“Priority Target”

February 3rd, 2024

Pending free agent WR Mike Evans.

An X’s and O’s guy for the four-letter seems to think free agent receiver Mike Evans is going to be a very, very popular guy come March 13 when the free agency dinner bell rings.

Former safety and current film study guy Matt Bowen decided to rank the top 50 free agents as we are not quite six weeks away from free agency.

At No. 12 is Evans, the greatest receiver in Bucs history. Even at 30, Bowen points out Evans still has the speed to get open downfield and to create separation.

Given that Evans is a future Hall of Famer, Bowen thinks a lot of teams will be trying to lure Evans out of Tampa Bay.

12. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Age entering 2024 season:

Evans has the frame to isolate as the boundary X receiver, creating matchup potential outside the numbers. The vertical ability is still there — Evans’ 11 catches on passes thrown 20 or more yards downfield tied for 10th this season — and he has the route traits to uncover. With 1,255 receiving yards (ninth) and 13 touchdowns (tied for first) this season, Evans should be viewed as a priority target in free agency.

Joe has to wonder where the departure of former Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales fits into getting Evans back. Joe spoke with Evans one-on-one after the Bucs alley-stomped the Packers and Evans was chugging the Kool-Aid on the first-year playcaller.

Evans pointed out, as he had said in training camp, that Canales had him running routes he never ran before. Given that Evans damn near had a career year, how could Evans not have liked Canales?

So Joe doesn’t know if a new offensive coordinator is going to spook Evans.

Wednesday night, Evans sure didn’t sound like a guy with a firm foot in the door at One Buc Palace.

37 Responses to ““Priority Target””

  1. Steven007 Says:

    Evans is a future Hall of Fame tight end, Joe?! Might want to correct that.

  2. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    But who is #13 on his list?

    Saw this before. If Mike wants to take less money he is welcome back.

    QB is #1 priority unless you are going to draft a rookie to start.

    Doubt ME wants that either. There is ZERO chance Baker takes less than the franchise tag.

  3. Ricki Says:

    I really hope ME goes somewhere where he actually has a chance to win.

  4. CleanHouse Says:

    Licht got cute now he’ll learn a lesson

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Gut feeling is that Mike is gone, and can’t blame him one bit. He’s worked hard to get where he is & wants to be paid big-time for that. Still see Houston as his next home, but who knows.

    Gut feeling also is that Baker is gone. Yes we can franchise tag him for $35 mil or so, but without Evans why prolong the inevitable? Baker will ‘follow the money’ and can’t blame him either for that.

    Hunch is that Licht’s & Bowles’ 1st priority in FA will be Antoine Winfield (he’s a must-have in Bowles’ defense). Next in-line will be a veteran FA pass-rusher (Brian Burns or someone like that), plus LVD (if he wants to come back) and then McLaughlin. Might (hopefully) also opt to add a veteran CB if they choose to trade or release Davis (that might include bringing back SMB?).

    Only after that salary CAP dust settles will the Bucs start focusing on offense in FA (QB to compete with Trask, maybe sign a veteran C or LG, etc). Most of the ‘fixes’ on offense IMO will get accomplished via the draft. Exciting times ahead.

  6. Jack Clark Says:

    Mike Evans is our offense lmao, we can’t let him leave

  7. Obvious Says:

    I dated a girl one time that put me to the test. She was 100% gorgeous and sexy WITHOUT dressing up.

    The challenge was simply that I had to pick her up at the bar. I didn’t take her seriously but played along. We had been together for about 2 years and thought this was a playful thing and I didn’t attempt to look my best after a long and hard day at work. I didn’t look or smell horrible but I was weighing in average walking through the door.
    I walked in and saw her sitting at the bar. Our eyes meet.. She was dressed to the 9’s and she also had done herself up. Absolutely STUNNING and she simply put All other females to shame. On top of of all of that, my lady had a body that just didn’t quit. A secret l shared alone and foolishly took for granted. And that tight black form fitting dress hid nothing from the top to just barley past her bottom and her long strawberry blonde hair sliding from side to side was MORE THAN I COULD BARE!

    Seconds later, some dude was pulling up a bar stool next to her. …..

    I’m just going to cut it off right there but by the end of the night she indeed went home with me. But I’ve got to be honest about it. It took every, and I mean EVERYTHING in my bag of tricks to do it! And without what turned out to be a little thing called “love” on my side I’m not “absolutely sure” I had it in the bag….


    Unfortunately, I feel like the Glazers and Licht made the same mistake that I made walking through that door without even showering up. Evens MAY WELL feel like they treated him as “not special”. And THE ONLY THING that might actually keep Mike here…. “Is Love”… We BETTER HOPE that love is STRONG because I promise you, Mike IS going to play VERY, VERY hard to get!

    Take a shower Licht and RUN in there with flowers, chocolates, and a new diamond ANY DAMN THING HE WANTS in order to keep him because WE WILL REGRET IT if we come with anything less. I promise you!

