Mike Evans: “I Don’t Want To Be A Hold Out”

September 1st, 2023

Issues statement.

So is this the real reason why Bucs stud Mike Evans didn’t suit up in the last worthless preseason game last weekend?

It seems Evans has released a statement through his agency Day 1 Sports and Entertainment, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.

And the wording is ominous.

Evans, per Laine, explained how he wants his name to be exclusively associated with the Bucs forever. And — brace yourself — he doesn’t want to hold out.

Evans and his representatives have not been able to reach an agreement on a contract extension with the Bucs. His agent, Deryk Gilmore, has gone on the offensive in the past 12 hours, contacting various media platforms with his frustration and claiming if the Bucs don’t make things right by a week from tomorrow, Evans will be in a different NFL uniform next season.

“I want to be in camp and practice to help Baker [Mayfield] get ready so we can win this year,” Evans said in a this mysterious statement, per Laine. “I don’t want to be a hold out and hurt our team.”

Evans added, again per Laine, “It’s no secret that I want to be a Buc for life. It’s rare for players to stay, especially this day and age, to stay on a team for as long as I have. I want to just finish here.”

This is the first Joe has heard any reference to “hold out.” In a way, Joe wouldn’t blame Evans. Why risk getting a major injury with a new contract (somewhere) on the horizon and cost yourself tens of millions of dollars that will never be recoverable?

If Evans holds out, all of a sudden Bucs playoff chances take a very serious hit.

60 Responses to “Mike Evans: “I Don’t Want To Be A Hold Out””

  1. PSL Bob Says:


  2. Jack Sparrow Says:

    So, Mike, do you agree with your agent that you will be in a different uniform next week if the bucs did not offer you a new contract ?

  3. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    If Evans holds out then it is on him. He holds a record of 8 consecutive 1000 yards per seasons. A good case to make the Hall of fame. Hate to see money get in the way of building on this record.

  4. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    We don’t want you to be a holdout either!

  5. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    Rumor is that it is not a money holdout, but a Mayfield holdout, and after seeing all checkdown throws this preseason, who could blame Evans.

  6. Boss Says:

    when the agents start screaming to the press they are desperate.

    looks like mike better show up or shut up

  7. Durango 95 Says:

    He doesn’t have to hold out. He’s got a contract. Any businessman worth his salt never gives in to an ultimatum. Step one in this process. Let Mike’s incompetent agent know there will be no new contract before opening day.

  8. Herbiebuc Says:

    I felt this was brewing when the report came out and said staying in Tampa wasn’t important. I really don’t wNt lose mike evans anything that could be done should be done! Even if that means letting go of devin white ! Every player on this roster is replaceable except for Mike! #getitdoneBucs

  9. Duane Says:

    Note that the agent never said or wrote that Mike Evans would hold out, stop playing, or switch teams by the artificial deadline the agent set of September 9 … the only shoe that would drop is they will “cease talking”.

    The fact is the Bucs hold all the cards. They own his rights this season, then can franchise him next season. and they can franchise him again the following season. So he either plays for the Bucs or plays for nobody for the next three seasons.

    Not that the Bucs will try to stretch it out. In fact it is in the Bucs best interest to restructure Mike’s contract to free up money for paying their practice squad players, and to have a little left over for a late signing.

    Keep in mind that the Bucs didn’t sign Leonard Fournette to a contract until the week before opening weekend in 2020. Perhaps they have an eye on someone else that they’re waiting to sign so as to be able to figure out exactly how much more they need to yield from contract restructuring.

    This agent is obviously trying to pressure the Bucs, but I don’t ever see Jason Licht being bamboozled or rushed in doing what he’s gotta do.

  10. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think there are many teams that will invest in a mult-year 20 mil plus contract for a receiver at will be 31 years old next year.

  11. DungyDance Says:

    “Playoff chances”

    Joe started with the Bromosas early today.

  12. Jeff Says:

    Always remember, fans want wins, players want money. The great players want only glory. Those players are truly a rare breed.

  13. Davenport Says:

    Hold him to his contract. Then deal him at the deadline.

  14. Mort Says:

    Give him every dime he wants. If ANYONE has EVER earned it on and off the field, it’s Mike. PAY THE MAN!

