He is now under contract through 2023 on a $16.5 million per year average. The deal includes rolling guarantees early in the contract and a $1.5 million bonus in the final year of the deal, according to CBS Sports. The Buccaneers exercised that option before the deadline a year ago, of course, but had a new contract not been signed Evans would have been scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next March.
The deal makes Evans one of the highest paid receivers in National Football League history. He also showed he's still capable of handling spot starts and possibly even starting a full season on another team.
Evans follows in the footsteps of Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David as highly successful Buccaneer draft picks who earned a second long-term deal with the franchise.
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Despite dealing with nagging injuries throughout his career, Evans has become a highly productive asset in the passing game for Tampa Bay, notching more than 1,000 receiving yards and 70 catches in each of his first four seasons while hauling in 32 touchdown receptions over that span.
Evans' extension represents a turn towards the future for the Bucs. He started eight or more games every year from 2008 through 2016, and as recently as 2015 he posted a 3,905-yard, 31-touchdown campaign. His 12 touchdowns that year tied the career mark he set as a rookie.
Fitzpatrick, 35, was brought in by Tampa Bay to be the backup to Jameis Winston and to provide some mentorship for the 24-year-old starting quarterback.