Will Patriots Sign Mike Evans to 'Top Receiver' Contract? - Sport News

Will Patriots Sign Mike Evans to ‘Top Receiver’ Contract?

For a team trying to upgrade its offense like the New England Patriots, adding the premier free-agent wide receiver on the market makes sense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Mike Evans Quietly Having Best Season of His Career

With the NFL’s largest amount of available salary cap space, the Patriots should unquestionably target Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ icon Mike Evans, who reportedly intends to test the market rather than re-sign with the team that drafted him prior to the start of free agency.

Releasing cornerback JC Jackson pushed the Patriots approximately $101 million under the $255.4 million spending restriction. No team can offer Evans more money in 2024, but there’s one obstacle that could prevent a signing from happening.

After speaking with Evans’s agent, Bleacher Report‘s Jordan Schultz reports that the receiver “wants to play with an elite quarterback in an offense that will showcase him — and be paid like a top wide receiver. He doesn’t want to play with a rookie QB. Winning a Super Bowl is a key priority.”

With no established quarterback in place, the Patriots do not meet all of the aforementioned criteria. New England, however, has the means to pay Evans handsomely and the five-time Pro Bowl selection would instantly become the top star on the offensive side of the ball.

Of course, the Patriots could always pursue quarterback Baker Mayfield in free agency. Although more of a bridge option as opposed to “an elite quarterback,” Mayfield established a healthy rapport with Evans during the 2023 season in Tampa. With Mayfield at the controls, Evans earned his highest number of targets (136) since 2018. He totaled 1,255 yards and 13 touchdowns on 79 receptions.

The 30-year-old Evans, who was the No. 7 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, has exceeded the 1,000-yard receiving mark in all 10 seasons as a pro. Meanwhile, the Patriots have not had a 1,000-yard receiver since Julian Edelman in 2019. This past season, sixth-round rookie Demario Douglas led New England in receiving yards (561). As a unit, the Patriots’ passing offense (180.5) ranked 28th in the NFL.

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