The regular season is over, the postseason is entering its second week, and free agency and the draft are still a couple of months away. Still, teams whose season is already over have turned their attention to the offseason. That includes the Indianapolis Colts, who missed out on the postseason by one game.
After losing a win-and-in game in Week 18 to the Houston Texans, the Colts have started to focus on what the offseason will look like. Indy has several key players that are pending free agents and the team will be looking to put together another strong draft class. Additionally, Indy has some newfound flexibility, so it’s possible that the team could make some big free agency signings during the offseason.
Unfortunately, one potential target that Colts fans have been eyeing for a few years is being cautioned against. Alex Kay, in a recent piece for Bleacher Report, named five players that teams should avoid in free agency. One of those players was Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans.
Should Colts avoid Mike Evans in free agency?
Next season will be Mike Evans’ 11th year in the NFL and he’ll turn 31 a month before the season starts. Those are the reasons that Kay believes teams should avoid Evans. Despite the fact that Evans is still playing elite football, Kay argues, “the savvy veteran could quickly start losing the battle against Father Time.”
Mike Evans is coming off his 10th-straight 1000-yard season and his fifth Pro Bowl year. In 2023, he played in all 17 games, catching 79 passes for 1,255 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns. He also still has his team alive in the postseason. Because of the season he just had, he’ll likely get a deal that pays him around $24 million a year. However, Kay thinks a decline is near, so that would mean Evans’ next deal would essentially be an overpay.
That’s definitely something that teams like the Colts, who might be interested, would have to consider. However, Evans hasn’t shown signs of a fall off yet, so if contending teams want to sign Evans to a short-term deal, it would make a ton of sense. Knowing that Evans will be 31 soon, teams won’t sign him with the future in mind, it would be for immediate help. So if you’re planning to be a contender in 2024, you shouldn’t avoid Evans.