Buccaneers' Mike Evans Restructures Contract to Create Salary Cap Space

Adam WellsSeptember 1, 2021

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 14: Mike Evans (13) of the Buccaneers warms up before the preseason game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on August 14, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Looking to create additional cap space this season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have restructured Mike Evans' contract for the second successive year. 

Per Joey Knight and Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Evans is expected to sign his reworked deal on Thursday. 

Terms of the restructure are unclear at this point, though Knight and Stroud note that most of Evans' $16.637 million base salary could be converted into a bonus. 

Per Spotrac, the Bucs are currently $4.145 million over the salary cap before the restructure. Evans has the largest cap hit of any player on the team in 2021 ($16.638 million). 

According to Knight and Stroud, Tampa will use the money saved on Evans' cap hit for players on injured reserve, the practice squad and to sign free agents as needed during the regular season. 

Prior to the start of last season, Evans reworked his deal to allow the team to bring in Leonard Fournette. 

Coming off their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, there was an expectation that the Buccaneers roster would look different in 2021. They had a number of high-profile free agents who were going to command a lot of money, and a reduced cap from the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic made it unlikely everyone would be back. 

General manager Jason Licht maneuvered the cap to bring back all 22 starters from the Super Bowl. 

Evans has spent his entire career in Tampa Bay since being drafted seventh in 2014. The three-time Pro Bowler has had at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first seven seasons.