The Buccaneers and receiver Mike Evans are currently at a contractual impasse. They have eight days to break it.
Evans’s agent, Deryk Gilmore, set a deadline of Saturday, September 9, for getting a deal done.
“When Mike Evans was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization his promises were to win a Super Bowl and be a Buc for life,” Gilmore said. “He knew he would do everything in his power to make both come true.”
Evans is entering the final year of his current contract.
“For the past nine years, Mike has set records on the field that will surely put him in the Hall of Fame. He is considered one of the most selfless teammates by his peers and coaching staff and has been one of the most charitable players in the National Football League. He loves Tampa and the community surrounding the Bucs, and after keeping his promise of winning a Super Bowl, he hopes to uphold his promise to be a Buc for life. As he enters year 10, he is facing the prospect of doing so with uncertainty surrounding his future.”
Gilmore explained that he has worked with the front office over the past two years to do a new deal for Evans. Gilmore places the blame for lack of a deal directly on ownership.
“Many players with his status would have held out of camp to not risk injury, but Mike has continued practicing hard, as always, because he puts his team first,” Gilmore said. “When you have a player that will be a Hall of Famer and still has four to six more years to make an impact in the league, you move Heaven and Earth to keep him on your team, and we would hope ownership feels the same way.”
Gilmore insisted that “this is not a tactic and the ball is in the owner’s court.” He has given the team until next Saturday to do a deal. After that, Gilmore will “discontinue” discussions.
Of course, if the Buccaneers decide during the season to give Evans what he wants, chances are the deal gets done. But Evans has made it clear, through his agent, that he wants to see it done before the first game is played.