Jason Licht Talks Mike Evans’ Reaction, Contract

March 13th, 2017

Yes, DeSean Jackson is the Bucs’ new big-money receiver, the spike in the punch of Tampa Bay’s offense.

But the beast in the huddle, the No. 1 target, is still Mike Evans.

Evans is paid a lot less than Jackson, but he doesn’t care. That was the message from general manager Jason Licht on Saturday after announcing the signing of Jackson, who will earn $12.5 million this season.

“Mike Evans was the first one to reach out to me, one of the first to reach out to me [after signing DeSean] and congratulate us, Licht said. “He told me that he couldn’t be happier. And I said, ‘You know, Mike, your day is coming. It’s coming.’ And he said, ‘I’m not even thinking about.’ He said, ‘All I’m thinking about is winning a championship and this is going to help us.'”

The Bucs have a May deadline to exercise the team-held, fifth-year option on Evans’ rookie contract.

Joe specifically asked Licht if his plan was to exercise that option (which would pay Evans around $14 million in 2018) and then go from there in the process to eventually re-sign Evans.

“We have until May, but I mean, Mike Evans, hopefully, is going to be here for a very long time, for life, hopefully,” Licht said.

Joe sees no rush to re-sign Evans. What’s the hurry? Exercise the fifth-year option and get a new deal done next winter if Evans is healthy and thriving.

Evans great attitude is no surprise. As Evans told Joe at the Pro Bowl, ‘If you know football, then you understand.’

47 Responses to “Jason Licht Talks Mike Evans’ Reaction, Contract”

  1. Chyno Says:

    Resign him next winter? For what? We have the money now to extend him. No need to put off resigning our star WR. He’s been healthy and very productive every year he’s been in the league. He’s not a diva and doesn’t cause trouble whatsoever. The player like that deserves his money now. Don’t wait to resign him next winter, extend him nowww!

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Not sure it really matters when Bucs re-sign ME13. He’ll get paid, handsomely, and he’ll be a Buc for life like Jason said. Rather than a 5th yr option however, I suspect we’ll see a long-term contract instead. Both sides prefer that it sounds like and we have the $$$. Simple enough.

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    No harm in exercising the 5th year option. Its exactly that – an option. Nothing wrong with having that on the table for the team. Doesn’t mean Evans will not get his long term deal at some point. $14M aint chump change and is roughly in the neighborhood of what Mike will be earning each year on an extended deal. Perhaps a bit below but I doubt Mike would be pissed about $14M for playing in 2018 if the Bucs felt excercising that option was in the team’s best interest.

    The most likely scenario is that the Bucs will reserve the 5th year option. Let the majority of 2017 play out – see how much $ we have left towards the end of this league year and how well Evans plays in 2017 – and then negotiate heavily with Evans in December or so for an extended new deal (assuming he has stayed healthy and productive and there is $ left over to help front load Evan’s new deal with from this year’s $).

    Probably better in the long run to get ahead of an OBJ signing with a long term deal for Evans than be behind it so I’m sure they will keep a close eye on that situation as well…

  4. Rod Munch Says:

    Even if you resign him now you wouldn’t start paying him until his contract is up – so how much cap space we have right now doesn’t mean much of anything. The $14-million number is a bit surprising however, I’d have thought that would be much much lower for the 5th option year – that basically will be the same kind of money he’ll get in an extension I would think.

  5. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    I’m with you bro…sign ME13 to an extension ASAP!!! He DESERVES it #1 and he’s only going to get a LOT more expensive as time goes on.

    People were whining about what JJ makes relative to mediocrities like Pierre Garcon…that’s because the Falcons locked him up early enough to save the $$$

    What was the old commercial…you can pay me now or pay me later…and there is no doubt ME13’s contract value is going to skyrocket unless there is a catastrophic injury,…but that’s ALWAYS the risk after you sign anybody.

    With DJAX…an improved Brate…ME13 could have a career year…then how much will we owe him and where will the market be?

  6. Mort Says:

    Chyno: we have money but there is no need to say we are going to pay more for someone than we need to. Right now if we want him for a fifth year at 14m then that’s a bargain. It also protects the team if he shreds his knees and ankles or gets in a fatal car crash. You don’t have to like the thought, but it’s reality and as an NFL team you are irresponsible if you don’t consider that.

    Yes sign an extension next year, but exercise the fifth year option and keep him here for 14 million, which is literally 5 million less for that year than he would get otherwise.

  7. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Its that type of attitude that brings championships. Brady has taken less for the bigger Good, Tim Duncan did the same. ME not dumb he knows his coming. Lets get this hardware placed inn that front office.

  8. James Walker Says:

    If Evans can keep up this high level of play for another 6 or so years and win a ring he may be a HOF candidate.

  9. Howard Returns Says:

    Howard feels strongly enough about this to make a post:
    Mike Evans is an epic human being. A true, old-school hero in an age of ass-wipes. You watch him learn and grow and become better and better. We’re really lucky. Talk about a guy who wants to win. We saw what happened to Manziel once he was separated from Evans.

