An agent playing the deadline card signifies the likelihood that sides aren’t close in talks. Evans currently makes $16.5 million per season on his contract. With the WR market exploding since he inked his contract in 2018, Evans is the 17th-highest-paid at the position. Evans’ camp reportedly wants a deal similar to the three-year, $80.1 million pact Cooper Kupp signed. The Bucs, going through a transition season, might not want to pay that coin to a 30-year-old receiver.
One question is whether Gilmore’s Sept. 9 deadline is for this season or in totality. Given franchise-tagging Evans would cost the Bucs $28.43 million in 2024, the star would seem destined to hit the open market.
As Gilmore underscored, Evans has done nothing to rock the boat this offseason. He showed up to camp and participated. He’s been a model employee.
Now, his agent has taken hold of the wheel, flipped a U-ey, and is piloting the boat into choppier waters.
Deadlines spur action, so the maneuver from Gilmore could work. Perhaps it gets ownership’s attention, and a contract comes to fruition.
Perhaps the statement piques the interest of WR-needy teams who would be comfortable paying Evans’ asking price, and the Bucs welcome the chance to trade the wideout before losing him next year. Surely, a smart shark will make a call to check.
Or, perhaps nothing happens, the deadline passes, and Evans’ future hovers over Tampa for the rest of the season.