While the 2023 NFL season is nearing its conclusion, the league’s calendar never stops. Instead, the new league year will commence on March 13, 2024, barely more than a month after Super Bowl LVIII. It’s also the first day unrestricted free agents can sign new contracts with any team.
With NFL teams valuing the passing game, free-agent wide receivers will receive several offers. Mike Evans tops the list of wideouts looking for their next deal after his five-year, $82.5 million contract will expire in the 2024 offseason.
While the two-time Second Team All-Pro member has expressed his desire to stay with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it wouldn’t stop other franchises from negotiating with him. He remains one of the best pass-catchers in the league after completing his tenth consecutive 1,000-yard season. Only he and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice have achieved that feat.
With Baker Mayfield as his starting quarterback, Evans finished the regular season with 1,255 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns. His receiving yards are his highest total since he had 1,524 in 2018. His consistency remains despite playing with different quarterbacks.
The wide receiver market surged after the contracts signed by Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill. Therefore, Evans has the leverage to negotiate a deal that pays higher than the $16.5 million annual average in his previous contract. Given his production in 2023, the five-time Pro Bowler can rightfully command a yearly value of at least $25 million.
According to Spotrac, Evans earned a $13 million base salary and a $1.5 million roster bonus this season. However, he counted $23.7 million against the Buccaneers’ salary cap due to contract restructuring.
The Buccaneers selected Evans seventh overall in the 2014 NFL draft and gave him a four-year, $14.6 million rookie contract. They exercised his fifth-year option worth $13.2 million before signing him to an extension. Spotrac estimates that he has earned $110.3 million over ten NFL seasons.
Here’s the list of free-agent wide receivers for 2024 courtesy of The 33rd Team NFL writer Ari Meirov.
Free agent WRs coming up this offseason:— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) February 4, 2024
- Tee Higgins
- Michael Pittman Jr.
- Mike Evans
- Calvin Ridley
- Gabriel Davis
- Darnell Mooney
- Michael Thomas
- Tyler Boyd
- Marquise Brown
- Odell Beckham Jr.
- K.J. Osborn
- Josh Reynolds
- DJ Chark
- Curtis Samuel