Joe’s heart says “Hell no!” but Joe’s head says “Think about it.”
The gang at Football Outsiders (no byline given) typed a piece for BSPN with outside-the-box moves to help each club.
With the Bucs, this unknown stenographer believes if the Bucs were smart, they’d be shopping the best receiver in Bucs history, Mike Evans.
Why? Well, because Evans still has value.
The biggest player they have to move is Mike Evans, a franchise legend and still very useful player who is hitting the wrong side of 30. Trading Evans before June 1 wouldn’t do much for the salary-cap situation, but it would likely net Tampa Bay useful picks in this year’s draft; he won’t draw as much value as Hill did last year but would still likely earn a pick somewhere in the top 50, at least. Or they could trade him after June 1 and add $14.5 million in cap room. Either way, the Buccaneers could get significant value by moving on from Evans. Moving on from a team leader and franchise legend is hard, but you don’t get much bolder than blowing a team up entirely to position yourself for the future.
Joe wants to puke thinking about this but logically it potentially has merit. Evans is in the final year of his contract. Last year, four top-shelf receivers around the NFL were dealt for at least a first-round draft pick.
Evans said once or twice last year he was fed up with losing after surviving the Lost Decade and he has no desire or intention of putting up with that again.
It seems the Bucs are headed, temporarily at least, for some dark days.
Since 2023 is the final year of Evans’ contract, he could just up and walk out the door next spring and go to a winner. And what would the Bucs get in return? Bupkis.
Unless the Bucs draft Anthony Richardson, Evans is going to be a luxury this fall. If the Bucs do draft AR15, he’s going to need all the help he can get from receivers, so Evans will be highly needed.
Joe’s heart breaks thinking of trading Evans. Joe’s head can’t dismiss it.
This content was originally published here.