Mike Evans On His “Last Legs?”

August 29th, 2023

Skeptics abound.

There’s a disturbing take running through wise former NFL players and even some sage observers.

Joe doesn’t get it, but it’s too prevalent not to share. A lot of people think Mike Evans is no longer a great receiver.

Former Bucs guard Ian Beckles (1990-1996), the long-time sports radio guy, Tampa entrepreneur and Bucs lover, was bellowing on his In The Trenches podcast yesterday that Mike Evans has seen his last special season.

“You have to understand that Mike Evans is on his last legs,” Beckles said. “He’s going to struggle to get 1,000 yards. That’s the way it is. Chris Godwin’s our No. 1 guy. Ok. This offense passing-wise is going to have to go through Chris Godwin. If Mike Evans is the No. 1 guy, I think we’re going to be in trouble. So let’s hope that Chris Godwin is back to where Chris Godwin was a couple of years ago and he looks good to this point.”

Former Bucs QB Chris Simms, the NBC Sports analyst, also says repeatedly that Evans’ best days are behind him and he’s not the same player.

Joe doesn’t see it.

Evans just turned 30 this month, looks good and is entering his 10th season. However, Joe can’t ignore that Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Wes Welker, Roddy White, DeSean Jackson, T.Y. Hilton and other great receivers of this era were shells of themselves by their 10th season. (And if you don’t think Hilton, the four-time Pro Bowler, was a great receiver, then you don’t know football.)

So while Father Time and the NFL calendar might say Evans has slipped, Joe still must see evidence to declare regression for a 30-year-old legend who takes great care of his body.

Sage JoeBucsFan.com columnist Ira Kaufman also seems to be in the cap of those looking at Evans differently. He suggested on his recent podcast that Evans should be on the trade block if the Bucs have a bad start to this season.

Finally, it’s possible the Bucs have had the loudest voice in the Evans skepticism. Maybe, just maybe, concern about an Evans decline is part of what’s holding up a contract extension for him. Evans is in the final year of his deal.

70 Responses to “Mike Evans On His “Last Legs?””

  1. DS Says:

    Love Mike everyone think he is on his last legs but he has always been a Deep Ball WR and Red Zone that doesn’t always separate with the short routes. He will be fine.

  2. pewter941 Says:

    I like Ian but his Bucs takes are 99% negative, on his second to last podcast he claimed we are tanking because we traded Shaq Mason, and teams dont trade away good players when they are trying to win. Shaq Mason did not play good last year. We were lucky to have gotten what we got in the trade with Houston.

  3. go dawgs Says:

    Mike is untouchable.. stop the nonsense

  4. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    My stomach hurts from laughing so hard! Thanks Beck, great hot take!!

  5. dbbuc711 Says:

    A lot of those national morons never thought he was a great recievet

  6. Greg Says:

    Agree 100% with pewter. There may not be a less informed and more inflammatory local sports take than Beckles. He’s always been a throw all the BS at the wall and see what sticks kind of guy. He clearly likes to say what he says because he’s trying to draw attention to himself. He is like the poorest man’s Steven A. Smith. “look at me if I yell and say negative things people will pay attention to me”.

    Larry Fitz, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, all guys that didn’t fall off a cliff because they turned 30. Also, there hasn’t been any signs in game or in camp that Mike is regressing.

  7. ATLBuc Says:

    Julio Jones injury prone, A.J. Green injury prone , Wes Welker injury prone , Roddy White gained weight as he got older, DeSean Jackson one trick pony; go route, T.Y. Hilton ?, Mike Evans faster, slimmer, in a scheme that allows him to be open, 1500 yards

  8. Fartin Martin Says:

    Evans is now on the TB12 method ??? ( & will last a looong time )
    Shock Jock Ian Beckles …. SMH

  9. Rocbucfan Says:

    Man…I just don’t get this. 1,000 yd season EVRY year and people want to hate??!?! Mike deserves WAY more respect than he is receiving from these dudes. Mike is elite, will be elite and is the kind of pro who will know when it’s time to step aside when Father Time arrives. That is likely not for another 3-4yrs.

