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Report: Bucs' Evans plans to explore free agency

Perry Knotts / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans plans to hit free agency for the first time in his career, sources told The Athletic's Dianna Russini.

Evans and the Bucs are engaged in contract talks, but the five-time Pro Bowler wants to explore all of his options, Russini reports.

Evans has been with Tampa Bay since being drafted seventh overall by the club in 2014. The veteran is the first receiver in league history to post 1,000 yards in each of his first 10 seasons.

The 30-year-old completed a five-year extension worth $82.5 million signed in 2018. Evans and the Bucs couldn't agree on a long-term deal prior to the 2023 campaign, and the sides agreed to table extension discussions until after the season.

Evans recorded 79 catches for 1,255 yards and tied Tyreek Hill with a league-high 13 touchdowns in 2023.

General manager Jason Licht highlighted re-signing Evans as a priority earlier this week, saying, "We want him to be a Buc for life."

Tampa Bay reportedly wants to retain Evans and quarterback Baker Mayfield, with both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 13. Antoine Winfield, Devin White, and Lavonte David are also among several Bucs starters expected to hit the open market.

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