Will Mike Evans, Buccaneers stay together?

Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans is heading toward free agency. The Bucs seem to want to keep him. Evans can go wherever he wants to go.

As noted by, Evans has made his desires known, through his agent.

"Mike wants to play with an elite quarterback in an offense that will showcase him — and be paid like a top wide receiver," Deryk Gilmore told Bleacher Report, via "He doesn’t want to play with a rookie QB. Winning a Super Bowl is a key priority."

Some might wonder whether Evans regards Tampa Bay's current quarterback, Baker Mayfield, as elite. Earlier this week, Bucs G.M. Jason Licht shared his assessment of Evans's thoughts regarding Mayfield.

"I do know that Mike really likes Baker," Licht said, per "I know that that’s important to him. I know when you’re a player of Mike’s caliber, but also at a point in his career, you know, he doesn’t want to mess around with a quarterback he doesn’t trust or know."

Based on Licht's assessment, Evans could trust a quarterback without knowing him. He could, for example, make a beeline for the Chiefs. Or the Bills.

The challenge for Evans becomes getting everything he wants. Elite quarterback AND offense that will showcase him AND compensation like a top receiver AND winning a Super Bowl is a lot. The biggest challenge could be getting paid like a top receiver, because there's a real gap (and it could get even bigger, once Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase sign new deals) between the very best and the rest.

The receiver position is changing. Every year, plenty of competent pass-catchers enter the draft. While it's not yet like the running back market, it could develop into a situation where only a precious few get top-of-market money, while others who want to be paid that way face pricing themselves out of the market in exchange for younger, cheaper players who will be much more valuable, dollar for dollar.

Evans has put together a Hall of Fame resume. After 10 years in the league, however, will he command double coverage at all time? Will he be able to keep playing at a high level for two or three or more years? Those will be key assessments from teams that are thinking about signing him, if he leaves Tampa Bay.