Trading Mike Evans makes no sense for Bucs

by Gary Shelton on February 18, 2023

in general

Trading Evans is a silly idea./TIM WIRT

Saturday; 4 a.m.

Here is one of the NFL's laws of the jungle.

The teams on the rise try to pick the pockets of those on the decline.

It's an old truism of the league. During the 49ers' big run, they picked the pockets of opponents. During their heyday, the Patriots did the same. It's how smart teams look smarter, how strong teams grow stronger.

And now, they are coming for the Bucs.

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That seemed to be the case Friday when the NFL grapevine began to hum with whispers of a trade of Bucs' receiver Mike Evans, one of the team's most popular players. Evans would go to Chicago, supposedly, because some Bears' fan thought it would be fine idea to add Evans.

Now, the proper response from the Bucs should be "for what?" Because on the surface, trading Evans is a perfectly awful idea. But, sure, there could be a bounty big enough so the Bucs might listen. If I ran an NFL team, I'd always answer the phone.

Now, the point isn't to debate an Evans trade. Sure, the salary cap implications would discourage any such talk.

The point is that other teams are going to see weakness in the Bucs, and they're going to start coming, and it isn't going to be for Donovan Smith or Joe Tryon-Shoyinka. They're going to come for Lavonte David and Antonio Winfield and Chris Godwin, for the few true bright lights that remain with this franchise.

Granted, Evans is going to be less valuable without Tom Brady -- despite the disconnect the two of them had most of last season. But no matter who plays quarterback, they're going to want a 1,000-yard receiver. Evans has nine of those in a row.

So who would replace Evans? Russell Gage? Julio Jones? Scotty Miller? No, unless the Glazers decide to blow up the whole team and lick their wounds this year, then Evans seems to be worth more to the Bucs than to another team.

This isn't the only rumor you're going to hear. If I ran another team, I'd try to swipe someone, too.

If I ran the Bucs, I'd laugh softly and ask "...and what else are you offering?"

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