“Mike Evans Is Not In His Prime”

May 12th, 2022

Tough talk on Mike Evans.

A painful Mike Evans take was delivered by a big-name former Buccaneer, and once Joe got past the sting, a little research gave Joe pause.

The greatest receiver in Buccaneers history is entering his ninth season and will turn 29 in August.. He rarely misses games but is prone to getting banged up. He’s also on an NFL-record run of eight consecutive seasons of 1,000 yards or more within the Bucs’ high-flying offense.

Evans is a fantastic player, but former Bucs quarterback and lifelong Bucs fan Shaun King was adamant last week on Cannon Fire Podcast that Evans isn’t the player he used to be. “Mike Evans, I mean he’s still an elite receiver but he’s not in his prime,” King said.

Is Evans really out of his prime? A quick look at the ninth-year stats of Randy Moss, Michael Irvin and Julio Jones shows receivers that aren’t what they used to be. Seven-time Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green’s career went south late in his Year 8, same for former Falcons great Roddy White.

But many greats like Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens were able to thrive in Year 9 and maintain true greatness into their 30s.

Perhaps Evans is a bigger X-factor to this season than Joe considered? And multiply that by 5 with Chris Godwin recovering from a blown knee.

Joe disagrees with King and believes Evans is in his prime. His conditioning was at its peak entering last season, and his touchdown numbers have been phenomenal the past two seasons. Plus, he’s been taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career. Still, nobody is Brady — Mr. Undefeated against Father Time.

One of Joe’s favorite yet rarely talked about achievements is Evans’ 75 career touchdown passes — in just eight seasons.

For perspective, if Evans catches 10 touchdowns this season, then he’ll move into the top-20 in NFL history, passing various legends and Hall of Famers before he turns 30.

Joe knows Evans knows those numbers and has a major personal goal of 100 career touchdowns.

Regardless, Joe sure hopes King is wrong and his trained eye is failing him. King also added that Lavonte David and Shaq Barrett are in roughly the same boat as Evans, so the Bucs’ title window is tight.

59 Responses to ““Mike Evans Is Not In His Prime””

  1. K2 Says:

    Was King ever in his prime?

  2. Brandon Says:

    King’s prime was the last few games of the 1999 season… it was all downhill after that.

  3. Hodad Says:

    Prime years are 24, to 27, so yeah he’s on the downside of that. He also started at 20, and that’s a real hard 9 years in the league. No doubt he isn’t going to get better. Still he’s a top ten receiver, and with our other talent, and the way Brady dishes the ball he should still show how great he is for years to come.

  4. Bird Says:

    K2

    No doubt

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The only prime Sean King knows about is prime rib…..with a side of mashed potatoes, grits, hash browns, rice, beans, fries and loaded baked potato……key lime pie, cherry & peach cobbler, pecan pie a la mode………lets throw in some Doritos……burritos, tacos & chimichanga.

  6. Jerry R Jones Says:

    Of course he’s not in his prime. What does King want, a scubby snack for that earth shattering common knowledge.

  7. Eric Says:

    It’s all about opportunities and for the life of me I don’t understand why they throw ME13 the ball in the 1st quarter it’s maddening! Throw him the ball early and often and Sean Will come to his senses!

  8. WIll Says:

    @K2

    Excellent point. Shaun King was one of the most inaccurate QBs I had ever seen. Not Jameis level when it comes to throwing picks but close. He benefited from the Bucs great D back then. Sorry but King was waaaaay off base here.

  9. Buc_Da_World Says:

    Prime or not there is not a team in the NFL that wouldn’t take him. One of the greatest Bucs of all time

  10. Dewey Selmon Says:

    If Evans is past his prime it wont show until Brady is gone. That’s how accurate he is. Still then Evans will have the numbers and hardware when it’s all said and done to be the first offensive HOFer in Buccaneer history. Excluding 12 and 87.

