Why the Giants should stay away from disgruntled star Bucs wide receiver

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) runs with the ball against the New York Giants during the second half at Raymond James Stadium

The New York Giants have been one of the top teams rumored to acquire Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans in light of recent news that he will look to leave the team in 2024 if he is unable to reach a new deal by the start of the regular season.

Combining his receiving skills with the Giants’ unproven talent at the position, Evans sounds like a great fit for a team that is on the rise. A receiving weapon who consistently gets over 1,000 receiving yards could solve a lot of the team’s issues at the wide receiver position. However, for reasons mostly related to financials, the Giants should avoid going after Evans.

The Giants are in a tough cap space situation

After handing out a handful of lucrative contracts this offseason, including a four-year, $160 million deal with quarterback Daniel Jones, the Giants find themselves in a tight financial position.

Currently, New York has only $1,476,364 in available cap space. Evans, 30, is expected to make $13 million in just his base salary, with the cap hit reaching over $23 million. Therefore, Big Blue would need to clear up a significant amount of cap space to afford Evans.

Theoretically, the Giants can clear up cap space by restructuring contracts, but with the start of the regular season just days away, that does not appear to be likely.

Evans is seeking a massive extension

In Evans’ current contract with the Bucs, he is making an average salary upwards of $16 million and is guaranteed $55 million in total. An unrestricted free agent in 2024, he is reportedly seeking a deal in the range of three years and $75-$80 million, which would make him one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL at age 31.

The Giants’ wide receiver corps is almost a full group of youths, with rookie Jalin Hyatt, 21, and third-year wideout Isaiah Hodgins, 24, expected to be massive contributors to the team’s offense.

Adding an aging wideout for the price Evans is requesting could set Big Blue backward from their upward trajectory. There is no guarantee that Evans would play at the same level he did during his prime, and if there is anything to learn from the Kenny Golladay disaster, it is that paying aging receivers big money comes with a massive risk.

The Giants are better off staying young and developing their talent internally, as there is still a lot of positive upside that can be generated from their wide receiver room.

Final thoughts

While making a move for Mike Evans sounds like it would be fun for this revamped Giants offense, the financial parameters that they would have to go through make it less appealing. It will be interesting if the Giants decide to clear cap space to make a push for Evans or steer clear of him.

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