Jason Licht: Mike Evans Sets An Example For Bucs Organization

May 9th, 2024

Bucs GM salutes Mike Evans.

Since Odell Beckham decided to have a mid-game fistfight with a kicker net on the Giants sidelines, Mike Evans has been the best receiver out of the 2014 NFL draft class.

Sadly, Beckham is hyped like he’s some All-World receiver. Only until recently has Evans been given his just props by #NFLMedia even though he lapped Beckham years ago.

One guy whose radar Evans didn’t fly under popular sports radio and television personality Adam Schein. Last week Schein wanted to know how big of a deal it was for the Bucs to bring back Evans this year. So he asked Bucs AC/DC loving general manager Jason Licht during “Schein on Sports,” heard exclusively on “Mad Dog Radio,” part of the family of sports channels on SiriusXM Radio.

Not only did Licht say re-signing Evans was probably his biggest task, he confessed he became emotional about it.

Adam Schein: I was fascinated to see Jason how this was going to unfold with Mike Evans who to me is a Hall of Famer. I know he wanted to be back but he would have been highly coveted, obviously, on the open market. I like how you structured the deal. Shorter on the length. Lot of money early. Still playing at a Hall of Fame level, still playing great. A phenomenal leader for your football team. How important was it to get that deal done early and bring him back on that kind of structure of a contract.

Jason Licht: Well to get him back was paramount. And I literally lost sleep over this. And the moment we got it done, I had an emotional breakdown just knowing and thinking back everything. What he means to this team, what he has meant to this fanbase, what he has meant to me and my family. It was a very emotional moment. And we can thank Ashley, his wife. And my wife had her part in it as well. It was paramount, like I said, to get him back.

Schein: I want you to hit that home. You are supposed to in theory — right? — for most negotiations or draft picks or signings or trades and take emotion out of it. This is where emotion matters in addition to how players play and how it is going to equal wins and losses. Why was this so important and emotional for you and your family and for the Bucs and for Mike Evans?

Licht: Because of the example he sets. As a player. As a person. For all of us. For the team. For kids. He works so hard and he does it in such a way — he doesn’t want attention to matter. And all he has done is have 1,000-yards receiving in every year of his career. He is truly amazing. And, what an example he sets looking forward. And you want your first pick in every draft to set the tone for the entire draft [class]. But he set the tone for the entire era since I have been here.

Joe remembers years ago when Evans was a young player seeing how he would interact at Bucs practices on the sidelines with Licht’s oldest son, who may have been a first-grader at the time.

Licht’s son was sort of an equipment assistant/water boy. He often sat next to Evans whenever Evans decided to sit on the bench. Joe could see the two talking a lot and sometimes joking around.

So for Licht, it wasn’t just re-signing a player, not just re-signing a star, not just re-signing a future Hall of Famer. It was almost like Licht was bringing back a family member. Remember, Evans was Licht’s very first draft pick as an NFL general manager.

Talk about a first-swing home run.

31 Responses to “Jason Licht: Mike Evans Sets An Example For Bucs Organization”

  1. Bucsfan Says:

    Rich McKays’ first two picks were HOF’ers and Jason Lichts’ 1st pick will be a HOF’er-Bucs have done pretty well at hiring GM.

  2. heyjude Says:

    Thank you so much for this article. Wonderful!

    Reminded that Licht lost sleep over Evans being signed again, says a lot about him too. And love the fact that Licht’s son is an assistant and Evans befriended him on the bench. That is our Mike Evans. He is the real deal in all he does off and on the field. And his wife Ashley is equally as wonderful and is the reason he stayed too. Evans was the best receiver out of the 2014 NFL draft class! So very lucky to have him as a Buc – family!

  3. BucsFan55 Says:

    Go Bucs

  4. Todd Says:

    Licht needs to give the speech to get Mike into the HOF as a first ballot! Sorry IRA! You can hold his beer during the induction!

  5. KABucs Says:

    Bucsfan, we’ll pretend that Bruce Allen era never happened. LOL
    Safe to say there are no HOFs in any of his draft pics. I’m pretty sure he passed over quite a few future HOFs, though.

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    Quality piece Joe!

    Evans is the best offensive player this organization has ever seen and its not even close. That he is such a good person and great leader for our team is like icing on the cake.

    I’m sure Boss will be here soon to ‘splain why Evans sucks and should have been let go for the good of the team…. LOL

  7. stpetebucfan Says:

    ” he set the tone for the entire era since I have been here.’


