Bruce Arians: Mike Evans has offered to give up money to keep team together

Super Bowl LV
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NFL players routinely restructure contracts to create salary cap space. In most cases, the player gets the same amount of money; cap space is created when base salary becomes signing bonus. In other cases, the team squeezes the player to take less, under a subtle (or not) threat that refusal will result in termination.

Then there’s the rare case of a player who voluntarily gives up money to create cap space.

After Sunday night’s Super Bowl victory, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians told Peter King of NBCSports.com that receiver Mike Evans already has offered to reduce his compensation for the good of the team.

“Mike Evans is the most unselfish superstar I’ve ever met,” Arians said. “He’s told us to use some of his money if we need to contracts to keep the team together.”

The Buccaneers have a long list of looming free agents, from receiver Chris Godwin to linebacker Shaq Barrett to receiver Antonio Brown to tight end Rob Gronkowski to linebacker Lavonte David to defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Evans is due to earn $12.5 million in 2021. He has a cap number of $16.6 million.

It’s one thing for Evans to make the offer. It’s another for the two sides to reach an acceptable deal.

Players generally should try to get what they can while they can, leaving it for the team to manage the cap. That could be more of a challenge this year, with the cap likely dropping to the range of $180 million. So maybe they’ll take Evans up on his willingness to take less. And maybe they’ll work out a deal.

Evans at a minimum should seek protection against the possibility of having a big season. Maybe, for example, the deal should add incentives that would give Evans some money back, with the cap charge landing in 2022.

Regardless, the cap will be a challenge for plenty of teams in 2021. The Bucs will likely have to do a lot more than get Evans to give up some money to balance things out.

14 responses to “Bruce Arians: Mike Evans has offered to give up money to keep team together

  1. Evans knows his championship window opportunity is now and he still has plenty of time afterwards to get paid. Having a few million in the bank already is also helpful.

  2. I say it all the time. Do some players want to be the highest paid player or the greatest of all time… you can get away with it in basketball or baseball. But it doesn’t fly in the NFL.

  3. If there were no salary cap, no one would have to talk about giving up money.
    People are brainwashed into thinking that certain teams would have an advantage over others. If that was the case, the New York Giants would have had all the best players & the best teams since the inception of the league. No big market team could beat the Green Bay Packers in the 1960’s.
    Now, players get cut or are asked to relinquish money just to keep a good team together. It’s wrong.

  4. Suh is gone. He’s the kind of guy that will go to the Jags if they offer him a dollar more than the Bucs

  5. If you have earned $70MM and will easily make $30MM more would you rather make a bit more and play somewhere you don’t want to play or for a bad team OR would you be content making only $100MM and playing somewhere fun that wins.

    A 10th car or 3rd house won’t buy you happiness, but having fun at your job is worth something.

  6. Not smart. Your children and grandchildren can’t pay for college with another SB ring. Take your money.

  7. Mike is thinking big picture. If he gets 2 more super bowl rings with 2 more 1000 yard seasons he’s a first ballot HOFER lock.

  8. Yet another benefit of having Brady lead the team. Everyone wants to keep the band together. I hope they win another.

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