  15. Bojim Says:

    Pay him

  16. go dawgs Says:

    Playoffs?? dont talk about Playoffs? Playoffs? Joe are you talking about Playoffs? Im hoping we can win a damn game!

  17. firethecannons Says:

    Perhaps the Bucs could trade Mikey to the Cardinals for a first round pick there by we get our QB choice and pass on ME13 in the hayday of his career. At least threaten him with that and he may relent

  18. A Bucs Fan Says:

    To date ME13 has earned just over 110 million dollars before turning 30. This is also the most a player has earned as a buccaneer in their history… I think there is more to this than money for Mike because during his entire career he’s never been about the money. It’s about winning for him.

  19. Statguy Says:

    “play the contract” . This guy was the first one every year to let his be restructured for the benefit of the team and finance the Superbowl run. I don’t think he wants a lot of money but would be reckless to go out there with out extending his deal and get hurt with zero guarantees after what he’s done for the team.That being said, his agent had a chance every year they restructured to add life to the deal and give more years.

  20. Citrus County Says:

    It seems to me that Mike Evans doesn’t want to find himself in the same predicament as Ryan Jensen and I don’t blame him. S*** happens.

  21. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    It’s not like he’s not under contract or anything

  22. Mr. Editor Says:

    The Bucs really need everything to fall into place to even sniff the playoffs, and this gives the players some leverage. From top to bottom, a lot of jobs are on the line if they don’t win this year. This sort of reminds me of the brief hold out by Derrick Brooks, although I believe he had two years left on his deal. Just like that time, I think the goal is to get the Bucs to come to the table. Licht might use that as a model and extend a contract out another four years.

  23. Orlando Buc Says:

    @JOE …. Could this be that Mike and / or his agent are worried that Trey Palmer could have a strong enough year so that the Buc’s have “some” leverage over Mike if he doesn’t want to accept what the Bucs are willing to pay?

    No doubt, Mike is a Hall of Famer, an elite player and a fan favorite. But right now the team is paying a lot of dead money, Mike is on the wrong side of 30 now, and the team is quietly rebuilding with a youth movement. No further proof than the fact we have I believe 13 rookies that made the team and half were undrafted.

    So if you are Mike’s agent, you have more certainty now to leverage the team but lose some leverage if Trey plays well.

    Just a thought.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Deryk Gilmore … ‘His agent, Deryk Gilmore, has gone on the offensive in the past 12 hours, contacting various media platforms with his frustration and claiming if the Bucs don’t make things right by a week from tomorrow, Evans will be in a different NFL uniform NEXT SEASON.’

    When Mike used the word ‘holdout’, it seems pretty obvious that he wasn’t talking about THIS year (he’s under contract), but rather NEXT year (if the Bucs ever tried to franchise tag him?). Players don’t have to accept the franchise tag, but they can’t sign with anyone else either. Thus … a stalemate (and a holdout).

    It’s the Bucs who are caught between a rock & a hard-place as they used to say. Spotrac says that right now we’re MINUS $1.7 mil on the salary CAP (Top-51). And yes, that’s for our 53-man roster, so it’s our current status. Before Game 1 we’ve got to get to a $0 position or be penalized, thus we need to do SOMETHING. Mike Evans’ CAP hit is $23.7 mil, Shaq’s is $21.3 mil and Devin White’s is $11.7 mil … those 3 are really the only ones worth either restructuring or doing new deals with.

    Given a choice, I pick Mike Evans to do a new deal with. BUT … we can’t break the bank on 1 contract either. Too many other mouths to feed this next season if we expect to be competitive.

  25. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Statguy – that’s overblown. why wouldn’t a player restructure? All it does is pay the player sooner. That’s what happened with Mike. He didn’t take a pay cut. It’s like an interest free loan for the Bucs to move money around and teams generally don’t need a player’s permission to do it either.

  26. Buc1987 Says:

    Make it happen Jason Licht.

    Evans can finish his career in Tampa!

  27. Oneilbuc Says:

    This is why you play to win and not to tank .

  28. Beej Says:

    What’s reasonable here? A 3-year contract for however many millions with 2/3 guaranteed? His third year would be starting at age 33 years old, it’s 50/50 at best that he can still play by then

  29. Hodad Says:

    I like when fans say pay the man! If it were only that simple. That’s why we’re on Joe Buc fan, and Licht with Greeny make a living managing the cap. If every team just paid the player when they asked for more money, they wouldn’t have a team. Don’t give me Mike has always restructed, so what, he still got paid the same. Mike is set to make 23 million this season? Get me a box of tissues.

