winston doesn’t have a breakthrough year, then ……….. well y’ all know as well or better than I.
Acquiring either Chubb or Vea should add a couple of years more to Mcoy’s career than he will have otherwise the way I see it. He is at the top of his gamer now. I don’t look for him to improve on it any more. He has listened and learned about all he could already. He has worked his butt off here since day one. I am sure he has maximized his talent in every way he could have.
I love Mike, and I hope he stays with us for his whole career.
That being said, I don’t blame him one bit for wanting to play out his contract and see what this team looks like this time next year!
If the team doesn’t get a lot better this year, they’re going to clean house and hire a new coaching staff – and Evans will get a chance to meet that coaching staff before he decides to hit free agency and go elsewhere. If he likes them, then great, maybe he stays! But if he doesn’t love the new staff, he’ll be free (barring the franchise tag) to go somewhere else. It’s the ideal situation for him having a contract year in a year that the coach is also on the hot seat.
Best case scenario: we win 10 games, make the playoffs, and he decides to stick around on a 6 year deal. Either way, it’s a win for him.
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2017 PewterReport.com All Rights reserved. Marketing Tampa | Visual Realm
Send this to a friend