The 2023 offseason has featured several wide receiver trade rumors, and now Mike Evans has been added to the list of players that could find a new home in the coming weeks. The four-time Pro Bowler is still under contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but could the team part ways with one of the best players in the history of their franchise?
Superstar Wide Receiver Mike Evans Could Be on the Trade Block
The Original Speculation
Recently, NFL.com’s Mark Sessler published an article identifying the biggest offseason priority for every team in the league. When it came time to talk about the Chiefs, Sessler said that the team needs to trade for a big-time wideout, and highlighted Mike Evans as a possible trade target.
“Justyn Ross is a 6′-4″ item of intrigue, but Kansas City rests in a unique spot. Player development is king, but trading for a plug-and-play star – maybe Tampa’s Mike Evans or this column’s oft-mentioned DeAndre Hopkins – would keep the Mahomes Machine a step ahead of the Bengals and Bills.”
While a DeAndre Hopkins trade has been discussed at length, this is the first time we’ve ever heard Mike Evans mentioned in this type of talk. There is a chance that Sessler is blindly speculating, but NFL analysts typically hear whispers from around the league that inform this type of guesswork.
Sean Slater, a 7-year-old Buccaneers fan, asked Tom Brady if he could throw a 100-yard pass to Mike Evans.
“I could probably throw it maybe 60 yards to Mike,” Brady said.
And, of course, Brady delivered.
His 63-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans traveled 57.6 yards in the air. pic.twitter.com/uiPHP5IohN
— Kinnu Singh (@ByKinnuSingh) January 1, 2023
The Buccaneers only went 8-9 with Tom Brady last year, so it’s safe to say that they’re only going to be worse in 2023 with everybody one year older and Baker Mayfield under center. Mike Evans might not be the unstoppable force he once was, but he’s still a good player and should be able to fetch a decent return on the trade market.
Of course, the only way the Buccaneers go through with this is if they admit that this just isn’t their year. Only time will tell if they have enough self-awareness to make this decision, but for what it’s worth, trading Evans after June 1st will free up $14.5 million in cap space.
Mike Evans Trade Destinations
The Kansas City Chiefs might be the ideal pairing between player and team, but they’re far from the only organization that could use a boost at wide receiver. The Buffalo Bills should be one of the top teams in the AFC, but they could use another wide receiver to pair alongside Stefon Diggs. Josh Allen could wreak havoc on opposing defenses with these two, and it might just be enough to overpower the Kansas City Chiefs.
Alternatively, the Los Angeles Chargers could use another receiver if Mike Williams is seriously injured. The massive wide receiver suffered a back injury in the 2022 regular season finale, and he wasn’t practicing at OTA’s. If the back injury continues to sideline him, Mike Evans would be a perfect trade target.
The Baltimore Ravens, meanwhile, have three receivers that excel at getting open quickly in Odell Beckham, Rashod Bateman, and Zay Flowers. What they lack, however, is a big-bodied receiver capable of making plays in the redzone and winning in contested situations. Evans is a natural final piece for this offense and should give the Ravens one of the most well-rounded receiving rooms in the NFL.
Main Photo: Nathan Seebeck – USA Today Sports