Will Dave Canales’ Status Influence Mike Evans’ Free Agency Decision?

January 23rd, 2024

Free agent musings.

Yeah, Joe gets it. Many Bucs fans are not yet sold on Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales as a play-caller.

Joe is not here now to debate this. But Joe knows one guy who does not share this opinion of Canales. That would be Bucs stud receiver Mike Evans.

The best receiver in Bucs history is a free agent in less than two months if the Bucs don’t put the franchise tag on him. After Sunday’s loss to Detroit, Evans said he wants to stay in Tampa Bay and wants Baker Mayfield as his quarterback.

What he didn’t say is how tight he is with Canales.

(Evans didn’t want to talk to reporters Monday at One Buc Palace as players cleaned out their lockers for the season.)

Joe spoke with Evans one-on-one back after the Bucs beat the Packers in Green Bay. Evans is a huge Canales fan. He loved how Canales used him in different ways he had never been used before in an effort to get him open more. Evans had one of the best seasons in his glorious career — at 30.

In short, Canales helped Evans make bank in a few weeks. Major coin.

Now with Canales getting a second interview with meddling David Tepper and the Stinking Panthers for their head coaching gig, if Canales is named head coach in Carolina, does Evans follow him?

Winning is a big thing for Evans. If the Bucs had missed the playoffs, Joe isn’t sure if Evans would have even stated publicly he wanted to return. Hey, the Bucs outlasted 75 percent of the rest of the NFL.

Joe is guessing Evans might want to play for Houston near his hometown of Galveston (where Evans still has a home) if he were to leave the Bucs. Imagine what he could do for that young receivers room with the Texans while having C.J. Stroud throwing him the rock. Wow.

If Canales leaves for the Stinking Panthers, Joe has a hunch that lessens the chances of Evans returning.

Joe isn’t sure if Evans would want to play for Carolina with an unproven young quarterback. Joe is confident if Canales wanted him, Tepper would open up his thick wallet for Evans to lure him to the Carolinas.

36 Responses to “Will Dave Canales’ Status Influence Mike Evans’ Free Agency Decision?”

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    I would be absolutely sick to see him go… That being said to see him in a divisional rivals uniform would be 1000x worse.

  2. Lombardi Lenny Says:

    Slow your roll big dawg. Canales isn’t getting offered a head coaching job this year. Let’s not crown him early as a future hall of fame’r like this site has a tendency to do with just about anyone who has a pulse. lol

  3. Tbbucs3 Says:

    People around NFL circles really have very short memories…..Canales was on the verge of being a lame duck OC not long ago and now after a strong finish by the Bucs hes a HC candidate?

    Canales was impressive despite growing pains but after only 1 season needs another year to get polished but if he’s actually a serious candidate this just another example of Tepper having no clue what he’s doing.

  4. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    I honestly do not think a lot of big named experienced coaches will really want to coach for Tepper just based off his arrogance and history. I don’t think Canales will get it but Tepper may be backed into a corner when it comes to people he can get and someone less experienced can give him a bigger opportunity to control. The hiring of Dan Morgan does make me think Tepper will be more hands off because Morgan doesn’t come across as someone who wants to be controlled and put up with the BS. We shall see how this unfolds but Joe is correct that this could play a huge role in keeping Evans.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Tbbucs3 … ‘just another example of Tepper having no clue what he’s doing.’

    BINGO. He’s a meddling owner who’s already destroyed the Panthers in just a handful of years as owner. As one recent article that I read (appropriately titled ‘NFL Has a New Worst Owner’) states …

    ‘The NFL can, and does, host more malign actors who are still in the league. But Tepper’s management of the Panthers is its own kind of spectacle because it reveals exactly what happens when a man with money drastically overestimates himself and sets a team ablaze with shocking efficiency.’

  6. Leighroy Says:

    The math on Canales is simple here people. Baker resurrected his career under Canales, and Geno Smith did it too the year before. It’s a QB league and the Panthers are desperate to salvage Bust Young.

    I don’t agree that Canales is ready yet either, but for desperate NFL types the math is basic.

    I also don’t think it’s time to panic just bc he got a second interview. His first interview was a Zoom mtg. Tepper probably flushed a toilet off mute and didn’t bother to wear pants during the thing!

