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Buccaneers WR Mike Evans Set to Play Out Fifth Year Option on Rookie Deal

Mike Evans has been a focal point of the Buccaneers offensive identity since the team drafted him No. 7 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. Since day one, Evans has ruled the aerial attack of those who have tried to stop him.

He’s recorded over 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first four seasons, and is already No. 3 all-time in the franchise’s record book for most receiving yards by a Buccaneer – with health on his side, he’ll be the franchise’s best receiver of all-time as he closes out his rookie deal, according to Trevor Sikkema of Pewterreport.

With accolades like that, Evans is sure to cash out in a big way. But, as the time draws near, the question centers on when that pay day will happen. Evans’ agent, Deryk Gilmore of Day 1 Sports & Entertainment, told that he and his client are in no rush. Last year, the Bucs picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract and he is set to play the 2018 season making $13.2 million.

“We’re not doing any negotiating (right now). We’re just going to wait and play it out,” Gilmore said. “We think that the Buccaneers are a great organization. We feel that they really care about Mike; they care about the direction of the franchise and where it’s going.”

Beyond the yards, Evans has plenty of other Buccaneer records under his belt in just four seasons of play – and just 24 years of age. Evans holds the franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a season (12 – twice), most receiving touchdowns by a rookie in a season (12), currently has the most receiving yards per game in a career (75.4) and most consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons with four.

“He’s under contract so what we like to do is let him finish up,” Gilmore said. “We think [Evans’ stats and records] will speak for itself, and when it comes time to do the deal I think his deal will be in-line with what we plan.”

“If the Bucs come to us with something we’re going to evaluate it. But, at this point, we have not heard from them,” Gilmore said. “I have a great relationship with both Jason and Mike Greenberg. We talk often about a variety of things, but, at this point, we’re not really talking about contracts. We’re just letting it play out.”

“I look at every single deal that comes through whether it’s a wide receiver or even a quarterback,” Gilmore said. “One of the things that’s smart to say is that you look at Jimmy Garoppolo and if we said name the top five quarterbacks in the league it wouldn’t be Jimmy Garoppolo, but he’s paid the highest. If you look at that … I consider Mike [Evans] to be one of the top five players in the league.”

It’s unlikely that Evans will be signing a deal close to the one Garoppolo signed as the league’s highest paid player because he’s not a quarterback, but in terms of becoming the league’s highest-paid receiver, that could very much in reach for Evans.

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