  10. Leighroy Says:

    Let the haters doubt him. I’m certain Mike relishes the added motivation!

  11. Beej Says:

    They have zero evidence other than the fact that he’s about to turn 30. By all accounts he’s faster now than he was when he first came into the league, a lot of which I expect he owes to Brady

  12. ShakeandBaker Says:

    Love ME. Probably my favorite Buc of all time. However, I did notice in fantasy he now falls to the later rounds before drafted. Beckles prediction could turn out to be true. Hope he is wrong though for ME and my fantasy team lol.

  13. zzbucs Says:

    100% with you JOe, I don´t see it either….
    If he strugles to get to 1000 yards would be for other reasons than legs…Like double teamed, lack of QB, excess of running game, I can find more of them….

  14. Marine Buc Says:

    I’m a bit concerned that Mike Evans has a groin injury already. I hope it isn’t serious because that is one of those injuries that usually don’t go away and can last all season – like turf toe and pulled hamstrings.

    I still believe Evans can gain 1,000 yards this season if he stays relatively healthy like he did last season.

  15. Bojim Says:

    Just throw him the ball and he’ll get 1k.

  16. RuKa Says:

    Beckles is so so badly informed on his takes that I don’t even consider him as an analyst. He is a guy that has a podcast and voices his (mostly uninformed) opinion on it. Maybe about time you stop quoting him in here, hey Joe? Joe considers Beckles to be informed. Not only does he watch every Bucs game, he has sources, knows the game inside and out and often watches games with former Bucs. Also, he loves the team. That doesn’t mean Joe agrees, but it does mean Joe finds Beckles’ Bucs takes interesting. –Joe

    Regarding the trading angle from Ira, the Bucs will not do it because they would have to eat immediately all the dead money they have on his contract. So, won’t happen

  17. Buccos Says:

    Evans hasn’t lost a step. Anyone who watched the 2nd Carolina game last year knows that. If Brady had thrown those bombs to him all year he could have had a season for the ages. It would have opened up our run game also. Our offensive coordinator was a complete fail and wasted Brady’s final season. Evans production may slip as a result of who is throwing him the ball. mayfield just needs to chuck it up there and let Evans do the rest

  18. Hodad Says:

    I have underwear older then 30, and they’re holding up fine. Let’s buy Mike a gold watch, and send him to the retirement home he ‘s turning 30!! I know football is a tough sport, careers aren’t long, but come on, 30 ain’t to old in any sport. Mike has never had any serious injury, he’s probably in better shape, and taking better care of himself then he was at 20. No reason he can’t play at a high level for another 3 years. As far as being in trouble if he’s the #1 receiver, guess what, we have two #1’s. The ball will go to the open man, Beckles is a clown.

  19. Crack3r K Says:

    Jerry Rice.

  20. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    After this season, hopefully he will learn his place as a third option, possession receiver and accepts a contract that will reflect that. Or gets overpaid by some other team and the Bucs will receive a high compensatory pick.

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    I don’t know about “last legs” but will observe that in 10 years DB’s have gotten bigger and faster.

    Fact is Evans is a big, tall guy who wins contested balls. He was never a burner, but his length made up for pure blazing speed.

  22. SlyPirate Says:

    With Rice’s record of 11x1k seasons. He knows this is his path to the HOF. It’s why he’s in amazing shape and crushing camp. Mike has 2x1K seasons to go. If he’s healthy, he’ll play 3 years to finish Top 10 all-time yards.

    More than anything, I’d bet Mike wants to be the only WR to never have less than a 1K season. That would be LEGIONDARY.

    (BTW, Beckles never played on a team that was +.500 … college or pros. He’s literally the definition of a career loser. He rarely says anything positive about the Bucs.)

  23. Pewter Power Says:

    If you have evidence of him slowing down that’s great but it’s stupid to say in the offseason when he hasn’t taken a single snap outside of practice.

    They should be embarrassing for that stupidity more than any other analyst because they actually played for this franchise. Godwin hasn’t proven he’s our number 1 yet until otherwise he’s 1B that pretender that called himself a coordinator make him like the third option and still got his 1k

  24. DJB Says:

    Every time I see or hear a reference to Tim Brown, I laugh to myself thinking of that ridiculous slo-mo stutter step he brought with him to the Bucs.

