Mike Evans agrees to new contract with Buccaneers: Full details and grade

He's coming back!

Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
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One of the biggest free agent dominos of the offseason has fallen, and it's landed in Tampa Bay.

After reports that Mike Evans was going to test free agency for the first time in his career, the future Hall of Fame wide receiver is going to be returning to Tampa Bay. A week before the legal tampering period is set to open, the Bucs and Evans reached an agreement on a new two-year deal and keep him away from free agency.

Evans' agent, Deryk Gilmore, told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the two sides had agreed to a two-year, $52 million contract that includes $35 million guaranteed.

It's not the long-term deal everyone thought he'd get, but it keeps him in Tampa Bay and serves as a best-of-both-worlds situation for all involved.

Full Mike Evans contract details after re-signing with Buccaneers

The big piece of this new contract is the $35 million guaranteed that Evans is going to get. The franchise tag for wide receivers this year was set around $21 million, but the figure he was looking for was closer to $25 million.

Evans will get $26 million AAV on his new deal, but the way the team structured it allows for breathing room on the front office's side of things as well.

Year

Salary (AAV)

2024

$26M

2025

$26M

2026

UFA

Giving him that guaranteed money upfront allows the Bucs to give Evans what he wants -- a nice payday -- while also ripping off most of the band-aid right away on his contract. Unlike last season the Bucs have more cap space to play around with, which allowed the team to figure out this contract structure without having to strain as much as it initially seemed they might.

Now that a deal with Evans has been taken care of, the rest of the team's free agent dominos are likely to fall in pretty quick succession. Evans coming back almost guarantees that Baker Mayfield will soon reach a new deal, especially since we all figured he was the hinge on which everything swung.

Mayfield has reportedly been getting interest from the Falcons and Patriots, with the Vikings being tossed in as a possible suitor as well. Kirk Cousins is the top free agent quarterback everyone is pursuing but it's been established that Baker is the guy everyone will want if they miss out.

Tampa Bay has a chance to take him off the board before we even get to that phase.

Much like with Evans, the Bucs are expected to reach a deal with Mayfield before free agency opens, and that now seems as likely as ever.

While it started to look dicey, the goal all along has been to get Mike Evans back and keep him on track to retire with Tampa Bay. A two-year deal won't take him to the end of his career but it extends the window for the team to reach an extension with him.

It also pays Evans what he's worth, which has also been a goal this entire time. He's not resetting the market like Antoine Winfield Jr is expected to do, but he's getting a nice payday after yet another incredible season.

This whole situation has been brewing since before Week 1, but for all the anxiety it caused along the way it ended exactly the way everyone in Tampa Bay wanted it to.

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