  7. Swanny Says:

    I have a relative who’s a professional coach. As everyone knows, they can’t just move around as they wish. Talking with this family member a few years ago, it’s always advisable to accept interview requests, even if not really interested. It gives leverage for a pay increase. I’m hoping this is the case with Dave Canales.

  8. BucU Says:

    That would be the biggest mistake of Canales’ career if he took that job. I don’t think he’s dumb enough to make that mistake.

  9. Jeffs grandpa Says:

    I agree bucu

  10. Lt. Dan Says:

    You make a terrific and scary point Joe. I could easily see ME13 in Texas with Stroud as his QB. That offense is going to explode next year.

  11. Oddball Says:

    Said it before, worst job in the NFL. DR’s quote just about sums it all up.

  12. Marky Mark Says:

    Even if Canales leaves there are many people who run a similar system. QB coach at Rams. The entire Seahawks staff is up for grabs with Carroll leavjng.

  13. Goforthefsce30 Says:

    2 things can be true, Evans is a Buc and will go to the hall of fame as a Buc. That being said, he has earned the right more than anyone to finish his career on his terms. Are we really certain the Bucs are trending up with no pass rush and Lavonte surely retiring. The Bucs need rushers, linebackers, a safety, center, guard, another running back, can baker be a CONSISTENT 4000 yard 30/10 guy? Lots of work to do and lots and lots of question marks. If we are being OBJECTIVE, can anyone say with a straight face that catching passes from the freaking modern day Dan Marino next to Nico and tank dell in his hometown isn’t a better scenario? What about catching passes from Mahomes? This ain’t a lock. We can act selfish all we want as entitled fans but Mike Evans and the Bucs themselves have to think long term

  14. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    If the Panthers are eyeing our OC, David Canales, for crying out loud, just pull the trigger and hire the man! This holding pattern with the Bucs is driving me nuts. Shane Waldron, the guy Canales is always singing praise for, just got snatched up by the Bears. Meanwhile, Zach Robinson, the hotshot everyone’s chasing, is on the radar of the Patriots, Raiders, and Steelers.

  15. SlyPirate Says:


    If Evans does NOT return, do you resign Baker?

  16. Easy The Great Says:

    LOL no way he’d go to Carolina even if they offered him fat pay. Hes not leaving anyway because they would franchise tag him. Licht will do everything he can to make sure he retires as a Buccaneer.

  17. LUVMYBUCS Says:

  18. Boss Says:

    let him walk.

    i see a rash of push off penalties in his future.

    resign baker and let me walk. I mean we did not even use him to stretch the field this week. is that not his entire purpose?

    if we arent using him let him walk……plus he drops 1/2 those passes lol

  19. Bubby Says:

    Mike and team told the Bucs exactly what it would take to keep him, which is his preference. This was before the season and before Dave canales called a single play for the Bucs. The Bucs didn’t bite.

    Mike wants fair value and the ball is once again in the Bucs court.

  20. Leighroy Says:

    It’s possible Mike resigns for less than he was demanding before the season. Remember in July/August, the whole NFL world thought Mike would be carrying Baker Manziel-style to a 5 win season. That obviously wasn’t the case, and now he has more incentive to stick around as a buc.

  21. TomBucsFan Says:

    He is a MUST SIGN

  22. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    So how many other potential Panther candidates have received second interviews? Is this virtual or in person?

  23. Jay Molina Says:

    Interesting graphic. Kelce gets all the press because of his girlfriend, but Otton actually outproduced him.

  24. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    For crying out loud, hire David Canales immediately if the Panthers are considering him! This holding pattern with the Bucs is driving me nuts.

    Shane Waldron, the guy Canales is always singing praise for, just got snatched up by the Bears.

    Meanwhile, Zach Robinson, the hotshot everyone’s chasing, is on the radar of the Patriots, Raiders, and Steelers.