  30. go dawgs Says:

    BTW.. how bout them “fightin gators” ? LMFAO hey coach, lets make sure we dont have 2 guys wearing the same jersey on the field??? Billy genius.. the screen pass was open all night..hahaha

  31. Joe Says:

    Could this be that Mike and / or his agent are worried that Trey Palmer could have a strong enough year so that the Buc’s have “some” leverage over Mike if he doesn’t want to accept what the Bucs are willing to pay?

    No. He’s trying avoid the franchise tag. If Bucs don’t want him, there will be several suitors. Imagine him playing opposite of Calvin Ridley with Trevor Lawrence throwing to him.

  32. Orlando Buc Says:

    Mike Evans has been and continues to be such a great player, team mate and fan favorite. Four years ago, Mike was so awesome with my son. He was leaving practice and I called his name and he came running back to take a picture with my son. I hope they can both find a way so Mike remains and retires as a Buc.

  33. SlyPirate Says:

    For the “Just Pay Him” crowd …

    This is a fun lesson: Every time you hear “XYZ player is now the top paid player at their position,” you can 100% cross that team off from Super Bowl contention. Football is a team sport.

    Mike wants Cooper Kupp money. So armchair GM, are you willing to sacrifice the next 3-years of team success to retain 1xWR.

    “Just pay him” comes with ramifications.

  34. 420Kitty Says:

    It’s easy Mike, call your agent and get a deal done or fire him and negotiate at a later date

  35. Bee Says:

    If I was Mike I would want a raise too looking at the QBs on this roster. He’s a main part of the offensive and has restructured his deal the past 6 seasons in a row. Pay the man. Yes, he’ll be overpaid but all players are.

  36. Tbbucs3 Says:

    This is the beginning of the end for Mike Evans and the Bucs.

    I usually trust Jason Lichts process especially when it comes to salary cap and it sounds like Evans is asking for too much whic in that case it’s better to part ways.

    An overpaid Mike Evans with the Bucs already in salary cap hell would lead to another decade of irrelevance

  37. Herbiebuc Says:

    @slypirate the man reconstructed his contract the past 5 years to help the Bucs out. I don’t think he wants a 100 million I just think he wants a fair long term deal and he definitely deserves it

  38. Kalind Says:

    Soooo. About that consecutive 1k seasons, Mike. You’re going to blow that up…on yourself? How’s that a good plan bro?

  39. Pewter Power Says:

    Bucs weren’t making the playoffs either way, that yielded nothing last year.

    Mike I’m sure you saved up the cash to be able to withstand the fines from a holdout. Let them see what life is like without you and you’ll get that contract here or somewhere else

  40. Brandonbucc Says:

    From a business perspective; you need to let him play out this year. If he’s still good, franchise him the following year. Guaranteed year three at 32-33yo he won’t be that good anymore. Let him walk year three. Take your emotions out of this. He was/is a great WR for us but it’s time to move on after two more years.

  41. T REX Says:

    Trade him for picks. We need a rebuild. Holding on to aging players isn’t how you rebuild. Sorry. This is life and a business.

  42. Bucs Guy Says:

    Just curious, is Mike Evans’s agent with the same company as Devin White’s agent?

  43. Cobraboy Says:

    Disappointed in MA, like I was disappointed in White.

    Once seen, it can’t be unseen.

    A TC holdout threat is one thing. A season threat is a different animal.

  44. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Something isn’t right here.

    “I want to be in camp and practice to help Baker”

    Isn’t that quote from the beginning of training camp? Back when someone asked him is he will hold out if a deal isn’t made?

    Also…I think things are getting heavily twisted here…the impression I got from the agent is that Mike doesn’t want the distraction of contract negotiations during the season…and that gives them a week to get it done.

    Otherwise, it waits until after the season.

    Either way…who cares? Mike knows the team is strapped for cash this year. He knows he can get more money from them by waiting a year.

    But this is how negotiations go, man. No big deal.

    Evens won’t actually hold out because he cares about the team. Those berating him should just relax and watch how it plays out.

    No. Big. Deal. Come September 11th, this will be anon factor.

  45. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    T REX Says:
    September 1st, 2023 at 1:49 pm
    “Trade him for picks. We need a rebuild.”

    I don’t know if you’ve seem the new roster…but we got our rebuild.

  46. Dlavid Says:

    Let him holdout … he needs to realize he is not worth 20 mill a year . He is on the back end of a very profitable career with a ring ! That should be satisfying enough ! Quit playing games with a franchise that has treated you fantastically .

  47. sasquatch Says:

    Just find a way to pay him.

  48. BakerBucs Says:

    So jack Sparrow says read the message it’s next year not next week typical response with this web page run mouth & don’t know what u b talking bout

  49. David Says:

    He has restructured and has been a team first guy for almost a decade. They absolutely should sign him to a three-year deal so he can retire a buccaneer.

  50. Rod Munch Says:



    (or Baker Mayfield also = BM)

    The Bucs aren’t in playoff contention, regardless of what Mike does, not with that coach and that garbage QB.

    With that said, get the deal done.

  51. Rod Munch Says:

    David Says:
    September 1st, 2023 at 4:10 pm
    He has restructured and has been a team first guy for almost a decade.


    I agree on this, and the team needs to get it done, but keep in mind Mike never lost money on any of those restructures, and in fact each time pocketed a big check up front. All those do is move money around.

    With that said, he was always the first to say if they needed to cut his salary to bring in someone, he’d be first in line to do it.

    They need to get this deal done – plus they need cap relief this year in any case and they’re basically out of options. It’s him or Shaq, and I’ll go with Evans.

  52. Jeffbuc Says:

    He is not holding out. He is saying he could have held out. He if you guys read the agents letter. It says he will play this year but if he doesn’t have a new contract he will explore other options on the offseason. We have Mike for the year. After that it might be time to let him go you don’t give a 31 year old a huge contract. Love for him to be a buc for life. But you can’t be stupid and signe him to a huge 4 year deal when he has maybe 2 elite years left. Then the other 2 you’re paying for a name. If fans ran the team they would keep every fan favorite. But it is a business and the timing is right to let some other team overpay for 2 years of that level play.

  53. Since76 Says:

    Well. I guess there is another one that is money hungry. He’s a very rich young man. Every time he restructured he got more money. Don’t think he did it for the team only. He got more and more guaranteed. Now honor your contract. If you want to play somewhere else. Go. We appreciate everything you’ve accomplished here.

  54. ModHairKen Says:

    This is BS that he is being treated this way. The Glazers need to tell Licht to get it done. If he holds out, so do I. No more money to the team. No more jerseys. No more tickets. No more $200 drink tabs in the Club Seats, which is 4 drinks.

  55. Destinjohnny Says:

    We will have the first pick in the draft if he plays or doesn’t play

  56. Bucs96NYC Says:

    Regardless how this goes Evans is going into the ring of honor & likely HOF. On to this issue, him reporting to camp makes it hard for him to hold out. I do think that he’ll get a new contract before the season starts, but maybe not the one they were seeking & not the ones the Bucs were looking to give.

    Looking past this yr, Evans impacts it big time. Bucs not being successful this yr will cause Bowles x Baker to go bye bye. Evans leaving next yr will hurt whichever rookie QB we select. So Bucs gotta be smart, pay him especially w/ the cap situation being better next yr.

  57. Destinjohnny Says:

    When u give any coach the worst offensive and defensive lines in football from a talent standpoint
    Don’t expect much

  58. garro Says:

    Ya just blew it Mike.

    Go Bucs

  59. JayBucsBoi Says:

    I can’t take any of this Mike Evans hate from the fan base just because the man wants to BE A BUC FOR LIFE! After failed negotiations, what other leverage does the man have but to hold out??! Did he do a Devin White?? Does his resume and history even show that he is a selfish, “Devin White” type of guy??

    We ALL should be on the side of Evans in all this. He has showed his loyalty to the team over the course of his time being here, by his actions and with his money! CHILL with the slander on Evans Bucs fans. Let’s get behind him, like most fans have done, and see to it that the best receiver in Bucs history stays in Tampa!

  60. IrishTony Says:

    It’s agent bs manipulating these players to get the most financially (for themselves) out of these negotiations. This nonsense about Evans holding out because of the QB is total bs. Hell look who he played with in 2014-frigging Josh McCown and Mike Glennon and still had 1000 plus yards.