Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has reportedly signed a five-year, $82.5 million extension with the team, $55 million of which will be guaranteed. The deal will give him the second-highest salary-per-year in the league at the position, just behind Antonio Brown.

The massive payday for Evans takes him off the market for a while to come. The star wide receiver was slated to hit free agency after the 2018 season unless a deal was reached. The new deal will keep him in Tampa through 2023.

Evans has been a bright spot on Tampa Bay’s unimpressive offense since being drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. In college, he was the favorite option for Heisman-winning Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. The duo’s electrifying play style made Evans an attractive candidate for teams across the league.

His height and natural hands ensured his success at the next level. In his rookie season, he secured 12 touchdowns and 1,051 receiving yards on 68 receptions, getting named to the 2014 NFL All-Rookie Team. In Evans’ second year with the team, the Buccaneers drafted Jameis Winston as the hopeful savior for their sputtering offense. Winston, also a Heisman winner, quickly established a connection with Evans. Winston targeted Evans 147 times and the receiver finished out the season with 74 receptions and 1,206 receiving yards. His red zone production dipped considerably in his sophomore campaign, catching only three touchdowns.

2016 was a career year for Evans. He recorded 96 receptions for 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2017, the 24-year old saw a sizable dip in production from the previous season. The Buccaneers had brought in veteran speedster DeSean Jackson to help bolster the receiver corps. Despite the fresh competition for targets, Evans still topped 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth consecutive year.

The Buccaneers made the right choice drafting Evans seventh overall in 2014, and they clearly want to keep him around. The blockbuster extension will have a huge impact on the contracts for upcoming free agents like Sammy Watkins and Allen Robinson.

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View the original article on Last Word On Pro Football: Mike Evans Inks Extension With Tampa Bay Buccaneers