  25. NativeSonX Says:

    Canales has ties with new Panther’s GM Dan Morgan, when both were on concurrently on staff with the Seahawks (2010-2017). However, Canales isn’t the only one getting a second interview as Carolina defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero and Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris also are scheduled for second looks. Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan was also scheduled for a second interview, but has since accepted the Titans’ HC job. But I think the Panthers are waiting for Lions OC Ben Johnson to interview after the NFC title game. Evero is also getting a second interview with Atlanta and was sought in the previous season by several teams (Denver, Indy, Houston and ironically Carolina). The way I see it, the horse race for Carolina’s HC job is: Ben Johnson, Ejiro Evero with Canales as the sleeper. The odds are a little longer for Mike Evans to reunite with his latest OC if somehow Carolina seals the deal with Canales. Evans has restructured his contract several times to help the Bucs in the past, so it shouldn’t be an issue if the Bucs repay that level of team-first loyalty with a fair bump in pay for his service to the organization.

  26. Let em bake Says:

    Sean mcvay. Same scenario. Anyone thinks that canales doesn’t have a shot is clueless. You don’t get a second interview for laughs. The trend is young minds who communicate well with todays players. Dave’s track record with geno and baker shouts success. Tepper, above all wants to justify his pick of Bryce young, and get a proven qb whisperer. Geesh, figure it out….

  27. kgh4life Says:

    The offense started off slow but made great strides later in the season. Keeping everyone will allow the team to hit thr ground running next season.

  28. Cover deuce Says:

    That seals it he’s a lock to return.

  29. Obvious Says:

    It was Always a mistake not to “insist on at least” a two year contract with Canales. It DID SAY one thing loud and Clear…

    It Screamed “we don’t believe you’ll be here next year Mr. Bowles and neither will your choice of an OC”… And in tern there would be No Need for even a measly two year contract for Canales. Personally I’m stunned that Canales took that deal. It also tells me that much like Baker, Canales “bet on himself”. However, even though a scary proposition and gutsy move on Canales’ part, it’s a chance Canales had to take with LITTLE to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.

    In the end, the Bucs didn’t have and wouldn’t invest “quality belief” in the young OC and therefore with a look through that perspective portal, Canales May or May not feel he owes the Buccaneers a darn thing! He actually DOES NOT…

    Bowles took a chance on Canales. Not the Bucs…

    One, one year contract for an OC is always a Bad Bet! I seriously doubt they would have lost much of nothing if they decided to let Canales walk or said thanks but no thanks if they decided they didn’t need his services after year one. BIG MISTAKE!
    Just as the Bucs didn’t feel they would need Canales services after only one year, In tern, Canales owes the Bucs NOTHING if you think of it one in those terms.

    So the likelihood of Canales staying, in certain terms is weak AT BEST! That’s on the Glazers, JL, and the head office… I’m not sure who didn’t INSIST on at the very least a two year deal but they’re NOT TOO BRIGHT! We have No Leverage concerning Canales…

  30. Conner50 Says:

    You lack any football intelligence whatsoever saying that Tampa didn’t use Evans this season or in the game against the lions. Only a true moron would want to let a hall of fame wr that’s still playing in his prime to walk.

  31. Lefty Says:

    If push comes to shove, shttcan Bowles and elevate Canales to HC here, we would be in just as good of shape if not better moving forward.

  32. RustyRhinos Says:

    As is ALWAYS the case The interviewee can decline the offer of employment.

    I think Coach Canales will stay as he likes working and learning under Coach Bowles. He knows he would not be here without being the one Bowles chose. Yeah, he may have been the last choice, and yet only 1 of those other choices is still in the Playoffs. The Ravens and their new OC Todd Monken.

    Stay the course Canales!!! HOLDFAST!!!!!

  33. Kgh4life Says:

    Remember, multiple OC turned down the Bucs due to the QB situation and the status of Bowles, so it’s not like Bucs OC was a coveted job.

  34. LANshark Says:

    Would not matter if they had signed him to a 2 year contract. MOST of those coaching contracts restrict your movement “to a lesser job”… so, he could not go from OC back to QB coach somewhere else. But they almost always have an out for ‘moving to a bigger job’, like OC to HC

  35. JD Still Says:

    I hope Mike stays, but I would understand if he chooses to go, this is probably his last shot at getting a huge contract and there is a lot of teams with a lot of money and not that many receivers of Mike’s caliber out there, money can talk pretty loud .

  36. mark2001 Says:

    Who wouldn’t want Mike. The question is, how how will the price be for his services. And will he give us a little “home town” discount.