It’s time for the Buccaneers to pay Mike Evans.
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The Buccaneers have a star on their hands in the form of a wide receiver. His name is Mike Evans. We have talked about this before. I have written here about how Evans stands up to both current and former NFL elites at the wide receiver position. He doesn’t get the respect he deserves.
But the Bucs have the opportunity to show that respect to their own. Evans is entering the final year of his contract. According to Spotrac, Evans is due to make approximately $4.6 million in 2017.
It’s time to give this man a raise.
Mike Evans has been nothing short of spectacular since he arrived on the scene. For three years, he has averaged nearly 80 receptions per season. His numbers have gone up as he has earned Jameis Winston‘s trust. With 96 receptions in 2016, Evans earned his first Pro Bowl invitation. Though he doesn’t get the national respect, he is one of the league’s very best.
Evans has outperformed the money he makes now, by a lot. Let’s look at where he ranks among players at his position. According to Spotrac, Evans’ cap hit last year ranked him 36th in the league. That ranks him just ahead of players like Stevie Johnson, Kevin White and Dwayne Harris. Victor Cruz, Travis Benjamin and Steve Smith were ranked just ahead of Evans. None of these players were anywhere near the level of Evans.
They could just let him play out the year and try to sign him at the end of 2017. That would be a mistake. If Evans were ever to hit free agency his price would go through the roof. He will perform well, just as everyone does in their contract year, and the market will go nuts for him. According to the Pewter Report, an extension in and of itself will put him in Julio Jones range. If it gets to free agency, the numbers will be off the charts.
When you have a player the quality of Mike Evans, you do not let him even get the chance to slip away. You don’t let him complete his contract year without an extension. You sign him to an extension before the season starts. Jason Licht needs to get that done this off-season.