Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans met with the media on Thursday and the possibility that he is starting his final season with the team was a main topic of conversation.
Evans is in the last year of his contract and his agent recently released a statement saying that they would end negotiations with the team on a new deal if an agreement is not reached by Saturday. On Thursday, Evans said that he thinks it's reasonable to want to know what the future holds and that he won't let the lack of a deal impact his efforts on the field this season.
"My agent set the deadline," Evans said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. "Obviously we’ve been working with them for a year now trying to get something done. Any player in my position would want to be solidified and secured. Whether the deal is done or not — either way — I’m looking forward to having a great season this year."
Evans was also asked if a failure to reach a deal before the season starts would rule out a return to the Bucs in 2024.
"Ownership and management are going to do what they feel is best for the team and the team’s future," Evans said. "I'm going to do what's best for me and my future. Right now, that’s just playing some good ball."
Assuming no last-minute deal is struck with the Bucs, a strong season would serve Evans well in contract talks with any team interested in his services next year.