NFL Rumors: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Working Towards Re-Signing Wide Receiver Mike Evans

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to make a franchise legend a Buc for life. According to ESPN's Jenna Laine, the Bucs intend to re-sign five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans, even if it means straining their finances.

Evans is set to hit unrestricted free agency, and the Bucs have several other key franchise tag candidates, including quarterback Baker Mayfield and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. Evans will be 31 years old before the start of the season, and his inflated 2023 cap number means it would cost a colossal $28.4 million to apply the franchise tag to him.

Evans is coming off of one of the best seasons of his career, snatching 79 receptions for 1255 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns in 2023. It was the 10th straight 1000-yard season of his career, a franchise record and the longest streak to open a career in NFL history. He is unquestionably one of the greatest Bucs of all time, and he was a key piece of their 2020 Super Bowl championship.

Teams are often reluctant to fork over huge money to players as late into their career as Evans, but the Bucs clearly value their relationship enough to publicly declare their loyalty. Given Evans is facing the possibility of unrestricted free agency, not to mention that this may be his last chance at a top-of-the-market deal, the Bucs will very likely have to break the bank to keep him in place. 

Though it's hard to argue he's on the same level as the truly elite, All-Pro-calibre pass catchers making $25+ million per year, Evans is as reliable and as respected a wide receiver as there is in the league. Per ovethecap, the Bucs are currently sitting on over $43 million in cap space. They could easily sign him to a contract in the neighbourhood of four years, $100 million.

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