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Shark Bites

The Buccaneers have agreed to a two-year extension with WR Mike Evans. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports it'll pay $52 million over the span, including $35 million in guarantees. This always seemed the most likely path, though some recent reports suggested talks were breaking down and Evans might reach free agency. He'll now stay in Tampa Bay for his age-31 and age-32 seasons. Evans has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in each of his 10 Bucs seasons. His 2023 felt like a rebound, but that was mostly because of bad TD luck in 2022. Evans did lead the league with 13 TD catches in 2023, his third season among the past four with at least 13 scores. His 15.9 yards per catch marked his highest average since 2019 and beat his career average. We'll see how Tampa's QB situation shakes out, with Baker Mayfield headed for free agency. But betting against Evans hasn't worked very well to date.

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ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Buccaneers would owe WR Mike Evans $28.4 million for 2024 if they use the franchise tag to retain him. That's significantly higher than the league-wide WR tag salary of $21.6 million because Evans carried a $23.7 million cap hit in 2023. This obviously doesn't keep Tampa Bay from signing Evans to a longer-term extension ahead of free agency. And it might not even keep the Bucs from tagging Evans. Spotrac projects the team to be more than $37 million under the 2024 even with the existing $12.2 million hit of Evans' voided 2024. The team could also tag Evans and then rescind the tag if he doesn't sign the tender and the two sides fail to work out a longer deal. We're betting for now that the 31-year-old (come Aug. 21) sticks around. But that's no sure thing.

Update: Bleacher Report's Jordan Schultz says his "understanding is Evans is trending toward becoming a free agent, barring an unexpected change in discussions."

Buccaneers WR Mike Evans caught just three of a team-high 8 targets for 22 yards in Sunday's win over the Panthers. Tampa Bay managed just 137 passing yards and 9 points for the game, so there wasn't much offense for anyone. But the Bucs did close out the NFC South title. You can check our updated NFL playoff rankings this week to see where Evans lands if you're continuing the fantasy football season. Beyond that, though, Evans faces free agency this March ahead of his age-31 campaign. Spotrac projects the Buccaneers to carry about $48 million in cap space for 2024, so there could be room to re-sign the vet. But the team appeared to decide against extending Evans at the beginning of this season. We'd bet right now on Evans leaving town. His performance this year has shown Evans can still play. He averaged his most yards per target (9.2) since 2020 and most yards per catch since 2019. The uncertainty will add risk to Evans in early best ball drafting. But there could also be opportunity in those drafts and the dynasty trade market if uncertainty pushes Evans' price down. He'll be worth a look wherever he's valued as a mid-to-low WR3.

WR Mike Evans led the Bucs with 82 yards receiving and a score in the Week 7 loss to the Falcons. The highlight was a vintage 40-yard TD on a go route in the first quarter. Evans finished second to WR Chris Godwin with eight targets for a 19.0% target share. Evans has now averaged 9.2 targets, 5.4 catches, 85.6 yards, and 0.8 TDs in five full games this season. He's looking like at least a weekly WR2 going forward, with QB Baker Mayfield's week-to-week inconsistency the only downside.

Bucs WR Mike Evans (hamstring) was a full participant in Friday's practice and will be a "full go" for this weekend's game vs. the Lions, per HC Todd Bowles. "Mike was full go," Bowles said Friday. "[He] fully participated. He looked good. ... He's playing." Evans is safe to get into Week 6 fantasy lineups against a Detroit defense sitting 29th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs.

Bucs WR Mike Evans (hamstring) remained sidelined on Thursday. Evans is expected to test out that injured hamstring on Friday before a decision is made on whether he'll play vs. the Lions. Check back tomorrow for another update on the situation.

Update: Evans was officially limited in Thursday's practice. We'll see what he does on Friday and how he's listed on the final injury report.

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