Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie wide receiver Mike Evans was involved in a fracas outside of a bar in Miami, TMZ reported on Friday. According to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, the incident happened in March, two months before the NFL Draft.
Evans, a first-round draft pick (No. 7 overall), reportedly was denied entrance to certain parts of Dream Nightclub in South Beach because he was 20 at the time, not 21, and was asked to leave. Evans’ agent Deryk Gilmore reportedly told TMZ Sports (that) the NFL knew all about Mike's involvement in a nightclub fight in Miami before the 2014 NFL Draft and says the teams ultimately deemed it a "non-issue."
On the TMZ website, Gilmore said Evans is a "great kid" — adding, "[He] loves football. He would never ever ever ever do something to show otherwise. Mike always wants to represent the NFL shield in the appropriate way."
Evans was unavailable for comment when the story broke on Friday as the Bucs were en route to Buffalo for Saturday’s game against the Bills. Both Evans and head coach Lovie Smith released statements late Friday night about the incident.
“The incident in question happened during spring break in March while I was vacationing with friends in Miami," said Evans. "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.”
Smith said in the release, “During his time here since we drafted him in May, Mike has met all of our expectations both on and off the football field. 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.”
A video of the brawl can be viewed at TMZ.com.
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