  8. toad bowels Says:

    I’d like to see if there was some way the Bucs could structure a reasonable cap-friendly contract to keep Chris Godwin as a Buc

  9. stpetebucfan Says:

    Agree Toad!

  10. BucVoyager Says:

    Chris is gone next year. Can’t afford to pay him what he’s worth and address all the other needs. Wirfs and Winfield will need their money as well.

  11. Boss Says:

    He set the tone alright.

    detroit game…big ball….DROPPED. game over from there.

    Now we have him for his last 2 years……and we will lose CG

    bare cupboard come next year as mike will be retirement age and chris will be gone.

    A lotta forward thinking… (sarcasm)

  12. Fred McNeil Says:

    I’d like to keep Godwin as well, but after we pay Wirfs and Winfield money will be tighter than Dick’s hat band.

  13. Fred McNeil Says:

    That was a Smothers brothers quip. Gives away my age.

  14. Fred McNeil Says:

    Pickgrin: how prophetic about boss.

  15. TexasBuc 1776 Says:

    The Boss man never disappoints. When he wins the lottery, he bi*ches about the taxes he has to pay. Mike Evans is a class guy and a stud.

  16. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Anyone taking shots at Evans is an idiot.

  17. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Pretty awesome stuff

  18. ^^mtn^^ Says:

    Wanted the Bucs to pick Aaron Donald that year as it was easy to see he had real HOF potential.

    What wasn’t quite as apparent at the time was MEs potential.

    As the seasons went on & the games were played, ME matured, produced and remained consistent.

    Both are future HOFers, but it’s very clear:

    Jason made the right choice

  19. Conner50 Says:

    Boss is a saints fan clearly

  20. ModHairKen Says:

    “Licht needs to give the speech to get Mike into the HOF as a first ballot! Sorry IRA! You can hold his beer during the induction!”

    Hilarious. And true.

    And as usual, Boss is ignorant and stupid.

  21. Bucshot Says:

    Nice article!

  22. Esteban85 Says:

    Wonderful article Joe. I love the team we have become with Mike Evans and LVD at the helm. They are the class acts of class acts. Winning is everything but winning over the fans and the team and having a team full of good men to lead the youth to the next generation might just be just as important. I love your insight into why Licht was so emotional about this signing. Makes me sure love my Bucs and really appreciate JBF

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    I still want to know why they only gave him a two year deal? Evans hasn’t shown a sign of slowing down – and if anything, he looks faster now than when he was drafted. If you got three years, I think it’s safe to say you’re getting ALL-PRO production for at least the next two years, then, maybe in year 3 he’s falling off a little and is merely a PRO-BOWLer. In year 4, I assume by that point he will fall off to being just a good starter.

    Personally I would have done at least 3-years, perhaps even 4-years if you could get a slightly cheaper yearly avg down.

    Anyways glad he’s back, and I look forward to his new 2-year deal in 2 years.

  24. teacherman1983 Says:

    The Bucs are classy.

    We are the best organization in the NFL.

  25. Joe Says:

    I still want to know why they only gave him a two year deal? Evans hasn’t shown a sign of slowing down

    At least, not in 2023.

    When Father Time hits you, he hits like Scot Brantley blasting Eric Hipple.

    No need to be on the hook for millions when you don’t have to.

  26. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the kind words guys!

  27. Birdie Says:

    I think we would have beaten the Lions if he could have caught the ball

  28. Miller5252 Says:

    Evans and David should be given comtracts that make them Bucs until they want to retire. Find a way to make them first of their kind contracts that can adjust yearly for their salary. They’re not divas, so you won’t have to worry about them taking advantage of it. Find someway to truly show them they need to be Bucs for their career. And if the wheels come off the team and the Bucs go rebuild, give them the ability to go finish their last year or 2 with a team that has a good chance at a SB. This should have been done for some of the other Buc greats!

  29. KYBUCSFAN Says:

    Hey Boss, why don’t you go play in rush hour traffic or something…

  30. unbelievable Says:

    LOL pickgrin – that idiot showed up right on cue

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    Joe Says:
    May 9th, 2024 at 3:51 pm
    I still want to know why they only gave him a two year deal? Evans hasn’t shown a sign of slowing down

    At least, not in 2023.


    I understand that, but Evans isn’t showing any signs yet of even slowing down a little – if anything he’s faster and quicker than he’s been in the past. I think the next contract is going to be the tricky one – and it’s why I’d have done a 3-year deal. But we shall see, just glad they got it done.