Fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers know good and well what happened prior to the 2023 campaign. The franchise's all-time leading receiver asked for a new contract before Week 1.
To be fair, Mike Evans deserved to make that ask. He's been the most consistent wide receiver in the league for a decade running.
The Bucs, though, denied his request and didn't even make an offer. So, when the season comes to a close and Evans is a free agent next spring, Tampa fans can kiss Evans goodbye.
This year, Evans has been as good as he ever has, proving himself correct. As the season winds down, these five teams should be paying close attention to Evans in preparation for free agency next spring.
1. Buffalo Bills
This season has been quite the disappointment, thus far, for the Buffalo Bills. At this stage, we don't even know if the Bills will wind up in the postseason. Quarterback Josh Allen has accounted for 33 touchdowns this year, but his turnovers are still a noteworthy shortcoming.
Sean McDermott hasn't been perfect in his game management or decision making at times, and the Bills don't look like the Super Bowl contender they were pegged to be prior to the season. Gabriel Davis, the team's second receiver to Stefon Diggs, will also be a free agent. And Davis hasn't been the consistent no. 2 the Bills need.
Buffalo was rumored to be in on DeAndre Hopkins this past offseason, but ultimately passed. This coming offseason, they could right their wrong by pairing Diggs with Evans, giving Allen arguably the league's top receiving duo en route to a Super Bowl run.