Zero Rush To Re-Sign Mike Evans

February 2nd, 2017

Patience is prudent

Joe has chuckled at the screams across Tampa Bay to extend Mike Evans’ contract ASAP.

It’s completely unnecessary.

As Evans approaches his fourth NFL season, the Bucs have a fifth-year option on his contract because Evans was a first-round pick in 2014. That means that the Bucs have until May 3 to pick up that option, one that will guarantee Evans roughly $12 million for the 2018 season, even if he is injured.

The Bucs should simply exercise the option and wait until after the 2017 season to negotiate with Evans on a new deal.

First, Evans already has earned close to $14 million through his first three years in the league. He’s not hurting for cash, and that 2018 option is a lottery ticket. There’s no urgency to take care of Evans’ family.

Second, why not wait?

Players get hurt all the time. The Bucs have wiggle room here and should use it.

What’s the worst that could happen? That’s an easy answer. The Bucs end up forced to make Evans the highest paid receiver in the NFL in order to keep him, a cost that will be higher in two years than it is now.

OK. That’s a good problem to have because it means Evans deserves the loot.

Meanwhile, waiting at least another year on Evans should lock in his extreme motivation and give the Bucs more flexibility.

For Joe, this is a no-brainer, especially with the continuously exploding NFL salary cap, one that jumped again significantly, per the league‘s announcement yesterday.

28 Responses to “Zero Rush To Re-Sign Mike Evans”

  1. Joeypoppems Says:

    I will admit, I was in the group hoping they resign Evans now. After reading his response from when Joes asked how he would act if another receiver made more than him, I agree with Joe here.

    Pick up the 5th year option and worry about his big contract when it is time.

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I agree, J0E. I was wondering why people wanted to offer contracts to guys that do not even need them yet.

    You would think they’d learned their lessons by now.

  3. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Have to say joe you have changed my mind. we can get 2 more years on this contract and will cost us $12 mil for year 5? I’ll take that!

  4. al121976 Says:

    I think I would still lock him up early just because I know the price is only going to go up. why wait? we already know what we have, might as well get the long term deal done now before he has another great season and drive the price up.

  5. BuccaneerByBirth Says:

    Hmmmm. Gotta disagree Joe. Basic rule of the stock market: BUY LOW. That ME13 stock is only gonna rise

  6. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Set the market and not have to pay what the Giants are going to pay OBJ, but of course licht is the genious GM, the man who signed Doug Martin despite teh whispers to everyone in the know that he had a drug problem….too bad robinson is in Tennessee and can no longer steer licht in teh right direction

  7. jwash Says:

    This article lacks any foresight whatsoever. SAVING MONEY is the reason to lock him up now. Very soon, we’ll have to sign Kwon to a big contract. Also very soon, we’ll have to spend HUGE money to lock the Franchise QB up.

    Making the deal at whatever the market price is now, saves us on the natural contract inflation will be, plus protects us in case Mike riches an even high level of play requiring a Calvin or Fitz or AP outlier type contract aka the steph curry business model.

  8. Mojiska Says:

    A guy that has outplayed his current contract deserves to be rewarded by his team. That makes everyone on the team happy knowing the front office takes care of their guys when it’s deserved, not at the last minute when it’s either pay up or ship out.

  9. tnew Says:

    Agree whole heartedly with the last 5 posts. Go ahead lock him up now. These agents deal in % of salary cap vs raw dollars too. Showing that you will reward hard work and production in a company is never a bad thing. Waiting to pay an employee just because you can, that is.

  10. Curtis Buckley Says:

    The reason is to lock him up through prime years at a discount. He is elite and we lose leverage if we wait pass another contract year.

  11. Joeypoppems Says:

    You guys know OBJ and Evans are from the same draft class right? They have the same 5th year option and they aren’t in a position to resign OBJ to a long term deal yet. They only have 25 million to spend this offseason and want to keep both JPP and Hankins.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    I disagree…..waiting will cost us top dollar…we should try to set the market before odb and others get extended driving up the price…plus I think its a good idea to reward the players you drafted if they’ve shown to be productive, a good team mate and staying out of trouble….GO BUCS!!!

