Ian Beckles: A Very Big Issue Lurks In The Shadows Of Free Agency

February 24th, 2024

Storm clouds brewing.

A former Bucs starting guard offered his take on the status of three Bucs free agents. But beware of a potential massive headache folks are overlooking.

Ian Beckles seemed confident while talking on his podcast “In the Trenches” that Baker Mayfield and Antoine Winfield will return to Tampa Bay. Mike Evans? Beckles is less confident.

Beckles is scared some team will offer Evans a four-year contract and Evans is bye-bye.

But a guy who isn’t a free agent this year is what concerns Beckles. And that would be Tristan Wirfs. The starting left tackle is one of the better players in the league. And Beckles said if he was Wirfs’ agent, there is no way he would let Wirfs step into an NFL facility without a new contract.

Wirfs very easily could sit out offseason workouts, Beckles warned, and who knows after that unless a new contract is signed. Beckles added if Wirfs got hurt, he would be throwing away at least $30 million.

Joe thinks Beckles has a very good point. And Wirfs’ agent needs only to remind his client of Wirfs’ former teammate, Ryan Jensen.

Jensen was in an underwear football practice (the second practice of 2022 training camp) just like the Bucs have for offseason workouts and minicamp. And what happened? Jensen had his knee destroyed and career ruined.

Jensen only appeared in one game after that and maybe he shouldn’t have even tried that. Who knows how much cash Jensen, who was 30 that year, watched get flushed down the toilet.

As for three current free agents, here is Beckles’ take on each:

Baker Mayfield

“I don’t see Baker Mayfield going anywhere,” Beckles said. “I really don’t. … I guarantee Baker Mayfield wants to stay here.”

Mike Evans

Beckles thinks if someone offers Evans a four-year deal with guaranteed money he’s gone. “That’s all it takes.” Beckles crowed that statistically throughout his career, Evans is one of the best receivers ever.

Antoine Winfield

Beckles isn’t worried, “I think he gets franchised.”

47 Responses to “Ian Beckles: A Very Big Issue Lurks In The Shadows Of Free Agency”

  1. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    Ian isn’t wrong. Tristan doesn’t seem like that kind of guy but, his agent probably is. His contact will only be larger next year.

  2. JimBobBuc Says:

    Yeah, if someone offers Evans four years of guaranteed money, AND that team is a SuperBowl contender, AND/OR can be likely for Evans to get 1k yards, then Mike should take it. I think next year with Baker, Mike will get his 1k yards, and the Bucs will win the division. Bucs are still a great place for Mike to stay home with the family.

    Yeah, we need to extend Wirfs and I think Licht will get it done.

  3. Lt. Dan Says:

    Sign Mayfield. Franchise Evans and draft his replacement for next year. Sign Winfield. Trade Davis or Dean and draft their replacement. Cut Devin White, Shaq Barrett, draft or sign safety help. You’re welcome JL.

  4. Smashsquatch Says:

    Evans is gone. Winfield & Wirfs aren’t going anywhere, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wirfs practicing without a new contract, he’s just that kind of dude. Regardless, he’ll be playing on a new contract this year.

  5. DungyDance Says:

    As much of a headache as all of this is, I noticed a common theme in all of the articles here and all of the commentary on TV and radio. No one’s talking about a rebuild or tanking. We’re still in win now mode. Fortunes obviously could change depending on how these 4 or 5 key free agent signings go. But our collective head space right now is a testament to Licht’s stewardship over this team. I’ll take our problems right now any day over being a Carolina fan or a Browns fan.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Why is it that we can’t keep our best players? Is it that we have too many of them. If that’s the case, why aren’t we winning more.

    There’s something wrong here and I think it’s coaching.

  7. Toad Bowels Says:

    Here’s one I heard Uncle Ira tell at a big storm beer party,

    “Why are the Bucs like Cinderella?

    They both have PUMPKINS for coaches!”

    Hardy har har har…..

  8. Marky Mark Says:

    Baker is the most important. He won the Eagles playoff game by throwing to rookies and nobodies. All Evans did was drop a soft perfectly thrown ball gimme TD that bounced off both palms. Evans lost the Lions game by letting a perfectly catchable ball go through BOTH hands. A TD there instead of a FG makez the last drive tied with just a FG needed. Let Evans walk. Loser.

  9. Doc Says:

    This G.M. will let a loyal player like Evans walk, and draft a punter in the first round. Then he will overpay for a quarterback, no other team is interrested in, what a joke.

  10. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Doc Says:
    February 24th, 2024 at 9:01 am
    This G.M. will let a loyal player like Evans walk, and draft a punter in the first round. Then he will overpay for a quarterback, no other team is interrested in, what a joke.
    WT actual F are you talking about? The GM who got a good QB for $4 mil last year? You should probably follow the Bucs and know about them before running your mouth. YOU’RE THE JOKE! 🤡

  11. BillyBucco Says:

    Wow what a wide range of comments already.
    Why can’t we keep our best players? Seriously?
    Didn’t we do that like the last 3 years?
    Then a testament to Licht followed by what a joke he is.
    Then the Marky Mark and the funky bunch’s daily rant about how special Baker is.
    Where do you find these guys Joe?

