Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers agree to 2-year, $52 million extension

The 30-year-old Evans was set to hit the NFL free agent market next week

Mike Evans will be staying in Tampa.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver has agreed to a reported two-year, $52 million extension with $35 million guaranteed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Per Schefter, the $26 million per season salary "is the largest for a wide receiver this old on his third contract."

Last week at the NFL scouting combine, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht — who used his first draft pick as a GM on Evans — said he wanted to make Evans a "Buc for life." The two sides tried to work something out ahead of the 2023 regular season, but once a Sept. 9 deadline passed, talks were pushed until after the season.

It was only on Friday that news came out that Evans, 30, was planning to test the NFL free-agent market, which begins next week. He was reportedly still open about returning to the Buccaneers, but he wanted to see what was out there.

Consider that the leverage that got the Buccaneers to make Evans an offer he couldn't refuse.

A consistent producer

Evans has been one of the most consistent wide receivers since he entered the league in 2014 after being selected No. 7 overall out of Texas A&M. In each of his 10 NFL seasons, he's recorded at least 67 receptions and at least 1,000 receiving yards. In 2023, he caught the third-most balls (79), registered the third-most receiving yards (1,255) and posted the second-most touchdowns (13) of his career.

Evans is the first wide receiver in NFL history to hit 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first 10 seasons. He's also the second receiver to record 10 straight 1,000-yard seasons. Only Jerry Rice had more with 14.

With Evans back in the fold, Licht's attention can turn to re-signing quarterback Baker Mayfield and making a decision on safety Antoine Winfield Jr.