4 pending 2024 free agents Buccaneers fans should worry about losing

  • Tampa Bay is projected to have $28M in cap space next offseason
  • Bucs will have the 15th-worst cap situation in the league
  • Tristan Wirfs is projected for a $30M AAV contract
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Mike Evans, WR

It's hard to say who is the clear second to Tristan Wirfs in terms of being a guy the Bucs will bend over backward to bring back. That's not because there isn't enough talent, it's that there's too much of it.

White is divisive among fans, but the rest of the guys here are very much not. Ask Bucs fans to list their favorite players and Mike Evans is going to show up at the top of a lot of them. He's a future Hall of Famer who is one of the best players to ever play for the franchise, and he still has productive years ahead of him.

Despite what the new Madden ratings might suggest, Evans is one of the top wide receivers in the league and he's not out of bounds for wanting to get paid as such. While he's been putting together nine consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, among many other incredible accomplishments, Evans hasn't asked the Bucs to break the bank to keep him around.

An $82.5 million contract isn't exactly a discount on the surface, but it's way under where a guy like Evans should be paid. He's not even the highest-paid receiver on the team, as Chris Godwin's $20 million average salary is $3.5 million more than Evans. Entering this season Evans is the 17th highest-paid receiver in the NFL even though teams would probably take him over some of the guys above him on that list.

Nobody wants Evans to leave in free agency, especially since he has the chance to pull off being a Buccaneers lifer when all is said and done. He's going to be due a new contract in the neighborhood of $21 million per year and is projected for a four-year, $60 million overall deal. That's not unpalatable but the Bucs will probably need to make that decision before Evans hits the open market and starts hearing dollar amounts that are more out of the team's comfort zone.