  13. Joeypoppems Says:

    And we are talking a difference of a couple million here. Its not like we would resign him now for 8-9 million a year. He would likely get 11-12 million now and if “other receivers set the market value” it will be what? Around 14 million? Its worth the wait.

  14. Lord Cornelius Says:

    You could argue Evans is the most important contributor and building block on this team after Winston. He easily has better film already than any Buc WR in our history. He has missed 2 games out of his first 46, increased his catches every year and averaged over 1200 yards and like 10 TDs in his first 3 seasons.

    If you don’t lock him up and he continues to ball like he will; then it just depends on how much the new deal is vs the money you are saving on his rookie deal for 1-2 years.

    I just think back to the Gerald McCoy contract.. Pretty similar situation where we rewarded him with 1 year left I believe on his rookie deal. We front loaded him and took a big cap hit year one; but his cap hit will never be more than $13 million going into 2021 which is a joke compared to recent top DTs.

    Suh signed a year later as a true FA – his cap hits are $19, 26, 28, & 22 million the next 4 years. That’s an insane difference lol. We basically got McCoy at half the price of Suh for investing early.

    Want to know Fletcher Cox cap hits (signed 2 years after McCoy)? $9.4 mill / $17.9 / $22 / $20.3 / $17.2. He wasn’t even a FA – that was just the cost to re-sign him.

    So basically McCoy averages $10 million less a year than Suh in cap hits; and $4 million less than Cox

    That’s why I try to tell the McCoy haters his salary is actually not in the top tier of DT salaries… He’s paid like a really great DT not an elite one; which is what he is. His salary has never bothered me.

    Big WR deals are typically 7-8 years at least. If signing him early saves $4-5 mill in cap a year that is $28-$40 million total saved. If we don’t sign him till after 2018; we will have spent $17 mill on ME over 2 years; so likely saving like $13 mill in the short term; but losing more than double than that long term.

    Ideal situation imo? Sign him before FA next year and before ODJ’s diva a5s demands $20+ mill per year and sets a stupid market. Doesn’t need to be now; but it definitely needs to be before any other WR from that draft class imo.

  15. Mojiska Says:

    The young guys notice when a guy gets rewarded for his play, not waiting until the last minute. If you wait until the last minute, players would be less incentive zed to ball out every year, and only go hard in a contract year. It will also save some money more than likely. As long as it doesn’t get dragged into the season. If you can’t figure it out now, wait until next offseason. Show him how much we appreciate him and reward good play. Others will see us take care of him and want to come to a team that takes care of their studs.

  16. Pickgrin Says:

    Great points Lord C.

    I was thinking the same thing before reading your post. The McCoy contract is the perfect example of how much would be saved long term by locking up Evans to a 6 or 7 year deal earlier than later.

    I’m not suggesting do it now or anytime soon. In fact, the Bucs should exercise Evans 5th year option this spring and then just let it sit until the season starts. Then see what you have left over after most of the year’s spending is accounted for and what would be available to front load Evan’s deal with from this year’s $ – and then begin serious negotiations for a new, big extended contract for ME13.

    Worst that could happen is you can’t come to an agreement and have the 5th year option to fall back on for 2018 and franchise designation to fall back on in subsequent years. It won’t come to that of course – but the Bucs won’t ever lose Evans to free agency unless we chose to let him go there.

    With Jameis and Kwon and Smith and Marpet all coming up for contract renewals after the 2018 season (Jameis could be 5th year optioned as well) – it makes sense to me to go ahead and get the Evans deal handled sometime in 2017 – and then that $ will be known and accounted for and Licht can then turn his attention on what to do regarding 2nd contracts for the Grand Slam Group.

  17. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I agree with Joe on this one. I love ME but it’s a business!!! Two more years of control before being forced to sign him means two years to make sure he doesn’t blow out a knee or start getting concussions. Yeah that sounds heartless until you realize ALL of these guys are ALREADY multimillionaires. Why take the risk?