  25. Voice of Truth Says:

    His numbers may actually go up this year- the run around QB has a similar mindset as Mikes college qb – when in doubt throw it up to the big guy down the field

    Wouldn’t surprise me to see him throw up 1200 yards and average over 20 per

    Haters gonna hate, Mike is deadly n the 15-20 yard comeback – and mess around and let him get a free release….

    He is far from done!

  26. Obvious Says:

    Didn’t he just clock in at 22mph? What in the HE!! are they talking about? Sure, eventually he will slow down a little too far. BUT IT ISN’T NOW. A y Joe Blow can predict that eventually someone will retire!

    Mike is Far from done…. he is NOT been banged up through his career…

    I was NEVER as strong and fast as I was at 35! Geez!

    Non story

  27. ATrain Says:

    WHY do you repeat the ramblings of Ian, the only guy to play football but can’t spell football….

    Evans will struggle to get 1000 yards

    What team wouldn’t beg for a 1000 yd WR

    Evans catches balls and takes hits most receivers would be crushed by

    Evans is ELITE

    Ian will eat Humble Pie

  28. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Look at production we got from vjax Evans git’s a few more great years ahead plus I gotta say I think he picked up some tb12 method too

  29. BillyBucco Says:

    What a stupid take.
    Sounds to me like he is just playing the numbers to SOUND smart, because smart he is not.
    How did this guy get a platform?
    Just more fuel for the fire. Like this team needs it.
    Hope ME13 crushes his fantasy team this year.

  30. Beej Says:

    The guy works out every day 365 days a year. He has a personal chef. He’s not messing around.. That’s the only way you can succeed in your 30s. That’s one thing I loved about Riggins, he didn’t do any of that crap and he gained 1200 yards as a 35-year-old

  31. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    Every report coming out of training camp argued that Evans was going to look better than last year even. Weird.

  32. 1#bucsfan Says:

    I don’t get all the hate. Not only is he the only player to put up 9 straight 1k yards in NFL history. Read that again. But JOE reported early in TC that ME13 was having his best camp of his career. I know one thing that joe doesn’t report false info and he Joe says he’s seen it with his own eyes then idk WHY Ira doesn’t believe him. I for one believe joe. Go back and read his notes from TC ME13 was unstoppable. No one could guard him.

  33. Don’t tell me it’s raining Says:

    “If Mike Evans is the No. 1 guy, I think we’re going to be in trouble” 🤔

    Well unfortunately that’s how life works. We get a little older, we lose a step and the next thing you know, Bam! – iHeart radio kicks your a$$ to the curb. So yes it does happen but unless he has a more serious injury that The Bucs are keeping quiet, Mike Evans is a BEAST and will have another great season.

  34. D-Rome Says:

    I like Ian but his Bucs takes are 99% negative

    His takes may be negative but are they wrong? It’s hard to argue that most of his takes are wrong. Statistically speaking, very few athletes are on the upside of their careers once they hit 30.

  35. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I’m on Jose’s team on this one. You’re gonna have to show me Mike has slipped, not just tell me.

  36. miken Says:

    Year 10 is when julio jones started to drop off and a.j green in year 8. This will be year 10 for evans. This may be the end of the road. He’s my all time favorite buc.

  37. Capeceiskaput Says:

    I think recently it has more to do with money and injury than anything. Guys like Rice, Tim Brown, Lofton, T.O. Fitz, Reggie Wayne, Harrison, Isaac Bruce, I could keep going… did not fall off a cliff as soon as they hit 30. A lot of these guys had some of their best seasons in their early 30’s. You can even through in some Bucs for example. Galloway and McCardell.
    Now if you want to have this conversation when he is 32, 33 years old, then yeah, maybe, but he is still at the age where age is just a number. I think Mike has earned another 3 year contract. That will take care of the money part for Mike, then he just needs to stay healthy. By the end of that 3 years
    he should be in the range of 900 catches, 14,000 yards and over 100 scores. If he ends up like that, he deserves to eventually get into the HOF.