  8. Obvious Says:

    I guess I forgot to mention that she wanted me to pick her up. And if I didn’t succeed, our relationship was over. I really thought she was joking! Oops….. EVERY TRICK IN THE BAG!
    MY GOD SHE WAS FINE! I just didn’t realize how “fine”, “fine” Could Be!!! After she dress up, I WANTED HER SO BAD…..!!!

    I hope we don’t see Mike dressed up for some other team.. Just Sayin

  9. MadMax Says:

    1. RT Amarius Mims (then move everyone to the left, Mauch at C, (Hainsey bu) Goedeke RG.

    2. WR Johnny Wilson
    3. RB Bucky Irving

    Next best safety….and of course bring back Baker and Evans, team friendly please….and we still have others to sign.

  10. Dave Pear Says:

    Evans looks at Bloweszo…….yeah, he’s shopping, and the Texans have Demeco and CJ. Done.

  11. heyjude Says:

    Mike Evans gets along with most everyone. He is the guy that has made every QB look great since Texas with JM.

    Change can be hard, and Evans will be truly missed if he moves on from the Bucs. My gut says he will go to Houston, but we won’t know until we know.

  12. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Said this seemingly 50 times and I’ll continue to beat that dead horse – removing Bucs fandom in the spirit of pure objectivity, the best move to not only win but to increase his national profile and to become recognized as the true hall of famer that he is – then the best move BY FAR is to go catch passes CJ Stroud. Lining up next to Nico Collin’s and tank dell. What an offense. That might very well be where his heart tells him to go because now it’s a lined up. Me personally, the even better play is KC. Kelce may retire too. Evans being the main guy with Mahomes would increase his respect ten fold and he’d prob have 100 catches for 1600 yards. Evans will always be a buc, he will go to the hall of fame as a buc, but nothing lasts forever. There is not a compelling case for him to stay. NFC South, flying under the radar, more 1 o clock games and another 8-9ish type yr, meh no thanks. If he stays then the Bucs need to build him a statue RIGHT NOW while he’s playing for crying out loud

  13. RustyRhinos Says:

    Yeah Ricki! 4 years in a row of postseason ability, because we made it to that dance, 3 NFC SOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP “3 Brady Banners” 2 conference championship games, and 1 Super Bowl game and we convincingly won that game. Sounds like Mike is in a place that Wins! Mike sure does sound like he has won here in Tampa. Not sure where you would get that Mike has been a loser here in Tampa Bay.

    Hope you remain a Buc until you retire Mike.


  14. JimBobBuc Says:

    ME is now about his legacy (1000rd run) and money. He will be talking to Baker about Coen and how likely Baker will stay. If those conversations go well, then the Bucs have a chance with the right money. But I’m not sure that’s enough, as ME probably wants to go to a SB contender. Thanks for the memories Mike!

  15. DungyDance Says:

    “Given that Evans is a future Hall of Fame tight end…”

    He will be in the ring of honor, right next to Derrick Brooks, the best safety we ever had!

  16. Ted Says:

    ME is true warrior and one the best draft picks in TB history. He absolutely has a lot of tread left on the tires and still runs by “elite” DB’s. If he goes to Houston, he will be playing with a dynamic offense and an outstanding young QB. Other than sentimental feelings, what is to keep him in Tampa. The organization could have signed him last year to a 3 year extension but chose to play it stupid, so ME knows exactly what the Bucs feel about him. He may stay, but what is best for him professionally is to go to a team that values offensive talent and understands that you need to score a lot of points in the modern NFL to be successful.

  17. Since76 Says:

    Lock up Evans. He was the reason Mayfields numbers were as good as they were. Without Evans this year Mayfield would of been benched by game 5. Keep Evans this offense can roll with a vet QB or a rookie. Evans is the priority.
    Then fill in the missing pieces with draft and free agency. GO BUCS!!!!!!

  18. Cover deuce Says:

    Dude you’ve been doing this for how long and you still don’t understand how to edit?

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    How we screwed up by letting Evans hit FA…….spent too much on other players…..we will pay the price…either by paying Evans too much or losing him to another team that pays him too much.

    Either way, Mike wins!!! Good for you, Mike!!!

  20. BucFanForever Says:

    Letting legacy walk in free agency instead of leading the next set of young talent is what lead to the lost decade.

  21. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Good one DungyDance 😂

    Bye Mike 👋

  22. Jeffs grandpa Says:

    BDS is alive and well in the Buc fan base

  23. Boss Says:

    Let him walk.

    I would like to see a balanced offense for once.

    And I think 1/2 ME s stats are in garbage time when the game is lost. You know after he dropped a couple big catches and the game momentum shifted.

  24. stpetebucfan Says:

    RustyRhino…THX for taking care of TROLL Ricki. Glad to have ladies here but not as trolls. I say lady not as an insult but spelling ending in “i” indicates her gender. Ricki…we can always use some feminine input here but we already have more than enough trolls.

    FA’s are one solution for teams, the obvious other solution the draft.
    And so IMHO the FA list offers a very limited perspective.

    Let’s look at the draft! Everybody here…actually one of the partners has wet dreams about drafting a QB high….can you say Johnny Football…or worst of all “Fameis” Jameis? and so they gush about a draft “loaded” with great QB prospects. No doubt about that! Overlooked is that it’s also a great draft for WR’s!!!

