Mike Evans, Devin White, Chris Godwin And Sound Business

September 3rd, 2023

Joe is wondering where all the sanity has gone in the chatter surrounding Mike Evans demanding a new contract.

First, Evans is in the final year of a five-year deal. It’s one he happily signed, after which he profusely thanked the entire Bucs organization. Evans then proceeded to watch Tampa Bay hire an expensive, big-name head coach with the largest staff in the league, and then spend record cash to add Tom Brady and the dream team around him.

It’s common knowledge those moves came with a massive NFL credit card bill. As Bill Belicheat said last week, “Tampa is going through it now,” referring to being suffocated by the salary cap.

The Bucs also spent part of this offseason talking the captain of their defense off the ledge. Joe’s referring to Devin White, who asked for a winter trade because the Bucs didn’t extend his contract.

The story goes that the Bucs sold White on their current inability to write giant new deals and that he simply had to ball out this season and wait to be paid a fat bag next year by either the Bucs or someone else.

Joe wonders what pundits and Bucs fans think would happen to the crediblity of the Bucs’ front office if it suddenly now produced the giant contract extension Evans is seeking? White might have a historic meltdown if that happened, and Joe also suspects rumblings would emerge from the Antoine Winfield camp, which probably heard the same song White got about the team being handcuffed until next offseason.

Joe also finds it odd that so few Bucs fans are talking about Chris Godwin’s role in the Evans contract considerations.

Godwin earns $20 million per year and is signed through 2024. Joe isn’t aware of any team with two receivers earning $20 million plus.

Isn’t that why the Cowboys got rid of Amari Cooper? There’s lots of talk in Bengals country about whether they can sustain their stud receiving corps because of money, and everyone in Miami knows their dream situation crumbles when Jaylen Waddle’s inexpensive rookie deal nears its end.

As painful as it feels, the Buccaneers’ smart business play is to see what happens on the field this season, at least through the first seven weeks, and then make key decisions internally.

Injuries and performance should make Bucs’ calls on players like Evans, White, Godwin and Antoine Winfield much easier. And time certainly will provide clarity on quarterback Baker Mayfield, a guy with no 2024 contract, and on who will be head coach of the Bucs in 2024.

Join Ira Kaufman and Bucs fans on opening day at the Big Storm Brewing Co. taproom in Clearwater, on 49th St. just south of Ulmerton Road. It’s a 1 o’clock kickoff and Ira will be hanging out starting at 11:45 a.m. 

Beautiful covered patio with strong sightlines and audio. Indoors, too! Cocktails, Florida’s best craft beer and more. 

43 Responses to “Mike Evans, Devin White, Chris Godwin And Sound Business”

  1. mg Says:

    The Buccaneers smart business play would have been to find a offensive line for TB-12.

  2. Ko Kiefer Says:

    Chargers also have 2 20 mil receivers with Williams and Adams

  3. Ko Kiefer Says:

    Keenan Allen * Not Adams

  4. FlBoy84 Says:

    A sensible look at the situation… well done.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    All excellent points Joe. Now let’s play some football & it’ll all work out in the end, one way or another.

  6. BucsFaninTN Says:

    Ah, the non-tinfoil hat Joe emerges. Agree 100%.

  7. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Front office won’t care what pundits and fans think-They will only care about what produces W’s as it should be. Evans has EARNED his payday on and off the field, but it is a big ? whether Bucs will find a way to keep him. I certainly would enjoy seeing ME sign a 4 year deal and what a great way to bring along young talent like Palmer and Jarrett having a future HOF’er to guide them , on and off the field.

  8. Onetrickpony Says:

    Threats seem to be the common thing these days

  9. FlBoy84 Says:

    Love Mike and all he’s done in his time here, but the team as a whole comes first. The whole pulling at the heart strings by some of “but he restructured his deals” is misguided because he didn’t take a dime less… and the team doesn’t even need his permission to do it unless they add void years. No one is irreplaceable, as a room with Godwin, a Yr3 Thompkins, a Yr2 Palmer & Jarret and a decent vet would still be a solid WR corps next year. Only down for re-signing him if it’s a reasonable deal that still allows for young guys to get their deals done too. Imagine the Glazers & the FO want to get back to the salary cap practices pre-Brady sooner than later as well, where they were typically one of the best in the league in avoiding dead money.