  10. Poor Glennon Says:

    Just pay the guy 15m per for 7 years and be done with it. He might get 25M per from the jags in a couple years.

  11. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    BTW…I should add as a fan…I trust Licht…but if he somehow loses out in an eventual bidding war for ME13 I’ll have to go all “DallasBuc” on him.

  12. Howard Returns Says:

    Howard should add that a big part of Evans attraction is his selflessness.
    Here’s hoping that shows true in contract negotiations.

  13. 941BUC Says:

    I have a very good feeling Jameis and Evans will be willing to take a pay cut if it works out for this team just so Licht can have extra money to find key players year after year.

  14. Rod Munch Says:

    There’s no need for talk about pay cuts or anything, Evans will get his money and in time Winston will get his. But if you want to keep Evans for as long as possible you pick up the 5thh year option then start negotiating. It’s just good old leverage. Also the Bucs always can tag Evans as well – so that and the option means you got at least 3 more seasons – that gives the team comfort, while costing a ton, and gives Evans a reason to want yo get a new deal. Remember that Evans and Beckham will set the market for each other, so both teams might want to wait to see that market, or sign first if they think the other team will overpay. We shall see but I have zero worries.

  15. Wausa Says:

    I’d like to see them sign him to an extension now and give him a large 2017 roster bonus so we can eat up cap space for this year and have plenty of room to extend our 2014 draft picks next offseason.

    We have some monster contracts coming up in the next one to two years(Lavonte David, Ali Marpet, Donavan Smith and of course Jameis Winston).

  16. Dave Says:

    Love me ME!
    He is great. Lock him and JW up whenever it is right.

  17. Howard Returns Says:

    Very informative, Rod

  18. unbelievable Says:

    And he said, “I’m not even thinking about.” He said, “All I’m thinking about is winning a championship and this is going to help us.'”

    How can you not love this kid? THAT, right there, is the attitude of a real baller!

    Joe, question about your link to the conversation at the pro-bowl… Who suggested Evans would act like a diva if they signed / drafted another receiver? I have not seen that implicated by even the craziest of posters on these boards… except perhaps when he knelt down and everyone acted like he killed their dog.

  19. USFBUC Says:

    We should go ahead and get this done now because the ceiling currently I believe is $15m but that will go up if we wait until the end of 2018. We could probably save a couple million per year by signing him now.

  20. Mojiska Says:

    Exercise the 5th year option and negotiate heavily next offseason. Do not deal with negotiations mid season, let them focus on football.

  21. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    The longer you wait to pay Evans, the higher the price tag goes. Imagine what it’s going to cost us if he has a 1700 yard, 14 TD season next year. From what I’ve seen so far, he’s only scratching the surface of how good he’s going to be. I’d act quickly, and then worry about Jameis next year.

  22. Gencoimports Says:

    I really love what Evans did after his second season to become an All-Pro. I hope the Bucs draft a stud WR early and have Evans tak him under his wing.

  23. Dewey Selmon Says:

    If DeSean Jackson is getting paid $12 mil than Evans should get $17-$18 mil a year.

  24. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Poe visiting Falcons!

  25. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    What Hawaii bucs said 🏈🏈

  26. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Uht theirs another for you Blake I just saw SB Nation’s Dan Kadar has us taking Dalvin Cook. Says its about to make us a offensive juggernauts. I agree. Go check it out bro.

  27. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Excercise that 5th year option so Godzilla13 can get properly paid for 1 year then give him a worthwhile team/player friendly contract that he & the Bucs can live with and still makes him feel appreciated. This year 1500 tds 16 tds

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Chyno Says
    “Resign him next winter? For what? We have the money now to extend him. No need to put off resigning our star WR.”

    There are reasons to wait. For one thing, you want to stagger your contracts so that they don’t all come due for renewal at the same time.

    For another thing, it’s just poor money management to jump the gun. If you have a contract at a reduced rate with your cell phone company, you don’t decide “Oh, I want to resign for more money just because I have a little extra cash!”

    You wait until the bill is due.

    Another thing. With the salaries going up, we’ll want his new contract to expire as far from now as possible. So waiting a year will buy us a year later.

    And finally, making Mike Evans play another year keeps him trying hard to earn the new contract. Give him his money early and he might just take it easy and cruise. You never know when a player will do that.

    Bottom line, even if he gets a big head and refuses to sign a new contract later, he can be franchised two years straight. That lets us keep him at least 3 more years without a new contract.

    But I don’t think it will come to that. Like Licht said, the goal is to keep him here for life, which is likely 10 more years. Let him earn the new contract.

  29. Fred E. Buc Says:

    I would extend Mike Evans now, sure, at a fat price, sure, for a long time, sure, five years at least, sure, with a boatload of caveats. For dam sure. Evans is a beast, talented, a workhorse, a competitor. He’s also a potential problem child for One Bucs with his proven unsportsmanlike temper (is he past it still), his misplaced demonstrations (sitting during Nat’l Anthem), etc. So I like what they did with Martin’s contract, letting Bucs walk away if needed….good thing too…so they should also do this with Evans. Sign now, with caveats. Evans has also not yet earned the right to be where DJax is (but he’s close), so I’d hope there is no dissent to the fact he makes less. Evans’ day is coming. He has to finish earning it. That said, what about team captains? We know it will be Jameis on offense. Who else? Last year it was rightfully VJax. Will it be DJax already…that is, will DJax earn that role in camp? I’d have thought Hawley but he may not even be around. So I am betting it’s between Brate and DJax. Right now, Brate and Jameis.

