The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and superstar wide receiver Mike Evans are seemingly at an impasse over a new contract. Selected with the 7th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Evans has spent his entire 8-year career in Tampa Bay. All Evans has done since is post 1,000 receiving yards or more in every single season, catch 12 or more TDs four times in his career, never miss more than 3 games in a season, and of course, help the team win the Super Bowl in 2020. He’s been nothing short of fantastic. He has also set a hard deadline of Week 1 to hammer out a long-term extension. This is exactly why the Buccaneers should trade him.
The Buccaneers are poised to be one of the worst teams in the league. Tom Brady retired (again), and the team will go with Baker Mayfield under center to start the year. Despite them playing in arguably the weakest division in the league, they have the lowest odds of winning the NFC South. They have the 4th lowest odds to win the Super Bowl as of now. In short, it’ll likely be a long season in Tampa Bay. Evans won’t be able to cover all of their shortcomings. However, several teams with Super Bowl aspirations could sorely use him. Both the Jets and Bills, rivals in the AFC East, could use a complimentary wide receiver to pair with their dominant top receiver. Teams like the Giants, Steelers, Browns, and even the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs could also be interested in Mike Evans’s services. Of course, a bidding war would only drive up the price the Bucs would receive.
It’s always hard to trade someone you drafted and who helped you reach the top of the mountain. Evans will always be a legend to the fanbase and organization. However, he just turned 30 and the Bucs don’t seem particularly close to competing, even in the weaker NFC. The right thing and unemotional thing for the Bucs to do is to trade and use those resources to rebuild the team.