NFL Rumors: Cowboys-Mike Evans warning, Lions star extension, McCarthy surprise

  • J.J. McCarthy lands with surprise NFC contender
  • Lions, Amon-Ra St. Brown are engaged in extension talks
  • Cowboys warned not to pursue Mike Evans in free agency

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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NFL rumors: Cowboys warned not to sign Mike Evans in free agency

The Dallas Cowboys are "America's team," so naturally, every major free agent is floated as a possible Cowboys target. Jerry Jones loves a flashy move. He will trade for a glorified third-string QB on a whim, without even consulting his staff. He's that kind of GM — ya know, the GM who owns the team and gets to do whatever he wants. So, with that in mind, it would be comical not to at least note the possibility of All-Pro wideout Mike Evans ending up in Dallas.

Evans is coming off another productive season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was, to nobody's surprise, the top target for newcomer Baker Mayfield, collecting 79 catches on 136 targets for 1,255 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns. Evans has now posted at least 1,000 receiving yards in 10 straight seasons. Literally his entire career. A future Hall of Fame member, Evans has commanded the respect of every NFL front office.

That said, Bleacher Report's Kristopher Knox is offering words of caution to the Dallas front office. Evans is a great talent, but he may not be the right target for the Cowboys.

"Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans is coming off of his 10th consecutive 1,000-yard season and figures to be one of the bigger names on the market, if Tampa lets him reach it. However, Evans is also set to turn 31 in August and is going to command a hefty salary. He has a projected market value of $23.8 million annually, which Dallas could likely only afford with a back-loaded deal. With contract extensions looming for both CeeDee Lamb and Dak Prescott, can't afford to commit a ton of future salary to Evans, who might only be a temporary fix at the receiver position anyway."

The argument is simple. The Cowboys are an expensive team with a ton of talent in need of extensions. Dak Prescott is expected to become one of the NFL's highest-paid QBs in the near future. CeeDee Lamb needs a big-money contract at Evans' own position. So, while Evans would undeniably benefit the Cowboys in the short term, the long-term ramifications of a major contract are too severe — especially for a 31-year-old at a position where age-related declines are often steep.

The Cowboys could easily ignore this argument and add Evans to go all-out for the 2024 season. The offense wasn't the problem during Dallas' Wild Card loss to Green Bay. That was Dan Quinn's defense that gave up 48 points to Jordan Love. But, the offense continues to underperform when the lights are brightest. Evans is an NFL champion who can bring poise and postseason experience to the Cowboys' roster.

We certainly cannot count him out — but yes, the Cowboys should probably be weary of handing Evans an expensive, backloaded, long-term deal. It's a recipe for disaster.

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