  38. Duane Says:

    6’5″,230 lbs, and great hands dont diminish. Godwin is only a couple years removed, smaller, and coming off a knee injury. Every Sunday, a defensive coordinator installs his rules and principles into his game plan. When playing the Bucs, one of the first principles will be double team ME13 or roll coverage his way. When that is consistently not the case, we will know. This is likely the find out stage of Evans career where someone tries to think outside of the box and single cover him. Even if he is in the later stages of his career , he is still more valuable to this franchise than anything he will get in trade. Ian is just trying to Edgelord, and there have been too many wishlisting trade articles surrounding Evans, so yeah the decline talk is lame.

  39. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    The Gold Standard of Wide Receivers:
    * Jerry Rice
    * Tim Brown
    * Henry Ellard
    * Cris Carter
    * Larry Fitzgerald
    * Terrell Owens
    * Steve Smith

    Still Shined: Wide Receivers Who Remained Productive 2 to 4 Years After Their 10th Season:
    * Charlie Joiner
    * Irving Fryar
    * Michael Irvin
    * Randy Moss
    * Derrick Mason
    * Reggie Wayne
    * Andre Johnson

  40. ModHairKen Says:

    Why do you keep giving credence to that Troglodyte Beckles? A journeyman who abused a horse?

  41. Dave Pear Says:

    Ask the 2021 Rams. Ask the 2022 Panthers. Ask anyone. Mike may be better than ever. Ian Beckles big mouth is spewing the wrong narrative on Mike. Of course his time as a failed losing Bucs O-lineman makes him qualified to opine about HOF caliber SB winning wide receivers, so he has that going for him.

  42. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I’LL chime in here.
    I think there is one fact, to a lot of these players shortened careers, that is missing. What type of surface did they play and practice on?

    Artificial turf or natural turf?

    We know the weighted average to players longevity, is favored towards natural grass. “Less lower injuries”

    Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research.
    I’m too lazy, to write an article on it.

  43. Pewter Power Says:

    Joe Bucs should have a better take. you’ve watched the practices and everyone says he’s had the best camp he’s had in a while. I’m sure beckles and sims are not out there at practices so how can anyone agree with that claim before the season?

    I’m biased he’s my favor Bucs for what he does on and off the field so no way I side with them until I see it.

  44. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Meant No Disrespect

    James Lofton
    Joey Galloway

  45. Obvious Says:

    And btw, HE’S 29!

  46. chickster Says:

    This is a bad story straight Bullshiit

  47. Cardiac kidz Says:

    Mike Evans will get his 10th 1k year in a row. There is absolutely No sign of regression in his game. He’s a great player, teammate,leader, some of the best hands in the game and one heck of a baller!!! Write it down, he’s good for another K, regardless who’s throwing the pigskin, he’s already proven that too.

  48. BoricuaBucfan Says:

    You lost me when you said Ian Beckles. There is absolutely nothing sage about the garbage that he spews. I’m sorry but Beckles was garbage as a player and is even less creditable as a source or analyst. I can’t believe anyone even listens to his podcast. I know I don’t.

  49. BoricuaBucfan Says:

    Joe please don’t mention garbage Beckles again. I can assure you nobody cares about his worthless opinion.

  50. Bucs4Life Says:

    Blasphemers I say! In MIKE we trust. My boy gonna trot to another 1000, he’s good.

  51. Rod Munch Says:

    Ian Beckles with another bad hot take.

  52. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    So Mike evans and cooper Kupp both 30, are gonna puke it up this year?
    Yeah and I got some gorgeous ocean front swamp land in Florida for cheep!

  53. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    I don’t take football opinions from a career loser guy wasn’t on a winning team his entire career

  54. Cover deuce Says:

    Beckles and Simms are both hot take artists so whatever.

