Detroit Lions signing Mike Evans in free agency is still an absolute pipe dream

He's more freely available to sign anywhere now, theoretically anyway, but the Detroit Lions are not a realistic landing spot for Mike Evans.

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With failure to reach a new deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by the end of the day Monday, Mike Evans is now trending toward signing with a new team in free agency. The Buccaneers could still keep him before the new league year starts on March 13, but Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report reported the two sides "remain far apart". Monday's "deadline" was related to a contract void that now gives Tampa Bay a dead money charge.

Evans had his 10th straight 1,000-yard season in 2023, with a tied for league-high 13 touchdowns. He is a big receiver who still wins in contested catch situations as well as he ever has, and there are plenty of teams who will now be ready to pounce with a contract offer when they can.

Heading into free agency, the Detroit Lions don't have many holes on the offensive side of the ball. Guard could become one if Jonah Jackson and/or Graham Glasgow leave, but time will tell. Some might say a big wide receiver is a void that needs to filled in some way, and having one would raise the ceiling of the offense.

2024 Free Agency: Detroit Lions have incredibly slim chance to sign Mike Evans

The idea of Mike Evans signing with the Lions in free agency is enticing, and it dates back to the fall. But it didn't feel realistic then, and it's the same (if not less so) now. Amon-Ra St. Brown is lined up for a contract extension in the $20-$25 million per year range this offseason, but that wouldn't take full effect in terms of salary cap impact until 2025.

Evans has a Super Bowl ring (thank you, Tom Brady), and his numbers today before he plays another down say he's a Hall of Famer.

So will money motivate him, and drive where he signs? He has $110.3 million in career earnings, so the money factor is hard to know. He is a native Texan, which makes the Houston Texans a top possible top landing spot. Who the quarterback is seems sure to be a top consideration for him.

Maybe Evans would take a discount one-year deal with a contender, and willingly hit the market again in March of 2025 at age-31. That's the only path to him landing with the Lions, and it's incredibly slim. That also assumes the Lions have more than cursory, "don't rule anything out" interest, knowing they won't realistically get him among all the other potential suitors who have a far greater need.


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