Grade the Trade: NY Jets-Bucs proposal sends Mike Evans to New York

Could the Jets actually pull this trade off?
Mike Evans, NY Jets
Mike Evans, NY Jets / Elsa/GettyImages

The NY Jets have one of the best young receivers in the game at their disposal in Garrett Wilson, but the rest of the room will find it difficult to avoid being tagged as an average bunch. Allen Lazard as the team's WR2 doesn't exactly scream championship contender.

With one-time Jets target DeAndre Hopkins now signed in Tennessee, the Jets are running out of time and options when it comes to adding one more big name (if they want to go that route). Their best hope is to contact a team on the fringes of tanking and trying to pilfer one of their big names.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear to have their eyes on either Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in 2024, as the Baker Mayfield-Kyle Trask competition is threatening no one. Mike Evans might be on the move, as he likely wouldn't want to spend his twilight years on a rebuilding project.

Seth Walder of ESPN proposed a few trades that could potentially go down in the preseason, with the Jets being linked to the ultra-consistent Evans. If Tampa Bay is in a selling/tanking mood, the Jets could upgrade their wide receiver room in quite a significant fashion.

Grade the Trade: Jets get Mike Evans from Buccaneers in proposal

Mike Evans trade

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Evans could be the red zone weapon the Jets need, as his size and ability to outmuscle smaller defensive backs made him a borderline Hall-of-Fame receiver with the Bucs. Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball instead of Mayfield could keep his production high.

Evans, who could still be extended, has recorded at least 1,000 yards in all nine of his seasons with the Buccaneers, and that production will continue in a Jets offense that will ensure he rarely sees double coverage. A second-round pick is an expensive price to pay, but New York needs to maximize their chances of competing with Aaron Rodgers.

This deal is not perfect. Not only would the Jets be paying Lazard $11 million per season to be the No. 3 wide receiver, but Mecole Hardman would be essentially limited to return duties, and UDFA standout Jason Brownlee might find it more difficult to last on the roster.

These concerns might be circling overhead, but the Jets would be foolish to see a player like Evans come available and not at least consider flipping some picks Tampa Bay's way. A passing game centered around Rodgers, Wilson, and Evans would be lethal for the rest of the AFC.

Grade: A-