In the wake of a video that surfaced Friday on TMZ involving Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans, the team that made him the seventh overall pick in the draft has reiterated its faith in and commitment to Evans.
“During his time here since we drafted him in May, Mike has met all of our expectations both on and off the football field,” coach Lovie Smith said in a statement issued Friday night. “After speaking with Mike, our feelings about him remain unchanged. We expect him to be an important member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for many years to come and we consider this matter closed.”
While TMZ contends the events occurred last Saturday night, Evans claims it happened several months earlier.
“The incident in question happened during spring break in March while I was vacationing with friends in Miami,” Evans said in a statement. “The issue occurred at the end of the night when someone in my party was approached by a member of the security staff. The situation escalated very quickly from there, but fortunately no one was injured. I regret that this incident that happened nearly six months ago has become a distraction to my team and I look forward to continuing to prepare for the start of my rookie season with the Buccaneers.”
No arrests were made or charges filed. Given that the incident, which included Evans eventually taking a swing at a bouncer, happened before Evans became an NFL employee, it’s less likely that he’ll face scrutiny under the personal-conduct policy.