Mike Evans might wiggle free for Chiefs, others to consider

Some conflicting reports are emerging from Tampa Bay about Mike Evans' future with the team.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

One of the most exciting potential free agents who could hit the market this spring at any position is veteran wide receiver Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even at the age of 30 and after 10 NFL seasons, Evans is still playing at an elite level—and is making a strong Hall of Fame case.

The loss of Evans would seriously sting a team like Tampa Bay in a number of ways. Evans has never accounted for less than 1,000 receiving yards in a single season in Tampa Bay, so the loss of such a dependable target would create a significant vacuum. Even more is the idea of losing a franchise face who has a real shot to retire with the team that drafted him.

That said, it takes two sides to reach a deal, and depending on the rumor you're reading, an agreement might not be that imminent after all. That could be very good news for a team like the Kansas City Chiefs.

Some conflicting reports are emerging from Tampa Bay about Mike Evans' future with the team.

Evans is exactly the sort of veteran target at a position of need that the Chies should be considering. That's also why Kansas City is such a popular guess for a new destination for Mike Evans among analysts and NFL talking heads. Even oddsmakers have placed odds on Evans' team next year and put the Chiefs in the top four:

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-200)
  2. Chicago Bears (+1200)
  3. Houston Texans (+1500)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (+1500)
  5. New England Patriots (+2000)

What we do know at this time is that nothing is certain. The two sides haven't reached a deal by a stated deadline of this week, and the Bucs reportedly plan on using their franchise tag on defensive back Antoine Winfield. Considering the cost of Chris Godwin on the books and the need for a new deal for Baker Mayfield, Evans could be left waiting for a bit.

So what should NFL fans believe about the situation? The idea of conflicting reports tell you that both sides are leaking information to the press. NFL reporter Dianna Russini of The Athletic says no deal is reached but her report sounds quite positive about the future between both parties.

On the same day, reporter Jordan Schultz is hearing a different tone from someone else: "Talks will continue, but my understanding is Evans is trending toward becoming a free agent, barring an unexpected change in discussions."

Welcome to the smokescreen game known as NFL free agency. The team is probably saying things are close while agents are hoping to apply more pressure to create more leverage. How real is the rift? Would Evans really walk away from the only team he's called home for a decade? How tempting would it be to play for the defending champs and aim for a historic three-peat as the big offensive addition? Could the Chiefs even compete with the wads of cash that both Chicago and Houston have to throw Evans' way?

There are a lot of dynamics in play for a player like Evans to consider, but right now we don't even know if he's going to wiggle free from the Bucs or not.