  11. Lamarcus Says:

    Ummm. Yea duh? Why is this even a story? ME13 was a better player 2 years ago than today. Today is taking him every last snap to reach 1000 yards plus a extra game. Nothing wrong with it but he’s no longer elite if he ever was

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    TBBF…lmao.

  13. Lamarcus Says:

    And it could be that JW forced feed him the ball. Unlike Brady

  14. lambchop Says:

    Mike has found the fountain of youth thanks to the TB12 way of taking care of your body. Tom couldn’t have come at a more opportune time in Mike’s career.

    Aside from a total freak injury, Mike will continue his consistent play. Even with bad QBs, the man has been so consistently productive.

    Shaun King doesn’t know what being in prime means.

  15. LJ'sDaddy Says:

    King couldn’t win an NFC championship with just ONE touchdown. Rams beat us 11-6. Shut up Shaun.

  16. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Evans looked pretty darn prime when he was beating J Ramsey for a 4th quarter td in Rams playoff game.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘King also added that Lavonte David and Shaq Barrett are in roughly the same boat as Evans, so the Bucs’ title window is tight.’

    I’m afraid that he’s probably right about LVD (what with his ankle injury and all), but not so sure about Shaq. I thought his 2021 season was better than his 2020 results. He’s one player though who desperately needs the interior DLine to occupy blockers to free him up.

  18. lambchop Says:

    @Lamarcus,

    It has a lot to do with AB taking some crucial touches away and Brady distributing the ball to the open guy without force feeding the WR1 like lesser QBs do.

  19. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Tampabaybucfan- gotta be some chicken in there somewhere…

  20. zzbucs Says:

    Well, he will probably answer back with another 1000 yards season……

  21. Adrnagy Says:

    Another mouth talking.

  22. GOB Says:

    The stat geeks have a metric for this. It’s called production vs opportunity. The bucs threw the ball a whopping 65.5 % of the time. The next closest team was the Steelers at 61.8. of course that would skew any recievers numbers. I would expect the bucs to be more balanced this year. Especially because of Godwin’s injury, and the loss of AB. I think Evans, more than any reciever on the bucs, benefitted from that insanely high pass rate. He’s still a very very good reciever, but expect I’d suspect a fairly significant drop in production. The counter argument is that he’s the best healthy reciever they have. So Brady may target him more. However he’ll also get more attention if that’s the case

  23. Mybucsdontbucaround813 Says:

    If anybody has watched ME13 his entire career like I have then you would see that Mike Evans is a team first superstar not 🚫 one of these divas that you guys keep mentioning. None of those so-called superstar or elite in their prime receivers had an elite or in their prime receivers next to them. Evans numbers dipped between the 20’s but I bet you they were dominant in the RedZone. Week in and week out with AB on the team and Chris Godwin healthy, which players did every team double it wasn’t pro bowler Chris Godwin, it wasn’t AB . Yep you’re right it was not in his prime M1K3.

  24. Nick2 Says:

    King needs to just shut up. In the divisional playoff game he beat the best one on one cover corner in the game Jaylon Ramsey to bring us back against the eventual Super Bowl champs. King is the poster child for out of shape and past his prime. Maybe he can spout off the first time the best receiver in Buccaneer history (and certain Hall of Famer) fails to garnish 1000 yards but barring injury it won’t be 2022 either!!!!!! Why even bring this up was King that out of fresh takes to discus????!!!

  25. Goatfarmer Says:

    Fat Boy Burger King, the laziest most underachieving disappointing quarterback to ever start for the Bucs (yes, worse than Dilfer), should just STFU. What a maroon. His judgment is proven useless.

    Mike just set a Bucs record for TD passes in a season and beat the best CB in the game mano-mano for a TD against the 42 seconds Rams to bring the Bucs to within one score. It’s ignorant and stupid and so Shaun Burger King to say that.

    Wondering if Burger is cracking the 400 pound mark yet living in Vegas?

    What a despicable toad.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    Give Mike the ball. He’ll show you how elite he is. Hope to live long enough to see his induction in the HOF.

