Of course, Buccaneers fans and the team itself almost has to believe they’re better off with Evans than without him which makes extending the four-year stud a must-do.
However, locking Evans in with the franchise for years to come may not be something we see come to fruition for at least a little while longer.
Reported by Trevor Sikkema of the Pewter Report, Evan’s agent had this to say,
"“We’re not doing any negotiating (right now). We’re just going to wait and play it out,” Gilmore said. “We think that the Buccaneers are a great organization. We feel that they really care about Mike; they care about the direction of the franchise and where it’s going.”"
Basically, Evans and his agent appear to be ready to bet on the player. Which appears to be a well-supported decision.
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In his first four seasons, Evans has missed just three games, brought in 309 catches and has amassed over 4,500-yards with 32 touchdowns scored.
These are huge numbers in the realm of the Bucs franchise, but it’s also placed him nicely amongst his league-wide peer group as well.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract inevitably came up in PR’s conversation with Gilmore, and among other things, the agent said,
"“One of the things that’s smart to say is that you look at Jimmy Garoppolo and if we said name the top five quarterbacks in the league it wouldn’t by Jimmy Garoppolo, but he’s paid the highest. If you look at that…I consider Mike to be one of the top five players in the league.”"
Evans hasn’t always ranked in the Top-5 among NFL receivers. A stat which has just as much to do with the offense and quarterback play as it does his own.
While speculating, I would think this decision to play out the 2018 NFL season without a new contract has as much to do with betting on himself as it does with seeing just how the Bucs offense looks moving forward.
There’s no doubt the unit as a whole underperformed in 2017, and quarterback Jameis Winston even alluded to working towards getting Evans his fourth straight 1,000-yard season at the end of it.
Evans would likely prefer not to have to force the issue, rather play in a system and with teammates who allow his talents to gather the yardage naturally. So, would the Bucs.
2018 is a big season for the Buccaneers on many fronts. This revelation by their best receiver just adds a bit more weight on it considering this is a franchise not known for using their franchise tags.
How do you feel about Evans playing out his option year in lieu of extending with the team? And do you think his risk is a smart one?
David Harrison is one of the Buccaneers Co-Experts for The Pewter Plank. You can reach him about this or any other NFL topic on Facebook, or on Twitter.
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