  12. Gipper Says:

    Marky Mark,

    Forget about dropped passes. The only player who never dropped passes was Paul Warfield. They happen and are just part of the game like missed tackles, missed blocks, misses throws, missed extra points and field goals. Mike Evans total body of work reflects the good and the bad. Overall it I is overwhelmingly good.

  13. Bucs Guy Says:

    Everyone take a breath and relax.
    1 Bucs will re-sign at least 2 of its big 3 FAs.
    2. Bucs will re-sign Baker first.
    3. Everyone assumes Winfield will be tagged. What If the Bucs are already working on a deal with him? There is no reason to tag him unless you can’t work out a deal. Nobody is unsure if he’s the real deal, should play a prove it year and he’s entering his prime years.
    4.Does that mean the tag will be used on Evans? This actually makes the most sense.
    5.LVD already said he’ll be back or retire, so he’s not going anywhere. There’s $ available for him.
    6. Sign McLaughlin right away and get it done.

  14. Bucs Guy Says:

    If you franchise tag Evans, you may pay him less, get another year to see if he’s slowing down and sign him to a shorter contract. Due to his age you are also in a stronger position to argue for team option or less $ in the final year. It also buys another year to get the team in a better cap position.

  15. Marky Mark Says:

    I will allow for Evans body of work when the Baker Haterz allow for his season and 6 year career long body of work and not cherry pick any single bad play, game or season. It was partly sarcasm but basically throwing back the sloppy analysis back on a beloved figure to make a point that Gipper just made for me. Warfield dropped plenty of passes and Brady had a 4 int game against the Aints.

  16. Ethan Says:

    Mayfield without Evans will be the Mayfield of old. Better get that Florida receiver Joe likes. Oh … wait … that will piss off half of Joe’s website traffic.

  17. Bucs Guy Says:

    Tagging Evans will cost less, make him show he hasn’t slowed down, allow for a shorter following contract and allow the Bucs another year to be in a better cap situation. It just makes sense.

  18. George R Says:

    Reading some of these comments makes me laugh. Please educate yourself so you speak.

    1. To franchise Evans it will cost 28 million. 120% 2023 cap hit.
    2. You can’t cut Dean if you do you have a negative cap hit plus you have to replace him.
    3. You cant cut White, he is a free agent.

    All you have to do is read Joes articles and you could get educated.

  19. Beeej Says:

    Tagging Evans would rightly infuriate him, as it would be near impossible the following year to get a multi-year contract as a 31 year old. Were I him and they did that to me, I’d sign for $100 ANYwhere after that

  20. heyjude Says:

    Beckles sounds right on point about Wirfs, Winfield, Baker, and Mike. Sad to see Mike go too. He’s been my favorite since he was at TX A&M.

  21. Scott Says:

    Evans is probably gone if the Chiefs come knocking. Hopefully not, but who wouldn’t jump ship to go with the Chiefs right now if they offer him more money?

  22. Beeej Says:

    Fortunately, Chiefs are alREADY having to let all-pro’s walk because they don’t have any money

  23. D-Rok Says:

    Two guys I respect, listen to, and follow, Miller and Kirwan on SiriusXM, stated recently that Winfield would be the one to get tagged by the Bucs.

    Kirwan, an ex-GM, felt they had to retain Winfield. They both also stated Mayfield will for sure be back, and Evans most likely will be back. In the case of Evans, like this article states, IF a team can throw a lot of guaranteed money at him, he’ll probably leave. Sure looks like Houston might be that team, and possibly KC.

  24. D-Rok Says:

    Either Beckles listens to SiriusXM with Miller and Kirwan, or those 2 listen to Beckles, LOL.

    All 3 had almost identical takes. LOL.

    GO Bucs ! ! !

  25. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Just rehashing the SOS.

    Mayfield will be a Buc next yr. I guarantee it.

    They asked him about the OC. Licht is signing him. Deal with it.

    You other folk can follow Mike where ever he goes. Hopefully, he stays but it looks like he is gonzo.

    WE ARE BUCS FANS not player x fans. GO BUCS!!!!

  26. Doc Says:

    Joe in Michigan Says:

    This G.M. track records speak for it’s self. Mayfield is a below average quarterback, when the game was on the line aginst the lions, he went back to the old Mayfield. Let some other team sign this 5 team stop quterback. Ask the Rams Panther, just to name a few of the teams that fell for Mayfield.

  27. JA Says:

    Sign Baker, sign Winfield, sign Evans and extend Wirfs.
    I sign, you sign and the cap’s a free gold mine!
    The bottom line is this: what’s the cap number this year, and how much of it do the Bucs have to spend? Some have been told by “experts” that the Bucs can afford to sign two of the three prominent free agents. Oh yeah, how?
    How much you gonna spend and how much will be left for everybody else?
    Before making ludicrous comments about who you’d prefer to keep and let walk, should not you research the cap, akin to Defense Rules, and make your preferences based on the amount of money available?
    I think everybody on this site should buy a Rolls Royce. Doesn’t matter whether you can pay for one or not, just buy it!