    Several mocks already have 3 QBS at the top…but right behind them 3 in a row are WR’s led by a generational talent in Marvin Harrison JR!!!

    If the ripple effect occurs at QB making more decent prospects available even later in the draft…why not WR’s. And JL has been VERY successful finding WR’s!!!

    I love ME13! I respect his wishes. But I love the Bucs even more!!! And so ME and players force us to view it as a business! In that case…ME13 may have to walk. If that’s true…I’ll miss him but I do not fear the Buc’s future without him.

    There will be plenty of WR talent available in this draft. Hate to spend it on a WR but that perhaps will be the price of doing business. Either spend Cap..capital…or Draft..capital.

  25. Tucker Says:

    Think Mike is scorned the bucs didn’t lock him up before the season I have a feeling he walks doubt it’s Houston where would he fit in? but other teams could use him that have more money to throw around that’s for sure. Maybe we lose baker and Mike to Atlanta yikes.

  26. Ko Kiefer Says:

    Hmmm Joe’s got tight end’s on the brain?

  27. Smashsquatch Says:

    Thanks for the memories Mike. You’re a class act and a HOF receiver. Best of luck, unless you play the Bucs.

  28. Bobby M. Says:

    He’ll be back….he’s always been a true professional and is producing at an exceptionally high level, I don’t think the owners, Licht or coaches will have any issues giving him a contract

  29. Robbie Says:

    Mike Evans is not a tight end!!

  30. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I’ll never understand the “always a true professional” slant on ME13.
    He was immature and unprofessional for quite awhile. I’ll admit his attitude has improved over the years from what it was, hot-headed and lacking self control, but he’s still a bit of a whiner on the field and a little sulky in the sidelines.
    No doubt that he’s the best WR we’ve ever had but Always a True Professional?


  31. Obvious Says:

    Well, so much for my story. It was a really good one to. Thanks for nothing “whoever” isn’t doing THEIR job. Excellent analogy for the “blew Mike off and didn’t take him seriously” scenario that’s playing out right now. O well, “que sera, sera”.

    Hey, I feel like Mike actually DID fall off a bit this year evidenced by the what seems “more than usual” amount of drops

    I have a bad feeling that this one WILL hurt some buccaneer feelings. Mike got his hurt first though, according to him. Then again, we don’t know what Mike was offered initially however the comment up top that “Licht got too cute” seems to have rung true to Mike and he’s getting some pay back for what equalled to him as a blatant insult.
    Mike made it CLEAR that he obviously still has the “IT FACTOR” and Lit Up the Score Board. And now he’s gonna let us all sweat it out. A rough feeling for those of us who wants him to stay and to have our #1 EVER offensive juggernaut finish his career HERE where HE STARTED IT, as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer…

  32. Bojim Says:

    Bet Canales would love Evans to pair up with Young. He’ll get some big offers for sure.

  33. stpetebucfan Says:


    I enjoyed your story. Sorta been there and done that. I do disagree a bit with the conclusion.

    I’m not sure, in fact I’m pretty sure that ME13 is not as hot a candidate at WR as your woman was in the bar.

    Also not sure ME13 cares about LOVE anymore. He wants $$$ and legacy or perhaps legacy and $$$ but those are probably the two major factors. He also might have an understandable bias in wanting to go home to Houston.

    I agree with the poster who said if not home to Houston…very attactive..then KC where with the increasingly possible retirement of Kelce…especially if the Chiefs give him another SB ring…Mike would flourish. He would certainly take care of any legacy issues. No objective person could look at the Bucs and think NEXT year they’d be in the same position. Perhaps by 05 but it’s a year at a time for a guy Mike’s age.

    So I generally agree with D.R. about ME..he’s probably gone…I disagree however with Baker…IMHO he’s at worst a 50-50 shot. He’s a guy who does crave the LOVE…and yeah he’ll want a chance for real success, but I think the new OC will comfort him in that area…and the $$$ just come down to respect.

    I don’t believe Baker feels the need to get the MAX $$$. 5 million is not so much when you consider that currently, Baker Mayfield net worth is estimated to be around $25 million. Let’s go to the absurd…even IF Baker played for 3 years at 20 million…on top of the 25 he’s already worth…WTF is he going to do with ALL that money. Yeah it’s America and he can do what he wants.

    But again as the Beatles correctly sang…”Money can’t buy me love”. I think Baker has a solid set of values with some balance. Based on that I like Licht’s chances at pulling it off even without ME13.

  34. stpetebucfan Says:

    BTW 3 years at 20 million for 60 MILLION GUARANTEED. No matter what, even if 25 million is not enough to secure Baker’s future another 60 should do the trick.

  35. unbelievable Says:

    “Ricki” and “Boss” are out here trying to out-stupid one another…

    Congrats, you’re both winning the contest

  36. BakerBucs Says:

    Rickisats really he had a chance to win this year he pretty much let us down with his drops at the worst possible time IMO

  37. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Baker threw more interceptions and missed more open receivers than dropped passes by Evans. Try again Baker fan