  10. Lou. Says:

    @Joe —

    Q: How did the Saints avoid cap bell for so many years?

    I seem to remember annual predictions about how they were running out of room and had to crash next year. And the next. And the next. Until Brees retired. . .

  11. K_bassuka Says:

    The years of good leadership and unity left the building the day we we signed (gifted QB1) to a weak leader and bad QB (hope he has a decent season). I expect us to get into this heated contract talks in the upcoming years especially if Maybefield plays well and asks for the expected $40 mil + per year contract.

  12. Hodad Says:

    I was surprised when they Paid Godwin, because like Joe said, there isn’t enough cap room for two big contracts. If Mike was 27, they’d probably make it work, but at age 30? Even as Joe said before that it would be great to have Evans to throw to if we draft a QB high next year, they won’t be able to grow together. By the time the new QB gets the NFL Evans would be gone anyway. If you’re basically building for a future run you don’t do it paying big money to an aging receiver.

  13. Smashsquatch Says:

    It’s really that simple. You can’t allocate too much $$ to one position group (WR).

  14. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Amen FLBoy84 – personally I’m trying like hell to go less hard in the paint because at the end of the day we all love the Bucs and have opinions, there’s things I read that convince me people are in complete denial. It’s almost as if they’re new to this whole sports/football thing. If the Bucs are 0-7, 1-8 (or whatever) come Halloween, does it really make any business sense at all to give a Cooper Kupp level contract? A team with so many holes. Do people really think we’re doing Evans a solid by him spending his remaining yrs in purgatory? Is Evans any less of a Buc if he spent the last few yrs of his career elevating Baltimore or someone to another level? If anything maybe Evans would get the recognition he deserves playing in another market because he’s been criminally underrated for too many years. People need to come to grips that the reality is very real that all options are on the table with certain options likely being exercised if Tampa craps the bed this yr

  15. Buddha Says:

    Much ado about nothing. This is all negotiating strategy. Gossip and conspiracy theories.

  16. ModHairKen Says:

    This “team first” and “let’s wait and see” and “can’t have White and Winfield upset” is crap. Evans is an integral part of the team and he is IN his prime. Not before it. Not past it. He adds leadership and stability.

    Letting him go sends a message to the other players that it does not matter if you’re a good player, leader, community contributor. Letting a HOF player go sends a message that all that matters is money. What kind of loyalty can the management and owners expect?

  17. Marine Buc Says:

    Wirfs will be given a huge deal next year.

    White and Evans will be allowed to test free agency.

    Winfield might be given a deal if he can stay healthy – but any more concussions and he is probably done in Tampa and may be done in the NFL all together.

    The rest of our free agents – Neal, Gains, Feiler, etc – will depend on this year’s performance but won’t be very expensive if re-signed.

    Jenson will be cut.

    Shaq’s future will also depend on his performance. Any less than 8 sacks and he might be cut as well…

  18. PSL Bob Says:

    Sound logic Joe. The who situation portends a dramatically different roster, at least key components, in 2024.

  19. Divis Says:

    Keep Mike. Johnny Wilson to the Bucs.

  20. M. S. Joyce Says:

    Simply speaking and being real. The Bucs are going through the stages of reorganizing or rebuilding the team. On and off the field.

  21. Joshua porter Says:

    I’m betting that they think they got a steal in the draft with trey palmer and will know by the end of season if he is for real and that’s why they want to wait on evens deal. But they have to do something to free up money and I would bet on evens before I would Shaq. Cuz I think ya ya and watts might take over 1 of the outside backer spots . Bucs can’t sign everyone so it’s either evens or someone else noone wants to see go

  22. Capt2fish Says:

    As long as he doesn’t hold out…I have no issue with setting time deadlines for a contract. It’s rather common these days. I see it as a an act of confidence saying I am going to be a lot more expensive at the end of the season. The bucs had to do some financial judo just to sign this rookie class. They will have to pay that premium because they have no other choice without completely upsetting the apple cart. Let’s play ball!

  23. Duane Says:

    As usual, loudmouthed fans and media types think they are legends in their own minds and God’s gift to NFL team general management, take sides, with one group “for” someone and another group “against” someone – take your pick, a player, a coach, or a GM – and the namecalling begins.