    @Dusthy This sentence in your post came out brown in my computer because of the are from which you pulled it!!!

    despite teh whispers to everyone in the know that he had a drug problem…

    Really? Are you in the kno? YOU heard these whispers? NOBODY else made a peep about these whispers when Doug was signed. There was a loud group including Joe that simply wanted to franchise him to save money. The drugs make that a moot point since they won’t have to honor his contract anyway.

    I know it’s a blog and posters are not expected to be journalists providing attribution and sources…but “people in the know” and “whispers” is just incredibly weak. Then again we are now a nation that accepts alternate truths….so if the truth is totally irrelevant I guess we are free to simply engage in rumors and innuendo. Yeah I’m old school what can I say…I still like verifiable facts. Facts have gone the way of landline phones.

  18. Steven Levy Says:

    Way to do your homework @Lord Cornelius. I agree with signing him before free agency next year. Worst case scenario (also pointed out by Pickgrin) is that we essentially control Evans for the next 4 years. 2017 and 2018 (5th year option) then the next two if we choose to franchise him. So he’s not going anywhere anytime soon and hopefully our GM will see the Licht (ha-ha) and get this thing done at the right time.

  19. LakeLandBuc Says:

    If he is due $12 million on his 5th year option..why not ad a few more millions and lock him up long term.

  20. Kevin Says:

    No need to extend him , just make sure that fifth year option is picked up. No reason to rush, he wants to play here and this team has something good brewing. I agree with Joe on this.

    He is still insane for thinking our Oline is not a major concern though

  21. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I hope these other WR’s don’t set a high market for WR, while we wait to extend ME.

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’ll make a solid point, so listen up:

    Those of you who want to sign him now? If Licht did that and ME got in trouble or injured, ALL of you would claim Licht jumped the gun and be mad that he did not wait because he would have gotten a lower price.

    Every. One. Of. You.

    The only players extended early are the ones that are already paid too much and the team needs to make room by restructuring. Proven vets.

    Last year, most of you were saying you wanted Evans out of here because of his drops!

  23. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Last year, most of you were saying you wanted Evans out of here because of his drops!

    LOL. It’s a fickle crowd here at JBF Buc Bonzai.

  24. GhostofTedford Says:


    That’s the latest report on the Bucs salary cap and have 72.5 million dollars to spend.


  25. Lord Corn Says:

    I hope these other WR’s don’t set a high market for WR, while we wait to extend ME.”

    Exactly and agree with Pickgrin in that we need to set the market but there’s no pressure right now. Maybe mid season or towards the later part of the season.

    It’s dumb but I’d be shocked if ODB didn’t try to set some new rediculous high mark for WRs at $18-20+ mill per year. That’s what we need to avoid

  26. pick6 Says:

    why not wait?

    1. Odell Beckham Junior and Amari Cooper will break the bank with their respective teams. it’d be nice to not have to top those deals, especially since they’ll be reflecting the much higher cost of living in Northern California and NYC

    2. giving him a raise\bonus starting in 2017 means you can offer lower numbers on the back end of the deal. for example instead of 5 years at $15 mil per next offseason, you can do 6 years at $13 mil per this offseason and he will make more money by age 28 while handing the bucs $2 mil a year in cap room

    3. boatloads more cap room now than we’ll soon have. front load mike’s deal and have less stress when it’s time to extend jameis, kwon, marpet, donovan smith, and cam brate

  27. pick6 Says:

    Dez Bryant – signed mid-July 2015 – 5 yrs @ $14 mil per
    Julio Jones – signed 8/12/15 – 5 years @ $14.25 per
    AJ Green – signed 8/13/15 – 4 years @ $15 mil per

    within a month each guy set the bar for the next guy to top. signing your guy before the other big stars at the positition helps the team save money

  28. Poor Glennon Says:

    In 2 years he’ll want 20M per. Give him a contract now heck pay him 30M next year and less every year. Then he’ll be cap friendly at the end of the 5 year contract