Jamie Erdahl: Quarterback Uncertainty The Core Of Mike Evans Drama

September 3rd, 2023

It’s about the quarterback.

Let the record show that on Aug. 18, Joe wrote about what could determine the future of Mike Evans with the Bucs: the team’s quarterback in 2024 and beyond.

A high-profile, national-TV figure is thinking the same way.

Starting Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield is signed for this year only and his career is at a crossroads after hitting rock bottom with the Stinking Panthers last season.

Mike Evans’ agent, Deryk Gilmore, has put a deadline of Saturday for the Bucs offer up a strong contract extension for Evans. Or else!

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, subbing for Peter Schrager on “Good Morning Football,” said he thinks Gilmore is implying that he will never — ever — negotiate with the Bucs again on behalf of his client Evans.

Of course, as Garafolo also pointed out, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht still has a franchise tag card in his poker hand.

Co-host of “Good Morning Football,” Jamie Erdahl, believes the genesis of this Evans drama isn’t so much money, but who will be throwing the rock to Evans should he remain with the Bucs.

Evans’ NFL-record nine straight seasons of 1,000-yards receiving to start a career is very important to him. He could prefer to go to a team with a top-shelf quarterback, continue to win, and stretch his streak, which will aid in his Pro Football Hall of Fame candidacy.

If Mayfield doesn’t work out and the Bucs turn to a schlep at quarterback, that certainly won’t help Evans and it won’t help the Bucs win. Evans has said after having a taste of success in the NFL, he’s fed up with playing on losing teams.

“I think it goes with the quarterback decision-making tree,” Erdahl said. “What am I staying here for, maybe spending some of my best years if you are not going to show me or telling me who you are going to have throwing me the ball?”

Naturally, if Mayfield has a career renaissance and the Bucs contend for the playoffs, that will go a long way to make the Bucs a more attractive option for Evans.

If the Bucs — as it seems damn near everyone outside of the Tampa Bay area predicts — will be in firesale mode by Columbus Day, that could drive Evans out of Tampa. That is, unless Licht has secret plans for the future to entice Evans to stick around.

46 Responses to “Jamie Erdahl: Quarterback Uncertainty The Core Of Mike Evans Drama”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    There’s that word again … FIRESALE. There’s zero advantage to the Bucs having a FIRESALE and for good reason: we have too much Dead CAP money tied up in our veterans to make it worthwhile to us to ship them elsewhere. We’d end up eating the Dead CAP AND have to find much cheaper replacements for quality veterans like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin & Devin White … the only 3 vets with over a $10 mil CAP hit right now who aren’t on the IR list (Jensen & Gage are next year’s surprises).

    We’ve got what we’ve got. Stop listening to the talking heads and let’s play some football. Bucs have the talent to have a winning season. If Mayfield can’t lead the charge then bring on Trask. And if he fizzles, turn to Wolford. One of those 3 can lead this team to a winning season.

  2. ATLBuc Says:

    Mike has had Glennon, Jameis, Fitzpatrick throwing to him and still got his yards. Why should he be so concerned about the QB now?

  3. garro Says:

    He is still under contract folks with the tag option after. So as far as I’m concerned
    His slimeball agent like Whites is just saber rattling at an inopportune time.

    I do not think Mike will sit out… Soo?

    Go Bucs!

  4. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    To be honest, the Bucs are reloading on young talent. This is a fancy way of saying, “rebuilding.” Licht knows we are not going to have another chance at the Super bowl until QB position is settled, the cap situation is fixed and the Bucs core players are re-established.

    In the big scheme picture, Licht and the Glazers probably are looking at 2-3 years after this season before the Bucs can make another run for the Super Bowl. At that point, Evan will be past his prime and too slow to compete. It nothing personal against Evans…it is just business.

  5. BucsFaninTN Says:

    Then why not just shut up and play this year? If you are ultimately wanting out, why ruin your reputation on the way out the door? I love Mike but this whole thing has just soured me on him. I’ll get over it, but he’s acting like the Bucs haven’t taken care of him to this point and it bugs me.

