NY Jets make another WR blunder with lack of Mike Evans interest

The Jets never wanted Mike Evans...and that's a big problem

Mike Evans
Mike Evans / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets will be in the market for wide receiver help this offseason. Unfortunately, one of the team's top potential targets won't be available, as All-Pro wide receiver Mike Evans signed a two-year extension to remain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday.

"Potential" is the key word in that sentence, however. While Evans was an ideal free-agent target, in theory, the Jets didn't seem to agree.

The Athletic's Dianna Russini reported on Monday that the Jets were not interested in signing Evans even if he hit the open market. Russini reported a list of seven teams that planned to target Evans, specifically noting that the Jets had no interest in the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver.

Evans was expected to be the top wide receiver on the open market this offseason, but for whatever reason (possibly price-related), the Jets didn't even intend to explore his market.

Mike Evans is the latest NY Jets wide receiver misstep

This isn't the first blunder the Jets have made with the wide receiver position in recent years. Essentially everything the team did with the position group last offseason was disastrous.

The Jets prioritized Odell Beckham Jr. over DeAndre Hopkins. They gave Allen Lazard the most guaranteed money of any wide receiver in free agency (including Hopkins). They signed Mecole Hardman and Randall Cobb, who combined for seven total catches with the team.

On top of that, not only did the Jets not address wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft, but they didn't have a single first-round grade on any receiver in the class. That includes consensus first-round picks and rookie standouts like Jordan Addison, Zay Flowers, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Evans was always likely to remain with the Buccaneers, but there were still plenty of interested teams in the event he did hit the open market. The Jets not being one of those teams is another indictment on a front office that has seemingly lost all ability to evaluate wide receiver talent.

Much like Hopkins last year, Evans is far from washed. In fact, he's coming off his best season since 2018, finishing the year with 79 catches for 1,255 yards and an NFL-best 13 touchdowns. Evans remains one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.

Perhaps the Jets just weren't interested in Evans' price tag. Most didn't expect he would receive the $25 million per season he got from the Bucs, but his market was expected to exceed $20-21 million per year.

The Jets are reportedly interested in paying top dollar for Calvin Ridley, however, so that argument might not hold much weight. And again, it's difficult to have any faith in this regime making the right decisions at wide receiver after everything that happened last year.

The Jets were never likely to sign Evans in the first place, but their overall lack of interest is yet another stain on this regime's resume when it comes to offensive talent evaluation.

Prepare yourselves for another run at Odell Beckham and/or a Marquez Valdes-Scantling signing. It feels inevitable.