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Buccaneers GM Jason Licht: Mike Evans still in his prime; Tristan Wirfs, Antoine Winfield Jr. 'high priority' extensions

The Buccaneers already have checked a lot of boxes this offseason, and still more moves might be coming.

The first order of business as the new league year dawned, even before the team re-signed quarterback Baker Mayfield, was retaining Mike Evans. The 30-year-old wide receiver has spent his entire career with Bucs, and Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht indicated on "The NFL Report" with NFL Network's Steve Wyche and James Palmer that locking Evans up for two more years was a no-brainer, especially as the Bucs finished last season on a high note.

"It's because he's the most selfless player that I've ever been around," Licht said. "He's one of the most humble superstars. … He's all about team. There's not a single person in that locker room that doesn't respect him, not a single person in this building that doesn't respect him. He knows everybody, he treats everybody the same, he treats everybody with respect and all he wants to do is win. I couldn't draw up a better teammate than Mike Evans, which is why this became very emotional in the thought of losing him would be very detrimental to this organization. …

"I'm glad we don't know what  … would have happened if we didn't sign him before free agency started, I just know that I had a few cocktails after we got that one done."

Evans led the NFL in touchdown receptions (13) in 2023, also registering the third-best reception (79) and receiving-yardage totals (1,255) of his career. Licht marveled at Evans' stamina and performance in his 10th season -- and suggested that this most recent deal might not be his last extension with the club.

"(Evans) did not slow down at all," Licht said. "He had one of his best years. Of course, we look at all the GPS and all those things, and he was one of the fastest years that he's had. It's a tribute to his training. He's working extremely hard. As he's gotten up there in age, and as he's put years, logged years in, he's worked harder and harder in the offseason, and he's a freak worker right now.

"So we weren't afraid of him losing anything. In fact, we think that he's still in his prime very much so, and I wouldn't be surprised if we actually signed him to another contract extension after this one's done, the way he's motivated right now."

That's for down the road. Licht and the Bucs have other, more immediate priorities, such as extending two other club mainstays. Next up on the priority list appear to be safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs.

"Oh, there's no doubt. I think they're (both) on their way to possibly having a historic career," Licht said. "They've already had great careers, but historic careers and hopefully the entire time here in Tampa.

"That's a very high priority for us right now, No. 1, Antoine and then in no particular order, then Tristan as well to get them locked up long-term."

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