  28. NCBuc Says:

    14 310 486 63.8 3,725 7.7 27 14 71 25 93.7 51.2
    16 317 534 59.4 3,827 7.2 22 21 89 40 78.8 54.4
    16 305 486 62.8 3,563 7.3 26 8 75 26 95.9 65.5
    14 253 418 60.5 3,010 7.2 17 13 71 43 83.1 40.9
    7 119 206 57.8 1,313 6.4 6 6 75 19 74.4 26.3
    5 82 129 63.6 850 6.6 4 2 39 17 86.4 26.3
    17 364 566 64.3 4,044 7.1 28 10 75 40 94.6 54.3
    89 1750 2825 61.9 20,332 7.2 130 74 89

  29. NCBuc Says:

    Marky Mark….
    Baker looks amazing compared to the other starters in the league! SMDH

  30. D-Rok Says:



    I took your advice, ran out and bought a 2024 Hellcat Durango. I signed up for the $100k, drove away, changed my mind and returned it.

    It depreciated a lot by driving it off the lot, so now I owe $10k on a car I don’t owe.

    Great advice, though! (sarcasm). LOL.

  31. D-Rok Says:

    sorry, “don’t own.”

  32. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I think everyone on this site should buy an NFL franchise

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    Worry about Wirfs after this season. No doubt he knows the deal. And aren’t Wirfs and Mayfield pals?

  34. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Doc: The hole in your theory is that other teams ARE interested in Baker Mayfield. Nice try at a recovery, but again you failed miserably.

  35. Beeej Says:

    Of the available FA QB’s, are ANY, aside from very old Cousins, superior to BM?

  36. Since76 Says:

    Mayfield without Evans is flushed money. Bowles will be gone and the team would be rebooted. It would take 3 years to get out of cap hell. Go bucs!!!!

  37. White Tiger Says:

    @DungyDance nailed it.

  38. Mike Johnson Says:

    You, me, nobody should be surprised if Somebody offers Evans that deal he cannot refuse. He’s getting long in the tooth and has maybe 2 to 3 good years left. And If they offer him guaranteed money? You kiddin me? Take it and run.Mike. People who know the game will not be mad at you.

  39. Cobraboy Says:

    My *guess* is Evans stays, because with Mayfield he is assured another 1k season, a metric of utmost importance…if he stays healthy

    Anywhere else could be a crapshoot.

  40. Beeej Says:

    I’m trying to picture what Evan’s main motivation is at this point. Money? He’s made like $80 million, and he doesn’t seem to waste it in titty bars and illegitimate children. I have to think he believes another 2-3 solid years puts him in the Hall of Fame, and he’ll surely have years like that with Baker. (Also Stroud, Mahomes, mebbe Goff)

  41. sasquatch Says:

    Wirfs won’t hold out if his boy Mayfield is in the fold, which he will be. His agent will surely be pressing for the extension as we get closer to training camp, and hopefully they can figure out a way to do that. The big contracts they’re gonna be writing this offseason are surely going to require us to get younger and cheaper again elsewhere!

  42. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Mike Evans has earned over $110 million

  43. Woodenman Says:

    Joe in Michigan man what are you raving about Baker is OK till we find someone better but I don’t know about the rest of that rant.

  44. mark2001 Says:

    TBBF. No capologist. But I think the cap problems are caused by a number of issues. How many good players do you have moving into their prime earning years, with current contracts expiring? How many good young players do you have that can replace them? How many young guys are playing under those early and lower contracts that are spread out due to good drafting pretty consistently? How did you write contracts to send money down the line to lower earlier years, because you thought you had a window to win a SB? How many FA’s did you sign and were they bargains? Did you pay top dollar to perform that may or not be performing at the expected level? Yeah…it is a lot of things… these and more. But would be interesting to hear guys like Ira and Joe give us an education. Jason even more. But I won’t hold my breath.

  45. SenileSenior Says:

    Evans and Mayfield get paid this year. Wirfs and Winfield get paid next year. The Bucs remain relevant!

    Thank you Jason!

  46. Stanglassman Says:

    Winfield has played up his 4 year contract. Made 2 mil last year. If they tag him he’ll get 17 cap and salary if they sign him long term it will 20m a year but probably only 9 against the cap. Wirfs long term contract could save them cap space too. He needs a new contract it would be crazy for him to step on the field again without something long term G$. His agent would advise him to hold out. No one should blame him either.

  47. Gene Says:

    My take on Winfield is franchise him.
    Evans? I’ll say the right thing here: Evans did drop some key passes and catching them could’ve, and probably would have, landed the BUCS in the Championship in 2023. That said(because it’s true) you could say ” if about a lot of Tampa players this year…it why they weren’t in that game. All that said, Mike Evans is a playmaker, so is Baker. They also have chemistry, the desire to win, and have not played their best game together yet. If Godwin plays like we saw against Green Bay, Evans plays to his ability with Baker’s arm throwing to them, this team could disassemble teams in the playoffs!(ask Green Bay,Jacksonville and Philly. Sign them and go BUCs!