MINNEAPOLIS — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not be signing Mike Evans to a contract extension despite the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver’s Saturday deadline, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
No deal was offered in the days since Evans and his agent, Deryk Gilmore, went public with their demands, sources told ESPN.
Evans, who turned 30 last month, will play out the 2023 season — the last in his current contract — before testing free agency in 2024. The deadline passing is not expected to affect Evans’ availability this season.
Negotiations between the two parties had carried on for the past two years, with short- and long-term deals proposed to extend Evans’ time in Tampa, Florida, beyond 10 years, sources said. In fact, the length of the deal was less important than the guarantees for Evans, who emphasized the word “secure” when discussing a new contract Thursday.
Sources close to the situation said they believe that this is an ownership call versus a front office call. The Glazer family, who own the Buccaneers, signed off on the franchise borrowing nearly $100 million from the future to support a Tom Brady Super Bowl run for three seasons, which has meant limited resources with the salary cap as they try to rebuild.
This doesn’t preclude the Buccaneers from attempting to re-sign Evans in March, when he will become an unrestricted free agent, but it has left an impression with the wide receiver, who has said on numerous occasions that he’s wanted to be a “Buc for life” and has been arguably their most visible player in the community, with three consecutive Walter Payton Man of the Year nominations along with nine straight 1,000-yard seasons.