Mike Evans is one of the premiere receivers in the NFL, and the Buccaneers have taken the next step in getting him paid like it. Team GM Jason Licht met with the media late Monday morning and announced that Tampa Bay has picked up the fifth year option on Evans’ original deal:
Bucs Pick Up Option on Mike Evans
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) April 17, 2017
Evans enters his fourth season having established himself as one of the top five receivers a year ago in yards, average yards per catch and touchdowns, and he is scheduled to make $2.4 million including a $1.7 million roster bonus for 2017. His fifth year option will pay him similarly around $2.5 million.
But, here’s the good part for Evans and the team: by doing this now, the Bucs show commitment to Evans long term and they have a lot of money still under the salary cap for this and next year. So logic dictates, that just like Gerald McCoy, LaVonte David and Doug Martin have all been rewarded after their rookie deals, Evans will be next.
And, that could be before this season ever begins.
We wrote previously this off season about whether the massive deal that Antonio Brown got with the Steelers and then others falling in line after, would make it easier or harder to sign Evans.
With all the cap room the Bucs still have at this point in the 2017 off season and the ability to give the former first round pick out of Texas A & M significant bonus/guaranteed money, it will be easier.
And, now the Bucs have the leverage of saying to Evans’ people, we want you here and we want to give you much more than $2.4-2.5 million over the next two years that we are obligated to give.
Will Evans and his reps view the above as reasons to agree to what the Bucs are offering? Again, it seems likely, but you don’t know for sure.
We do know this, he’s a Buc for the next two years no matter what. And, that should have fans of the Pewter and Red cheering on an April Monday afternoon.