We knew that the Buccaneers were going to have to pay WR Mike Evans handsomely on his new contract and we now know just how much “handsomely” is for them and their star receiver.
On Friday afternoon, Adam Schefter of ESPN broke the news and details of the Buccaneers giving Evans a new second contract:
Buccaneers’ WR Mike Evans agreed to a 5-year, $82.5 million extension that includes $55 million guaranteed, per sources.
Evans now under contract through 2023 season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2018
The deal, including $55 million guaranteed, is the richest in Buccaneers history for any wide receiver and is one of the most lucrative in NFL history, as well.
Evans had 71 catches for 1,001 yards in 2017, which was his fourth consecutive 1,000 yard season since coming into the league in 2014. Evans struggled at times with double teams and the fact that starting QB Jameis Winston was missing games and clearly not himself physically with an injured shoulder.
He is a former #7 overall pick, who had 68 catches for 1,052 yards and 12 TDs in his rookie year, but it was his 2016 season where he caught for career highs with 96 receptions and 1,321 yards that solidified him making big money down the road.
The Bucs had already locked in Evans for 2018, by picking up the fifth year option in his deal that was scheduled to pay him $2.5 million this season. He now will make more than seven times that amount for this year. It’s still not clear how much Evans got up front in 2018 to relieve the Buccaneers cap. They can spread any signing bonus over the five year length of the deal. That lessens the salary cap impact in future years.
Last off season, Steelers WR Antonio Brown agreed to an extension paying him $68 million over 4 years or $17 million per season. Evans’ five year agreement betters the 2015 contract,the Falcons gave Julio Jones, which at the time was a humongous $71 million.
Evans has now “one upped” his NFC South Rival with the new five year payout.
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