What was once looked like an easy road to a contract extension for Mike Evans has turned into a nightmare scenario for Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans.
On Thursday night Bucs insider Rick Stroud reported that talks between the Bucs and Evans had broken down. Unless something changes, this upcoming season is likely to be Evans final season in Tampa Bay. Evans’ agent gave the Bucs an ultimatum on Friday, stating that the team has until the day before Week 1 kicks off to get a deal done.
He also seemingly gave Bucs fans someone to blame.
In a statement that revealed the timeline for the Bucs to get Evans an offer he like, agent Deryk Gilmore seemed to take direct aim at the Glazer family as the reason a deal hasn’t yet been done.
Mike Evans’ agents calls out Bucs owners
Most of the statement was directed at Bucs fans, giving them a Good Will Hunting moment and reassuring them that this is not their fault. Evans has gone out of his way throughout the entire contract negotiation process to say how much he loves Bucs fans and prefers to remain with that team.
Everything has suggested that Evans wants to retire with the Bucs, and he’s made as much clear at numerous points this offseason.
That’s what makes one specific part of his agent’s statement hit especially hard.
“Despite our efforts over the last two years, and the professionalism of Jason Licht and Assistant General Manager, Mike Greenberg, we have not received an offer to stay in Tampa Bay,” Gilmore said in the statement. “This is not a tactic and the ball is in the owner’s court.”
That’s a shot across the bow at the Glazer’s if there’s ever been one.
It’s also not the first time the Glazers are drawing the ire of fans. Ever since the team won its first Super Bowl back in 2002, fans have been slowly losing their patience with ownership and the Mike Evans saga feels like a final straw situation.
There are few Bucs players as beloved as Evans, and he’s going to go down as one of the greatest players in franchise history. He is without a doubt the best offensive player the Bucs have ever had, and is on track to be their sixth Hall of Fame player.
Evans has been nothing but fantastic for a team that oftentimes didn’t deserve him. Despite having quarterbacks like Mike Glennon and Josh McCown he hasn’t yet finished a season under 1,000 yards and has remained a top wide receiver his entire career.
It sounds like Evans wants a deal closer to $26 million AAV, which is in line with Cooper Kupp’s top contract at the position. As it stands now Evans isn’t even the highest paid player on his own team, which seems insane given how much he’s done. The Bucs are strapped for cash, though, and a fat long term contract might not factor into their financial future.
That being said, it sounds like almost everyone in the building wants to get a deal done except the folks at the top who sign the checks.