    You measure a football team based upon performance, with long term sustained performance, such as teams like the Steelers and Chiefs and Pats deliver being superior to one and done teams that shoot up only to shoot back down than before (like the Bucs have done).

    However, it is always hard to win a Super Bowl, which is why no team has repeated since the Pats did that two decades ago.

    The bottom line is stop yer whining and bellyaching and pronouncements that everyone else who disagrees with you is a moron. The Glazers and Jason Licht have this situation well under control under very challenging circumstances affecting the salary cap and the leagues’s largest amount of dead cap money this season.

    Mike Evans will either finish his career with the Bucs, or he won’t. Jerry Rice didn’t finish his career with one team, neither did Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers, and many other HOFers. Deal with it.

  24. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    We’ll be 6 games in the books by the time the trade deadline hits on 10/31. Management should have a good sense on where this team is and where it needs to go in the future by then.

    If Mayfield is ballin’, we’re probably looking at adding a $30+mil contract for him next year.if the receivers not named Evans are thriving, that’s a dilemma for ME13’s situation.

    A lot of guys will be looking to be paid next year as Joe mentioned. As Marine Buc noted, Shaq may be gone as well especially if the new young guys are nipping at his heels.

    I’m sure the Glazers and Licht (especially since he drafted him) appreciate ME and want to keep him, but loyalty only goes so far, except with fans but we don’t write the checks or have any responsibilities to field a quality team or balance a cap budget.

    Evans needs a multi-year contract now. It will probably be the last one he ever gets at his age, production or not. Sure, we can slap the franchise tag on him which will give him a huge raise for next season (est $22.9 mil for WRs) but then he’ll be negotiating at age 31 after the season and that only hurts him.

    I can’t recall any star WR being able to hold a team hostage over a contract. They get traded or take what they’re offered. Moss, Rice, Adams, etc. All set records for their teams and all moved on either in free agency or via a trade. (Even QBs like Brady, Montana, Favre, etc all were told “Nah. We’re good. See ya”)

    Teams like the Jets want to win now with Rodgers. The Cowboys usually screw over their receivers but could use a guy like ME this year.There are probably more teams that would want him than not, including us.

    Anybody know if ME has a no-trade provision in his current contract where he can veto a trade or has to sign off on it? That’s probably the only arrow in his quiver aside from being great of course. Lol

  25. BillyBucco Says:

    Now this is obviously Stevo.
    Last name sounds mysteriously like our WRs coach.
    I agree that we should be talking more about the TEAM, and the game a week from now where NONE of us will be thinking about how much ME13 makes.
    Just put up 200 and 3 and you might have a contract the next day.
    People forget what they have and don’t realize it until it’s gone.

  26. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Excellent take MarineBuc.

  27. Duane in Sanford Says:

    Its a problem to give Evans and Godwin $20 million each when you thats what you give Dean and Davis? You going to give that to Winfield with all those head injuries he has? Thats a $60 million dollar secondary. Another $20 million to Diva that doesnt even help in pass defense? You cant win games if you dont move the ball and score points.

  28. Marine Buc Says:

    I’m curious what Mike Evans believes he is worth.

    Just for context here is his 2022 stat rankings

    – Rec yards – 12th in the NFL (1124)
    – TDs – 21st in the NFL (6)
    – # of receptions – 21st in the NFL (77)
    – # of 20 plus yard rec – 7th (19)
    – # of targets – 17th (127)

    That is pretty solid production and he stayed healthy only missing 2 games in 2022.

    Something else to consider is Evans has only missed 9 games in 9 seasons.

  29. Cover deuce Says:

    If white melts down just tell him he’s not a hall of famer and Evans is. Pretty simple stuff. Also who cares about sanity? ME13 is our guy and as a fan the game is more enjoyable watching him chase a record. Also pretty simple. What’s actually insane is that this website continues to carry water and make excuses for ownership and management.