  6. Brandon Says:

    Sure is a stupid take. Evans is worried about his numbers so he waits til right before the season and after a full off-season to push for a trade to chase numbers. Makes ZERO sense.

  7. 407buc Says:

    I hope we can sign Evans for the future and get a home team discount.If I had to chose I’m taking him over Godwin 7 days a week and twice on Sundays.

  8. Onetrickpony Says:

    Keep Mike , let White walk

  9. #99 the big fella Says:

    Just what we needed, another distraction before our first game. I say screw it if he wants out that bad trade him and Devin white..might as well get younger and faster..we are not winning the superbowl with this roster anyway

  10. WyomingJoe Says:

    NO ONE knows how well the Bucs will do this season. Network talking heads are just that, talking heads. They provide their opinions just like those geniuses do on the View. Mike should just shut up and play!

  11. SB~LV Says:

    Wake up ME .. finish your career with a contender

  12. frozenbuc Says:

    Just as I said yesterday … This chitshow came to be only after the Bucs gifted Mayfield the starting job … There are no coincidences … Should have gone with Trask and Wolford and trade Mayfield.

  13. frozenbuc Says:

    It’s clear to those with eyes to see that ME doesn’t like short quarterbacks who can’t see him downfield. Not 6’00”-runaround-Baker and not 6’00”-runaround-Caleb that ME sees quarterback “whisperers” like Joe continuously peddle. ME said to his agent, “I’m outta here, bro!”

  14. Pewter power Says:


    After this time Mike Evans decision comes down to the quarterback huh. He played two years with 1 elite quarterback out of a 9 year career and at the tail end of it he needs a quarterback. What he needs a Super Bowl? I mean seriously why would he uproot his family because baker here one year? Just throwing crap at the wall to see if it sticks. Suddenly everyone’s an expert on Tampa. Dudes only do that if they DON’T have a Super Bowl.

  15. Hodad Says:

    Mike’s looking to lock up his future with his last big contract, simple as that. It has zero to do with who the QB is. If what he wanted is a chance with another contender he would’ve asked out of Tampa, not a big new deal. His own words, I want to be a Buc for life doesn’t sound like a guy who wants out. Sounds more to me like a guy who just wants his to get paid one last time. Best sollution for both sides would be to trade him to a contender in his home state of Texas. One team really comes to mind is the Cowboys. If the Texans want to make some noise they should get a big target like Mike for their rookie QB.

  16. tackleblockwin Says:

    Let’s look at this from Evans perspective. Knowing full well that Evans wants to win.

    1. When thinking of Todd Bowles, does Mike see him as HC that can win it all?
    2. When thinking of Baker Mayfield, does Mike see a QB that can win it all.
    3. When thinking of his longevity, how many years does he feel he has left? Does he want to waste those final years with uncertainty.
    4. When thinking of his finances, is he approaching his last big payday?
    5. When thinking of his 1000 yards season streak, is this the type of offense to help him continue it.

    So any reasons point to the possibility of Mike wanting to play for a contender. If that is the case then you trade him. It is likely his best years are behind him. The NFL is a business folks, and that is the bottom line.

  17. frozenbuc Says:

    Think about it …

    ME didn’t raise a stink after Brady retired.

    ME didn’t raise a stink when Trask was the only quarterback on the roster.

    ME didn’t raise a stink when the Bucs went into the draft with only Trask on the roster.

    ME didn’t raise a stink when the Bus failed to draft a quarterback in any round of the draft.

    ME didn’t raise a stink when the Bucs signed Mayfield to compete with Trask.

    ME didn’t raise a stink when Trask outplayed Mayfield in training camp (Source: Joe).

    ME raised a stink only after the Bucs gifted Mayfield the starting quarterback job after throwing a measly 15 dink-and-dunk passes in 2 home preseason games and riding the bench to pad his stats against the better Jets defense away.


  18. Pewter power Says:

    Stop it just stop under 30 guys stop listening to the joes and everyone else!!!

