NFL reporter reveals Mike Evans' 'hefty' asking price for Buccaneers

We all knew it would be the case, but Mike Evans is going to cost the Bucs a pretty penny.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages

As NFL free agency rapidly approaches, the clock continues to tick on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers figuring out how to bring back Mike Evans.

We've all known this time would come, as Evans gave the Bucs an ultimatum before Week 1 to either pay him then or risk losing him in the offseason. Tampa Bay didn't budge, and now Evans is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career.

There's already been a ton of interest from other teams, with the New York Jets reportedly asking about a trade as far back as August. Other contenders include the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, and Houston Texans but all all 31 other teams in the league would be foolish not to be lined up outside of Evans' door.

One thing that can prevent a free agent frenzy with Evans is if the Bucs find a way to re-sign him before the legal tampering period arrives. The ball has always been in Tampa Bay's court but the hangup has always been how much the team is willing to meet Evans in the middle.

Mike Evans' reportedly wants $25M per year on his next contract

NFL Network’s Jeffri Chadhia included Evans and the Bucs as part of his observations from the NFL Combine and in doing so revealed what he's hearing is the asking price from the future Hall of Famer.

"Sources close to Evans also say he's looking for something with an annual salary in the $25 million range. That might sound like a hefty price tag for a receiver who turns 31 in August, until you consider his consistency," Chadhia reported.

Perhaps the biggest narrative around Evans is how underrated he's been throughout his career. He's quietly put up Hall of Fame numbers and is on the heels of passing Jerry Rice for the most consecutive 1,000 yard seasons.

Evans is by far the best offensive player in franchise history and he remains one of the team's most valuable players. We saw how the offense sputtered when he wasn't being featured, which may be a glimpse into a future where he's no longer in Tampa Bay.

Price has always been the issue here, but it's not a hurdle too high for the Bucs to clear. Right now Evans' value is arbitrary as the team has one figure in mind while his side has another. The most likely way this all plays out is Evans hitting the market to set an official price that Tampa Bay can then match.

Asking for $25 million puts Evans among the highest-paid players at his position -- which is where he deserves to be -- and we'll find out in a few weeks if that's actually where his price gets set.

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