Home Sport Mit Mike Evans kamen die Buccaneers endlich zur Besinnung

Mit Mike Evans kamen die Buccaneers endlich zur Besinnung

von NFI Redaktion

Mike Evans is a Hall of Fame talent. His 1,255 receiving yards last season make him the only player in NFL history to record 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first 10 NFL seasons. Regardless of whether the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is Tom Brady, Jameis Winston, Baker Mayfield, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, or Mike Glennon, Evans delivers.

Due to his consistent performance, it was puzzling that the Bucs did not offer him a contract extension before the start of the 2023 season. He turned 30 before Week 1, but showed no signs of slowing down in his last appearance on the field. With the team’s future in flux after several years of going all-in for Brady, it would be logical to secure the best offensive playmaker on the roster.

Following his 10th 1,000-yard season and a playoff win, the Buccaneers came to their senses and re-signed Evans. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, they agreed to a two-year, $52 million contract with $35 million guaranteed. ESPN’s Bucs reporter Jenna Laine wrote in September that Evans prioritized guaranteed money over the number of years. He clearly understands the NFL business.

He put together a whole contract year as Tampa took advantage of a weak NFC South and defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in a playoff win. The season ended with a loss to the Detroit Lions in the divisional round, but the Buccaneers were competitive throughout the game. Evans delivered the best playoff performance of his career with eight catches for 147 yards and a touchdown.

A decision still needs to be made about Mayfield, which should be a no-brainer. The Buccaneers have nearly $40 million in cap space. Mayfield just had the best season of his career. Yes, if he returns to Tampa in 2024, it will be his fifth offensive coordinator in three years. That’s a challenge he must face, no matter where he plays. The franchise is trying to make the transition on offense as seamless as possible by hiring Liam Coen, who runs a similar offense to former OC Dave Canales. A change in playcaller is another reason to bring Evans back.

The idea that they needed a full rebuild made sense for the Bucs after Brady’s retirement. Quarterbacks are hard to come by outside the early first round of the draft. But if the team were to fail in 2023, what sense would it make to recruit a rookie and let Evans walk?

Talents like Evans are hard to come by. While the wide receiver position may be the best in NFL history right now, no one in the league is currently playing as well and consistently as Evans. As a rookie with McCown and Glennon as quarterbacks, he caught 68 passes for 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns. Only father time is holding Evans back, as defensive backs have tried and failed for 10 years.

What NFL teams always fear is keeping a player for one year too long rather than letting him go one year too soon. No one wants to do what the Denver Broncos are about to do, facing a massive dead cap hit because talent didn’t produce.

In a sport with strict salary caps, these concerns are understandable. However, Evans has shown no signs of his game declining. It wasn’t his fault that Brady got rid of the ball right after snapping it, and he still averaged just under 15 yards per reception.

The Buccaneers are likely never going to employ a wide receiver as talented as Evans again. He has expressed his desire to retire from the organization. That should be the franchise’s plan for him as long as he maintains this 1,000-yard pace.

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