  30. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Since we have the cap space now, we should sign him now. Give him roster bonuses for this year and next to give him more money now as to front load the contract. Then keep his salary the next 5 years reasonable. Give him an extra 10 mil this year. And maybe get him for 13 mil for the next 5 years. Guarantee most of it. And keep us in reasonable cap management for the next few years. Thatbis if the bucs are done in Free agency. I think we still have some 30 mil in cap space. Might as well use it up and get our guys paid now before it starts getting too tight.

  31. Trubucfan22 Says:

    O capns are probably Winston and Marpet, at least those are my votes.

    D should be kwon and Ayers, but will probably be GMC and Kwon.

    Special teams is Anger and Josh Robinson.

  32. SB Says:

    Why is it so hard to understand that you don’t sign a wide receiver to an extension until it’s time? Mike Evans could tear to ACLs between now and the time we have to resign him. I love Mike as much as anyone else does but business is business

  33. Joeypoppems Says:

    Some people just don’t understand that SB

  34. Fred E. Buc Says:

    SB, if Evans tears an ACL and misses the season do you replace him forever? No. You want him back. Which is why they have clauses in contracts, IR, and everything else. If you wait to sign him the year you have to have him, his price is higher AND he can still tear an ACL. Injuries are part of the game and you don’t assume some risk, you will a bunch of healthy nobodies.

  35. SB Says:

    Howdy pops. Yeah I guess as fans we let our desires cloud our judgement a bit. Part of the package I guess. 😎

  36. SB Says:

    Fred I don’t know what you do for a living but the Fact is that signing ME right. Now is Bad Business .. and let’s be real football is business even though we like to think of it as fun

  37. d-roca Says:

    He is not struggling to pay his rent, settle down boys. It gets done when it gets done. Go bucs

  38. tdtb2015 Says:

    Joe- If we draft McCafrey, do you see the Bucs moving Sims to WR?

  39. Kevinthepainterimagine Says:

    I will be pissed if the falcons sign poe. We still need another recieving option whether it be wr or t.e

  40. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Has ANYONE thought about the fact that Licht knows the market is going up on WR and he’s waiting, WAITING to MAKE SURE GODZILLA is the highest paid…. Because he will have earned it?!…

  41. tval Says:

    I hear alot of “if” bucs win a ring next 6 years. Lmao!! Are you not familiar with a mr jameis winston? 😀

  42. tval Says:

    Remember staley, buckhalter, westbrook? 3 headed monster is nice

  43. Trubucfan22 Says:

    If you wanna talk business… signing him now could save the team millions in the future. I mean if we are talking business… eitherway mike evans will get paid. Torn ACL or not, he will come back and still demand top WR money. So it makes no difference when it gets done. My whole thinking is to use this years cap space to pay him to save us on future years cap room. idk where you went to business school. But there are numerous ways to do business. Some of us prefer to do the smart thing over the cheap thing.

  44. d-roca Says:

    McCaffreys a much better receiver than sims, thatd be a no sireeee.

  45. Fred E. Buc Says:

    SB, not in the sports business but am an MBA and work contracts in the millions all the time. I fully get this is business, and business is about assuming some risk for big gain or savinngs. As I said, waiting to sign Evans because he might get injured is a losing proposition. Not saying we can’t wait, but that should not be the reason we do wait. If you let him get to FA or just before, his price goes way up. Sign him now and it’s cheaper, with the assumed risk he won’t get injured, but if he does, doesn’t mean he’s done for good. Sign him now and a risk is he may slack off. Sign him later and he’s perhaps more money and you may lose him anyway. If you sign him and he’s “yours” and busts an ACL, and you don’t want him (for whatever reason), you can also trade a a guy like that. Remember Revis? Sign him in the mid-season and it’s a distraction for him and the organization. I think Trubufan22 has it right…if you got the money now, and they do, get the business done so they can play football. Teams that hold back on re-signing their studs because of the obvious possibilities are perrenial losers…in the wallet and on the field.

  46. Fred E. Buc Says:

    SB…add to my above…which is why I like clauses in any contract…if something happens we can’t control, either party really, there is an “out” or “worst case”. And that enters guaranteed money, and front load it where you can so your future liability is less. Good discussion though…not any right answers per se…

  47. America's Commenter Says:

    Pay the man now! The Bucs have the opportunity to front-load a contract with huge guaranteed salaries for two years, then four years at more normal compensation.

    It’s really no different than giving him a huge signing bonus, except it makes sense to take the huge cap charges now while there is plenty of room under the cap.

    It’s a win-win for both parties: Mike gets paid now and the team gets to keep Mike for six more seasons without mortgaging the future with a huge signing bonus.