    Brady had zero targets or run game in New England football Gronk had retired. Think he wanted to be a free agent? They wouldn’t pay the greatest quarterback in football. Nope this is on the Glazers. He is Lichts first draft pick as a GM.

    At 30 near the end of his career it’s Simple he wants his money and to retire a Buccaneer. If you’re a family man you understand having to think about stability of a wife and children. If you’re under 30 that’s probably a new concept to you. The hell does he care about baker mayfield, their connection was just fine in camp.

  19. Beej Says:

    Wrong again Frozen, he raised a stink after Jensen redid his contract to free up cap money. Pretty sure Evans thought that route was going through his house (very good btw, you managed to make the same tired argument about Baker twice in one thread

  20. ModHairKen Says:

    Hofad: “ Mike’s looking to lock up his future with his last big contract, simple as that. It has zero to do with who the QB is.”

    Spot on. Spot on.

  21. Infomeplease Says:

    ME13 is here for sure this season. Next year, the franchise tag $20M option is available. ME is just protecting his future. If he gets hurt this season, his contract will be less or not there at all.

  22. frozenbuc Says:


    Jensen is under a 3-year contract with the Bucs. He only restructured it to help the Bucs with cap space.

    Evans is on his last year under contract with the Bucs. He is asking for an entirely new contract.

    Apples to oranges.

    Try to stay relevant.

  23. PSL Bob Says:

    ATLBuc, exactly my thoughts. He’s flourished even with some not so decent QBs.

  24. frozenbuc Says:

    PSL Bob Says: “He’s flourished even with some not so decent QBs.”

    True. But he was younger; he didn’t have his 1,000 yard streak this long; he lacked the bargaining power he has now; he wasn’t thinking of the Hall of Fame; and so on and so forth. Apples to oranges.

  25. Mark hardt Says:

    The Bucs had no choice to hope Baker turns it around. They simply had no cap space to go after a top ranked QB. The Glazers are also trying to balance expenses at Manchester United as well but should have some extra money from Champions league revenue to shift back to Tampa for 2024 free agency.

  26. BillyBucco Says:

    Frozen isn’t there a movie somewhere you need to watch?

  27. BFFL Says:

    Top players never want to play last year of contract. Too much financial risk from injury. Nothing more. Simply business.

  28. Beej Says:

    “frozenbuc Says:
    September 3rd, 2023 at 10:06 am

    Jensen is under a 3-year contract with the Bucs. He only restructured it to help the Bucs with cap space.

    Evans is on his last year under contract with the Bucs. He is asking for an entirely new contract.

    Apples to oranges.

    Try to stay relevant.”

    You miss my point–After Jensen redid his contract and freed up cap money, the Bucs were no longer/less motivated to do anything for Evans

  29. frozenbuc Says:


    You still don’t get it.

    Jensen did not change the 3-year term OR the monetary value of his present contract; they just shuffled payments around.

    Evans wants to change BOTH the 1-year term AND the monetary value of his present contract: a whole new contract.

    Apples to oranges.

  30. Duane in Sanford Says:

    Its a money thing, but its more like get that money before they give it away again next year to Winfield, Wirfs, and Diva. Apparently, all of Bowles defensive guys are worth $20million each, but our best offensive player isnt worth it because he is 30. If I was lighting those guys up in practice everyday, I would want my money too. Lot of money invested on the defensive side for guys that dont get sacks or interceptions.

  31. RGA Says:

    Pewter Power, your take is Evans is looking out for his wife and child for one last big payday, just taking care of the family. I believe I read somewhere that Evans has earned 110 million thus far in his career, not sure how a family can survive on such paltry wages. Somehow I don’t think most of the readers here are concerned the Evans will struggle to put food on the table.

  32. Beej Says:

    “frozenbuc Says:
    September 3rd, 2023 at 11:03 am

    You still don’t get it.