  27. matthew veal Says:

    I know Joe doesn’t let you like comments or reply to them,
    But I thought tampabaybucfan had an all time great comment about Shawn king’s prime!

    There are some incredible posters on these boards

  28. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    If Mike Evans Is Not In His Prime, then he is pretty close. Let see how many teams line up with Mike one on one in a 2 set WR package.

  29. 1sparkybuc Says:

    The Bucs carried King as a player. I don’t value him any more now than I did back then. He still sucks.

  30. Mybucsdontbucaround813 Says:

    I’m all Mike Evans and I know Jason Licht is all Mike Evans because that is his first draft pick

  31. Yucs2Bucs Says:

    @joebucsfan was SK at the bar when he made those comments about the greatest offensive player in Bucs History and also first ballot HOF ? Yes ME13 gets banged up and in the beginning was worried about his weight and doing the wave off a little too much, but he’s in a great shape and most importantly one of the nicest and most humble pro athletes I’ve ever met !!! Proud he’s on our team and also a team guy !! Reminds of Stammer and Heddy, but GO BOLTS ⚡️⚡️

  32. fern Says:

    Shaun King is a gasbag Joe and the fact that you print this stuff is mind blowing
    Mike is a HOF already

  33. Bojim Says:

    Evans will put up Evans numbers. If the ball is being passed around then Mike can make the big plays.

  34. fern Says:

    Tampabaybucfan you are #1 in my book

  35. Coburn Says:

    I don’t think he’d dropped off yet, but likely has plateaued for the most part. Production could go up depending on targets and situations. May start to decline in a couple years if he keeps getting roughed up

  36. Izod Says:

    Sometimes you may not be physically in your prime, but in terms of savvy and intangibles you are still in an uptrend.

    If your strengths are innate quickness and explosiveness and not necessarily strength and speed, then you tend to not lose much of your game as you get older (to a point).

  37. Goatfarmer Says:

    Lamarcus — you hang out with Big Burger King these days, huh. “If Evans ever was elite…..”

    You prove your ignorance right there. What a stupid take. Go hang out and eat pizzas with King.

  38. Duane Says:

    When opposing teams remove the double coverage from his side of the field, I would worry about his age and effectiveness. Brady is past his prime, but he still hooked up deep with ME13 the last time they played.

  39. Buczilla Says:

    Whenever Mike’s numbers start going down I’ll listen to King, but right now it just sounds like a bunch of nonsense. Mike has been incredibly consistent throughout his career, so I’ll wait for some actual proof of his decline. LVD? Ya, maybe, but he’s still damn good when healthy and Shaq still plays like a bada$$.

  40. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete- Founder of UniqueModernArt.com Says:

    Lol.

    Tom Brady is still in his prime at 44.

    And so is Evans at 29.

    He’s been getting faster, quicker, and better at his craft consistently year after year.

    And it figures to be more of the same this next year…

    WTF, Shaun King. What a hater.

  41. unbelievable Says:

    LOFL, what a laughable take from King. Just like most things he does.

    K2 Says:
    May 12th, 2022 at 1:12 pm
    Was King ever in his prime?
    _______________________________________

    Well, he was just 1 of 2 Bucs quarterbacks who couldn’t win a championship game even when his defense only allowed 9 measly points…

  42. SlyPirate Says:

    M1k3 is more of a Cris Carter than Randy Moss.

    Cris Carter recorded +1000 yard seasons in years 9-14 as a #2 WR. Expect the same from Evans.

  43. unbelievable Says:

    Look how out of his prime Mike Evans was last year, compared to previous years. Probably should have just cut him:

    2021 – 74 rec, 1,035 yards, 14 TDs

    2020 – 70 rec, 1,006 yards, 13 TDs

    2019 – 67 rec, 1,157 yards, 8 TDs

    2018 – 86 rec, 1,524 yards, 8 TDs

    2017 – 71 rec, 1,001 yards, 5 TDs

    2016 – 96 rec, 1,321 yards, 12 TDs

    2015 – 74 rec, 1,206 yards, 3 TDs

    2014 – 68 rec, 1,051 yards, 12 TDs

    Man, I really hope I can be having my 2nd – 3rd best statistical year of my life when I’m out of my prime too…

    LOL, Shaun King is such a joke… Just like his QB career.

