Tampa Bay Bucs reward WR Evans with $82.5 million extension

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has signed a five-year, $82.5 million extension.

The five-year extension is worth a whopping $16.5M per year, putting it on par with the new money yearly average Antonio Brown received from the Steelers on his four-year extension.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to terms with popular former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Last season, a shoulder injury sidelined Winston for a stretch in the middle of the season and the Buccaneers went 2-1 in Fitzpatrick's three starts, beating the Jets and Miami in consecutive weeks. His rookie deal paid him $14.631 million over the previous four years, and the Bucs picked up his fifth-year option that pays a base salary this year of $13.258 million.

Evans was a second-team All-Pro in 2016, and has twice caught 12 receiving touchdowns in a season. Evans also needs just three more touchdown receptions to take over the franchise's career record in that category, surpassing Jimmie Giles (34). That's the goal with every draft pick, and keeping Evans in the fold is a major accomplishment. He and the Bucs began discussing a new contract early last season and the process intensified this offseason, with Tampa making retaining the dynamic player a priority. His career totals include 309 catches for 4,579 yards (14.8-yard average) and 32 touchdowns.

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Evans, 24, was the second receiver taken in the 2014 National Football League draft, sandwiched between Sammy Watkins and Odell Beckham.

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