Why do the Buccaneers still have Justin Evans on roster?
By Rob Leeds
Injuries to great players happen all the time, but teams usually don’t hold out hope for a return this long in cases like Justin Evans’.
No one ever wants to see an athlete’s career come to an end due to an injury. Unfortunately, Justin Evans‘ career in Tampa Bay is over, and everyone can see that but the Buccaneers.
Evans was an extremely promising prospect in 2017 and 2018. During this time, he was one of the most productive safeties on the roster with four interceptions and eight passes defended, and it looked like the Buccaneers were moving on from their numerous issues at the position.
Despite his higher levels of play, Evans struggled with injuries at compounding rates and never finished a season healthy. These injuries could spell the end of Evans in the NFL.
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After Evans went down, safety play in Tampa Bay suffered. The Buccaneers couldn’t keep waiting for a player to return that has never been consistent during his NFL career, and they started investing in the position again.
In the last three drafts, the Buccaneers have spent a second, third, and fourth-round pick on safeties, and these three players have proven their worth to the Buccaneers during the past two seasons in a way that could make Evans obsolete, even when healthy.
Mike Edwards and Antoine Winfield Jr. are one of the best safety duos the Buccaneers have fielded in a long time, and they should be the starters for the foreseeable future. Mike Edwards adds to this embarrassment of riches as one of the most efficient defensive players in the league in a supporting role, and the Bucs still can’t get him enough reps.
With these three as concrete options, for the time being, Evans stands little chance of ever beating one of these players out. Tampa Bay won’t want to change a position group that has been very successful this season other than to find ways to get Edwards more touches.
The writing has been on the wall for a while now, but the Buccaneers need to move on from Justin Evans, even if it is a few years late.
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