  44. Dre Day Says:

    None of this matters. He’s a Hall of Famer. Show the man his due respect.

  45. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Fantasy football has rotted so many people’s brains. Force feeding it to Mike is what gets us in trouble. It’s all about winning. I love Evans, but his route tree is limited and he gives up on routes sometimes. His football IQ also isn’t the best. He had trouble with his hot routes when he is in the slot. Also, defenses are taking away with deep ball, so Mike doesn’t get many opportunities as he used to. Brady used to always take the best matchup and exploit the defense. He strayed from that his first year hear in TB. Godwin is a more diverse and better route runner, so he’ll get more targets. This is also why AB was our best receiver when he was on the field. His routes were so precise and he could get open quickly. I hate what AB did to the team, but he was still a top receiver in the league.

  46. Jvato24 Says:

    Blah blah garbage …. he has one of the most talented units to compete with for numbers, he is in his prime to say the least …

  47. ClwJB Says:

    ME13 is in his prime, two more years for sure – his greatest strengths have been amplified by TB12- expect 12-14 TDS this year and him to be the lifeline for the next qb, no matter who

    Mike is the greatest Buc of all time, hands down. I love DB55 more than life itself for what he was and is, Mike has done as much or more already and has several years left in his career

    He will retire a Buc, a HOF member, and the greatest Buc of all time when all is said and done

    We are all better for having been graced by his presence

  48. Aaron Says:

    Mike Evans is getting sloppy see how he pushes off people after the first 5 and no call

  49. SPARKY Says:

    Just what we want, people telling Brady and Mike Evans told they are too old. Look out NFL.

  50. SB Says:

    You guys heard what Unbelievable Just SAID!!!

  51. Goatfarmer Says:

    Yeah all you geniuses that are criticizing Mike, Look at what Unbelievable posted. He’s a HOF lock, yet goobers say he’s sloppy, gives up on routes, limited in his route tree. Total BS.

  52. Destinjohnny Says:

    We have to start hitting draft picks

  53. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Prime? Of course ME is still in his prime. Is he physically still the same? Perhaps not. But he has a decade of NFL experience as the lead dog going up against top DB’s and do we suppose he’s learned a trick or two?

    What he surrenders at the margin physically he picks up mentally. And we are talking MARGIN physically! TB12 and many others on this team have shown proper care can extend careers and ME13 seems to pay his dues there.

  54. Alvafan Says:

    Maybe if we get a better run game this year teams will have to play more man to man and keep guys in the box. Mike will thrive in those situations

  55. T REX Says:

    While Evans has put up solid numbers people forget about the WRs behind him that will eventually pass him during his 5 year wait to get to the HOF.

    Too many elite up and coming WRs

    Evans won’t end up in the HOF because of a streak

    He needed help and was the 3rd or 4th option when the BUcs were healthy.

    HOF’ers aren’t 3rd or 4th options

  56. T REX Says:

    Derrick Brooks is the GOAT Buc of all time…maybe even Selmon

    GTHO with that crap. I bet that poster is 35 or under…100 bucks

  57. Eddie Marz Says:

    Mike Evans really hasn’t dropped off. That’s nonsense! Would you rather win a Super Bowl and be a SB contender or just get 1300-1400 yards receiving? Mike had adjusted his game to win. What a team player , unlike the guy who walked off the field last year because he wasn’t getting his targets. GOBUCS GO MIKE!

  58. Mike Murphy Says:

    Jerry Rice put up like 1400yds and made the pro bowl at 39yrs old. Just felt like he shouldve been mentioned here.

  59. Eddie Marz Says:

    Last time Rice received 1400 years she was 33.

 

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