  55. TampabayDJ Says:

    The age thing doesn’t mean anything in this generation of athletes. The training , the technology, the way they take care of their bodies are so much more advanced than it was even 10 , 15 years ago. Evans has at least 3 great years left in him ,and his greatness is above a lot of others. Go Bucs

  56. FairMinded Says:

    BS man. Mike’s a beast. Always will be a beast and one of the best Bucs players in history. He’ll THRIVE in Canales’ offense as will all our guys

  57. surfslowson Says:

    Did Evans not say earlier this year that he feels healthier and faster than ever? Evans has never been an elite speed receiver. Elite speed receivers are the ones that mostly fall off a cliff as the age. I don’t see that happening with Evans.

  58. Bucluck Says:

    If Mike Evan’s stats decline it will be because of the QB play, not because of his ability to dominate the DBs

  59. Larrd Says:

    Evans is still in his prime. I would like to see Godwin average 15 yards a game. I hope the two rookie receivers open things up for both of them.

  60. Itzok Says:

    I won’t believe this until I see it. Evans is a legend

  61. Miller5252 Says:

    Man!! You wanna piss off the Buc faithful, say Mike has lost a step or going down hill!! Evans is up there with Brooks being an all time favorite for the fans! Hang this in your locker Mike! Use it to stuff it down a couple of “never was anything” Buc players. Pretty sad when they take shots at a guy who did another 1000+ yard year and have no idea how he’s gonna perform this year. Gotta get clicks somehow I guess.

  62. PassingThru Says:

    It’s not too late to sign Antonio Brown.

    (we need a sarcasm font)

  63. garro Says:

    Pure speculation about Evans!

    Just had his best camp ever. Uncoverable word was used more than once.

    We shall see. But to doubt Evans at this point in the season is ludicrous!

    Go Bucs!

  64. steele Says:

    Evans wasn’t great last season. Gave up on plays, mentally checked out, didn’t get open, got beat. All this when Godwin was out, Gronk was gone, and Brady needed a surefire. Evans wasn’t alone in this malaise in a bad season, the entire locker room was toxic, but it was disappointing to see a leader not step way up. The question now is whether he’s going to inspired, and if he has lost a step.

  65. Divis Says:

    Starting the Johnny Wilson to the Bucs train here.

  66. Walter Says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. I think we might see a rejuvenated Mike Evans this season, now that the Brady drama is done with and he has a QB that won’t be afraid to throw him a pass even if he is slightly covered. Brady didn’t have the stones to use Evans the way he should be used. The one game last year that he actually gave Mike a chance, he went over 200 yards with 3 tds. And now I’m supposed to believe he’s washed?? Laughable.

  67. unbelievable Says:

    @Walter – exactly!

    I’ll believe when I see it too, cuz we haven’t seen any slow down yet. I think Mike has another big year.

    And Beckles claiming the offense can’t run through Evans is just laughable…

    I’ll say it in repeat every year until I’m blue in the face: Target Evans early and often. Good things happen when he gets the ball early.

  68. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Ian Beckles was a decent player but he couldn’t hold Mike Evans jock. Another bad take from a former Bucs blow hard. That’s why I don’t listen to him any more, he’s out of touch.

  69. Ed McSherry Says:

    Well, it seems lot of commentators got “caught” or rather caught-up in the “Brady’s gone thing” in evaluating the Buccaneers for the 2024 season.

    I think they took the lazy way of predicting and, just because Brady left, just chalked it up to an expected losing season without thinking things through properly.

    Peter King pretty much started it with picking the Buccaneers for next to last place, and I bet others just fell into place; Chris Simms is loosely associated with Perter King via the various podcasts out there.

    When it was pointed-out to Perter King that he’s forgetting all the pro Bowlers on the Buccaneers, and the elite receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, his predictions started to a lot less than well-considered.

    So, to save face, they (King/Simms, etc.) began to, try to, down-grade the pro Bowlers in question.

    That’s my theory. They got caught in some sloppy, knee jerk predictions before going on long, summer vacations, and then tried to quietly weasel-out-of-it when they came back.

    Mike Evens reputation is just fine, as it should be.

    The Buccaneers win the division.

  70. Ed McSherry Says:

    Correction: “…evaluating the Buccaneers for the 2024 season.” Should be: 2023 season.