  30. D Cone Says:

    Moss played 7 years at Vikings. OBJ had 5 at Giants. Terrell Owens 8 with the 49ers. Had Brady not come to Tampa Evans may have been gone earlier.
    If he stays out of loyalty he should know that loyalty to an employer always comes with a price. I am sure Jerry Rice wanted to retire a 49er but they were done with him before he was ready to hang them up.
    Evans is being paid to do a job thru the 2023 season. Based on the offense he might get used less meaning fewer miles or he may get run into a tree going for an errant pass. I say let it go and get picked there is no sense in losing a career trying to save someone else’s. After 10 years he had every right to e solely concerned for his best interest

  31. ATLBuc Says:

    I certainly understand why Evans is upset. They sold everyone including the players on a quarterback competition. Then, they named Baker Mayfield, a starting quarterback when he was clearly outplayed during training camp, and in preseason games by Kyle Trask.
    By naming Mayfield’s as the starter, they are flirting with his legacy, and, it’s just not fair or honest.
    I warned that this fluke move would cause problems with the players and now it is threatening to make us lose one of our best players and a lot of team morale.

  32. Yucs2BucsBack2 Yucs Says:

    Should have traded him Pre draft if they knew they weren’t going to pay him ?? It’s going to be a looooong season and we are going to watch ME13 ( Best offensive Buc ever ) and 45 for absolutely nothing !!! 5 wins will be a miracle

  33. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    They will give Wirfs and Winfield whatever it takes to keep them next year. White is #3 at the bank and if Mayfield balls out he’s #4. 30 year old receivers are historically on the edge of a massive decline. But Evans might go beyond that because hes a big frame guy, not a speedster

  34. Paratrooper Buc Says:

    Mike is a great athlete and an amazing Buc on and off the field. Does he deserve a good contract? Yes but only for 3 years maybe 4 because of his age and history of other wide receivers his age. But for $20 a year and a lot guaranteed? I can’t say that helps the team win. If he plays to another 1,000 yards (with baker or Trask or whoever) then I see him getting paid by Bucs. But if Palmer takes off like a beast at the same time then Mike’s paycheck will be elsewhere. If Mike does poor and Palmer does better than him then he will have to take less as a buc or some other team. I hope he stays but he wants to get paid and worries about his legacy at 30.

  35. MelvinJunior Says:

    ModHairKen or whatever… There IS a thing called a “Salary Cap” ya know, & you’re JUST NOW figuring-out that literally EVERYTHING in this entire world is all only about money!? Bless your little heart.

  36. unbelievable Says:

    @Marine Bucs-

    Those top 2 stats say it all. He’s essentially still a top-10 WR, even after being on one of the most unproductive / underachieving offenses in the league.

    That’s why I’ve been saying from the beginning, Mike and his agent are just looking for security beyond this season. Totally normal, just kind of odd timing to make a stink of it.

  37. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Can’t pay them all but on a side note we have bin drafting well over the years cause all these guys are home grown talent. ME13 CG14 DW45 AW31 TW78 vea CD111 and JD. Gotta give it up for Jason. A few of those guys havnt gotten 2nd contracts yet but they would be starters on any other team and seem to want to be here even white.

  38. teacherman777 Says:

    Do you know what Mikes agent did?

    He guaranteed that Mike Evans will not get a new contract.

    Mike Evans is one of my all time favorite Bucs.

    It’s really sad that his legacy will be ruined by this.

    The Glazers don’t take well to threats.

    Mike should have just played out the year.

  39. Chris Says:

    Big difference between Evans and White. Evans has proven both elite and invaluable year after year since joining the team. White had one really good year, and the rest pretty mediocre. Time and Time again Evans has done what’s right by the team, restructuring his contract, not complaining, being a team player. Evans deserves to get paid. To let him wear another uniform would be an absolute crime Joe. A huge blemish on this franchise and the ownership.

  40. FairMinded Says:

    Good take Joes. Hopefully they can talk Evans down from that ledge too

  41. David Says:

    He has restructured his deal a few times. He has been the poster child of team first and team player. He’s not a diva. He doesn’t whine on the sidelines when he doesn’t get the ball and he happily blocks etc.


    At some point a team has to show some sort of loyalty because they expect the players to show it. If he wanted to go somewhere to have a chance at another SB over then that would be different. We all know he does not though, he wants to retire a Buccaneer and they should make damn sure that happens.

  42. garro Says:

    Great points Joe!

    However The White situation aside. (They could lose White and suffer way less) the Bucs really don’t have much choice right now because of the cap situation. Evans’ agent is barking up the wrong tree. They are not gonna cut their own financial throat.

    Go Bucs!

  43. kaimaru69 Says:

    @Joe LA Chargers has two WR over 20 million this year SMDH
    They’re at $20 million and Evans won’t play for that amount. –Joe