Getting to the bottom of the Mike Evans-Jets trade rumors

So did the Jets ask about a Mike Evans trade or not?
Detroit Lions v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Detroit Lions v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The NFL Trade Deadline might have come and gone, but it turned out to be more eventful for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers than it initially seemed.

Whether the excitement was real is something that is still getting untangled a few days later.

After the deadline passed, a report went around that the Jets had attempted to trade for Mike Evans. It’s something that, like any great fishing story, varies based on who you hear it from. The angle that got latched onto was that Joe Douglas tried to get a last-minute deal done for Evans but was turned away by Jason Licht.

This is where the lines of truth start to blur.

It sounds like the Jets did inquire about acquiring Evans — it just happened back in August.

Did the Jets call Bucs about Mike Evans trade?

There seems to be some confusion about what exactly happened and when. So let’s clear the air and set the record as straight as possible.

Earlier this week is was reported that the Jets had reached out to the Bucs about the possibility of trading for Evans. That report made it seem as though the inquiry was recent, and went so far as the make that assessment.

That doesn’t appear to be true.

Rick Stroud, who passed the report from the New York Post around, clarified that the Jets reached out back in August and were rebuffed.

Greg Auman also refuted the claim that the inquiry was recent.

It’s easy to see how this rumor could have spread, especially since it wasn’t totally clear at first and has since taken on a life of its own. We even initially interpreted the rumor to mean the inquiry came at the deadline — which makes sense — and theNFL’s official site still has an in amended report that states the Bucs were asked about Evans at the deadline.

As much sense as it makes for the Jets to have asked about Evans, it doesn’t appear to be true.

Beyond whether this specific part of the Jets interest is true, the takeway remains that the Bucs already have a clearly identified competitor for Evans this offseason. If a deal can’t be reached before he hits the market, the Jets sound like they’ll come calling and offer Evans a chance to play with Aaron Rodgers on a Super Bowl contending team.

Whether or not the Bucs can offer the same is yet to be seen.

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