June 14, 2024

Will Texans Pursue Mike Evans in Free Agency?

The Houston Texans spent last season revamping most of the roster, and they found incredible returns as it relates to the passing offense. Quarterback C.J. Stroud put up one of the best rookie seasons a quarterback has ever had, and in the process, Houston’s offense rose to heights few anticipated. The ascension of receivers Nico Collins and Tank Dell gifted Stroud the playmakers necessary to do damage to NFL defenses. However, reaching the ceiling Stroud proves the Texans means taking down the top teams in the AFC – the teams Houston can’t claim to have a quarterbacking advantage over. How will the offense take the next step this offseason?

The most prominent weapon hitting the open market in March will be Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans. After a decade of rollercoaster quarterback play and incredibly consistent production, Evans will look to all 32 teams in search of a new contract, even if it lands him back in Tampa. The Texans, with ample cap space to swing big and the urgency to chase down the league’s best, look from the outside as a team to target Evans. The reality, however, may be less satisfying. “Multiple #NFL sources anticipate an outside market for #Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans,” Aaron Wilson tweeted. “And the #Texans, who have good, young wide receivers Nico Collins and Tank Dell, are not expected to pursue Evans during free agency.” Houston may have the resources to offer Evans – a Texas native – a big deal, but it’s understandable why they may allocate their spending elsewhere.

For one, the Texans can feel comfortable in their top two receivers soaking up a ton of targets. Both Collins and Dell are after-the-catch threats and performed admirably in 2023. When upgrading the receiving corps, he may be in the form of a Robert Woods upgrade, specifically for his kind of target share. Looking to upgrade from his 81 targets with a small upgrade may be more valuable than spending big but taking looks away from Collins and Dell.

Bucs Rewind: Mike Evans' 3-TD game vs. Bears - Yahoo Sports

There’s also the argument that Houston can pivot to the NFL Draft for its next playmaking. This receiver class is stacked, and the Combine is helping showcase how dynamic these talents can be. Even if the Texans don’t add one in the first round, there’s plenty of talent available. General manager Nick Caserio may feel that an Evans deal could get too expensive, especially if the presumed bidding war between the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets ensues. Adding a Day 2 receiver and spending their cap space and first-rounder on defensive talent may help build a more sustainable competitor.

 

 

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