    Jensen did not change the 3-year term OR the monetary value of his present contract; they just shuffled payments around”

    I understand that. Jensen isn’t getting any more, or any less money. It’s just changing the payment schedule, which frees up cap money for THIS year, which is the reason Evans and his agent figured the Bucs would need to come to turn hat in hand to extend his contract. NOW, the Bucs have no real motivation to do that

  33. Stanglassman Says:

    Beej. Give it up. You are trying to teach physics to a lizard. He’s not going to get it.
    Mike thought he was going to get 3 x 27m year with most of it guaranteed. The Bucs owners want something way less, probably closer to Godwins deal. This has nothing to do with the Qb. The Glazers got burned on their last 2 older player longer term contracts and the Gage deal. They feel like they shouldn’t take all the risk. Mikes felling disrespected. Most of the time I’m on the players side but this one I see both ways. I just hope they can come to some middle ground in the 23.5m year with a fair amount guaranteed.

  34. Mark A Swygert Says:

    Did the Jensen restructuring free up enough cap space for all expected expenses this year? Is Evans maybe a little upset with Jensen for doing this? All off-season I heard that an Evans extension was a sure thing because the team needed the cap space it would provide. The unexpected move by Jensen’s camp rocked that scenario. Evans may be forced to play out the last year of his contract without a new deal. He could hold-out or feign injury, but I don’t think he would be so classless. Just pray to god he balls out and doesn’t get seriously hurt doing it.

  35. Pewter Power Says:

    RGA No and I bet joebucs readers don’t invest money into their community like Evans does either. These guys don’t have jobs after football businesses sure. Listen to the wise words of OutKast, wealth is the word, rich around the corner from the curb. Like I said he has a family, I don’t think they will qualify for a student loan. Nothing wrong with wanting to leave money behind for your kids. Don’t throw a number out like that if you don’t know what it’s like to have it

  36. Stanglassman Says:

    See you have to have made close to 100 million to feel the kinda pain it is not to make another 100 million. And if you don’t run charities for tax right offs well then you are not really a part of the community. Thanks Pewter Power that clears things up. I’m sure Mike thanks you too for the solidarity.

  37. SB~LV Says:

    I wonder how many times a day ME has been talking with Brady?

  38. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Joe called Trask a Schlep.

  39. Chris Adams Says:

    What would Bill Belichik do? Trade both of them for draft picks.

  40. Mike C Says:

    “If Mayfield doesn’t work out then they turn to a schlep at QB” hahaha nice shot at Trask Joe

  41. Pewter Power Says:

    Stanglassman lol are you ok? So he’s collecting money from deep pockets and helping others but he’s not a part of the community because of the tax write off? Nah it sounds dumber reading your post. You think you can go out there and raise money like that? No nobody knows you. No one would say a word if it was an analyst at a tv network. That’s weak! What else ya got?

  42. Fernando Says:

    He doesn’t want to leave
    The tax benefit staying put too big he’ll lose 2 million a year by signing somewhere else
    He’s under contract and he can be franchised tagged next year lol
    No leverage
    Mike shut up play and get paid
    Having your agent do this was uncalled for

  43. geno711 Says:

    DR, I think your assessment is correct in dead cap amounts for future seasons, what you miss is that trading.

    While I think the dead cap spaces of Evans and some of the other players will remain with us next season few seasons as dead cap, I think trading Evans or anyone else this year with a high cap will save us considerable cap space “THIS SEASON”.

    That might allow us to sign someone like Tristen Wirfs in the fall with more money up front and less cap issues in future seasons.

    For instance, going to Spotrac and trading Evans for Marvin Mims of Denver would bring our Cap this year down to $216 million.

    If we have 11 more million to play with this year than that can help us with signing a key player for our future like Tristen Wirfs

  44. Larrd Says:

    “It’s Baker’s Fault!”

    A derangement syndrome.

  45. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Does Mike want Cupp money?

    If so, it is an easy decision.

  46. Tap-Out Says:

    If he wants to stay he will….these guys know the salary cap situation better than anyone ….he’s already made enough to support his grand kids kids if the mony is used right …..I love him on this team but let’s not forget this is a business and the team must always be prepared to handle these type of situations!