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Bucs get new deal done with Mike Evans. Is Baker Mayfield next?

Rick Stroud, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Football

TAMPA, Fla. — Mike Evans’ wish to play his entire NFL career with the Bucs could come true.

The five-time Pro Bowl receiver has agreed to two-year contract, only a few days after saying he planned to test free agency.

Evans, 30, agreed to a two-year, $52 million contract, according to agent Deryk Gilmore, who told ESPN it includes $35 million guaranteed.

The signing of Evans also could provide momentum for the Bucs to re-sign pending free-agent quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Last week, Gilmore said Evans planned to enter the market as an unrestricted free agent. But talks heated up late Friday night. General manager Jason Licht, assistant general manager Mike Greenberg and Jacqueline Davidson, the Bucs vice president football research, left the NFL scouting combine early Saturday to return to Tampa Bay and work on the deal.

“Mike just called me last night and said I want to be a Buc for life,” Gilmore said Monday in a text to the Tampa Bay Times. “Myself and (agency partner) Darren Jones have worked hard to get this deal done.”

 

Evans is coming off one of his best seasons, with 1,255 yards receiving and an NFL-leading 13 touchdowns (tying Tyreek Hill).

This is his third contract since being drafted by the Bucs during the first round in 2014 out of Texas A&M. Evans has produced 10 straight seasons of 1,000 yards receiving or more, an NFL record to start a career.

The contract would make Evans’ the fourth-highest paid receiver in the league in terms of average salary per year, behind only the Dolphins’ Hill ($30 million annually), the Raiders’ Davante Adams ($28 million) and the Rams’ Cooper Kupp ($26.7 million).

Evans could be the first domino to fall in an attempt to retain the club’s best free agents. Tampa Bay could elect to use the franchise player tag on safety Antoine Winfield Jr. by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

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