Skip to content

Licht wants to ensure Evans is a 'Buc for life'

Julio Aguilar / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are intent on doing whatever it takes to ensure franchise legend Mike Evans never suits up for another NFL team.

"He's an unprecedented player. We want him to be a Buc for life. We're working towards that," general manager Jason Licht said Tuesday at the NFL combine, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine. "Obviously it takes two sides. I know he wants to be a Buc. We'll probably have to strain a little bit but we're working towards that right now."

The Bucs and the star receiver weren't able to come to terms on a deal before last season. Evans opted to table talks and was frustrated that Tampa Bay never put forward an offer, sources told Laine.

The franchise tag is unlikely to be an option to retain Evans, who recorded his 10th straight 1,000-yard campaign and caught an NFL-high 13 touchdowns in 2023.

Evans' one-year tender would cost $28.4 million, and the NFC South club might need to use it to keep other key impending free agents in quarterback Baker Mayfield and All-Pro safety Antoine Winfield.

Licht acknowledged there's a possibility that Evans tests free agency, with the negotiation window beginning March 11.

"Well, I mean there's always a chance," the GM said. "But we're going to do whatever we can to make sure that he's a Buc."

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox