2024 NFL Free Agency: Will the Detroit Lions aggressively pursue Mike Evans?

Mike Evans is set to become a free agent in March, but will (or should) the Detroit Lions aggressively pursue him?
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

A big move never seemed to be on their radar at the trade deadline, but in vacuum the notion of the Detroit Lions making an "all-in" trade for someone like Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans was interesting.

Evans is in the final year of his contract, and thus he was the easy subject of trade rumors. The New York Jets reportedly had heavy interest dating back a couple months, but on the morning of the trade deadline general manager Jason Licht told NFL Network how he envisioned Evans having a longer stay in Tampa Bay.

Still, if Evans wants to win another Super Bowl Tampa Bay might not be the place in the near-term. As much as he may want to be a Buccaneer for his entire career, it would behoove him to see what the open market has out there for him.

On that front, on his 2024 free agency big board after the trade deadline, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report has offered the Lions up as a potential free agent suitor for Evans come March.

"The Detroit Lions aren't exactly thin at receiver, but Evans would form a tremendous tandem with Amon-Ra St. Brown. Detroit also has $58.8 million in projected cap space, so Evans is a reasonable target financially."

That $58.8 million projected 2024 cap space number for the Lions comes from Spotrac. The numbers over at Over The Cap are a little higher, but the principal stands. The Lions have money to spend if they want to.

2024 NFL Free Agency: Will it make sense for the Lions to pursue Mike Evans?

Evans is 30 years old, but he's on pace for his 10th straight 1,000-yard season to start his career this year. He's more boom-or-bust on a weekly basis than he used to be, but overall he's still plenty productive.

Spotrac's calculated market value for Evans is, frankly, ridiculous-a four-year, $93.8 million deal ($23.4 million per year). But their eventual base calculated value, accounting for age, etc.-two years, $55.25 million, is more reasonable.

A two-year deal would cover Evans' age-31 and age-32 seasons. That's about all a team should firmly commit to, though a longer deal could of course be framed to sound better than that with palatable outs in it.

It will come down to what he's looking for, and if he doesn't just decide to re-up with the Buccaneers. But it feels like the per year number Evans will command in free agency will keep the Lions from making a strong push to sign him next March.

Predicting the rest of the Detroit Lions schedule after their Week 9 bye. dark. Next. Predicting the rest of the Detroit Lions schedule after their Week 9 bye