Soon, the big money should thrown at Tampa Bay Bucs’ receiver Mike Evans, too.
These days, what wide receivers seem to catch the most are paychecks. On Tuesday, for instance, both Dallas receiver Dez Bryant and Denver receiver DeMaryius Thomas signed contracts for five years and $70 million. When you factor in the contract that Detroit’s Calvin Johnson signed two years ago, and the ones that Atlanta’s Julio Jones and Cincinnati’s A.J. Green will get next year, it’s an impressive way to earn a living.
Now, consider this. In a recent ESPN poll about the rising star of the NFC South, three of the four panelists selected Evans, who was a rookie for the Bucs last year.
The thinking is simple. Evans had an impressive year with 68 catches for 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns even though he lacked a star quarterback or a solid offensive line. Now, with No. 1 draft pick Jameis Winston having a shot at stardom, his catches – and his money – should climb.
The NFL these days is a passer-and-catcher league. Even with his 68 catches, Evans was only tied for 36th in the league. Vincent Jackson was better – ranking 33rd in the league with 70 catches and 1,002 yards – as wide receiver was clearly the strength of the Bucs’ 30th ranked offense.
It will be interesting to see how those statistics compare this season.