Getty Images

Five-time Pro Bowl Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans was arguably going to be the most coveted free agent at his position. 

However, the five-time Pro Bowler decided to stay home after officially signing a two-year deal on Friday. The deal is worth $52 million, including $35 million guaranteed, Evans' agent told ESPN

Evans' new deal gives him an average per year salary of $26 million, ranking as the fourth-highest figure among all receivers, trailing only Dolphins' All-Pro Tyreek Hill ($30 million APY), Raiders All-Pro Davante Adams ($28 million APY) and Rams All-Pro Cooper Kupp ($26.7 million APY). 

However, former NFL agent and CBS Sports contributor Joel Corry believes Evans' latest contract actually is the second-highest average per year in the league because of the inflated back-end values attached to Hill's and Adams' deals.

Had Evans actually hit the open market, he would have had at least a quarter of the entire league vying for his services, according to an Athletic report: the Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons.

Tampa Bay drafted Evans seventh overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, and he has exceeded all expectations throughout his 10-year career. He is the only person in NFL history to open their career with 1,000 or more receiving yards in each of their first 10 seasons. If he goes for 1,000 again in 2024, he will tie the wide receiver GOAT Jerry Rice for the longest streak of 1,000-yard receiving seasons in league history. 

Evans is also the Buccaneers' all-time leader in catches (762), receiving yards (11,680, which is the most in the NFL since entering the league in 2014) and receiving touchdowns (94). He is also coming off one of the best seasons of his career in 2023 at the age of 30, co-leading the NFL with 13 receiving touchdowns while also totaling 79 catches and 1,255 receiving yards. 

The Super Bowl LV champion ensures he remains the NFL's longest-tenured receiver with their current team by getting a deal done before the start of free agency, which increases the Buccaneers' odds of re-signing Pro Bowl quarterback Baker Mayfield