Wed. Feb 28th, 2024
Pittsburgh Steelers v Tampa Bay Bucs
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The veteran spoke to the media on Thursday for the first time since a deadline was placed on contract talks.

When the Tampa Bay Bucs wrapped up preseason and began preparations for the regular season opener against the Vikings, they were presented with a new challenge. That challenge was a one week deadline to get a deal done for veteran receiver Mike Evans. Now, part of the preparation for this week has been coming up with a contract extension for their most productive player in team history that would ensure he retires a Buccaneer.

But did it have to come to this stalemate, where both sides have been reportedly not even close in talks for some time? According to Evans, he and his agent have been trying to work with the organization for over a year on a new contract. That may have led to frustration which ultimately led to his agent setting a deadline of a day before the season starts.

“Yeah, my agent set the deadline. I’m sure y’all read the statement,” said Evans on Thursday. “Obviously, we’ve been working with them for over a year now trying to get something done. Any player in my position would want to be solidified and secure. But if a deal is done or not, either way I’m going to be okay and I’m looking forward to having a great season this year.”

Evans spoke as if his days are running short. And they are. With just two days left before the deadline imposed expires, the veteran receiver spoke as if there may not be a deal done in time and his days of no longer being in pewter may soon begin counting down.

“I don’t know [if a deal gets done]. We’ve got a little bit of time left, but we’ll see.

“Ownership and management are going to do what they feel is best for the team and the team’s future, and I’m going to do what’s best for me and my future. And right now that’s just playing some good ball.”

Whatever happens before the start of the season, one thing is at least clear for now. Evans has every intention to play out this season.

However, if it does end up being his final season, he won’t be saddened about the situation as he feels he has positioned himself for whatever lies ahead.

“No,” said Evans when asked if he would be hurt if this is his final season with the Bucs. “Like I said, I’m blessed, man. I’ve been blessed to play this game for a really long time. [I have] made a lot of plays, made a lot of money…it’s not even about that. I’m just happy to be in the position I’m in.”

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