Skip to main content

Mike Evans, Baker Mayfield Contracts Earn Buccaneers Strong Free Agency Grades from PFF

The contracts signed by Mike Evans and Baker Mayfield to remain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers received exceptionally strong grades from Pro Football Focus.

Pro Football Focus is certainly not the be-all and end-all when it comes to football analysis. Often, PFF grades can strongly contradict the good old-fashioned eye test. That said, using their data analysis and specific grades to evaluate player performance can be a useful resource. Whether people choose to utilize or give credibility to such a resource is purely a matter of preference.

If you're someone who does, then you'll want to keep reading. 

The NFL has been a blur since the legal tampering period began roughly 24 hours ago. In the midst of the chaos, PFF has been actively grading all of the NFL free agent signings as they continue to happen. Each free agent signing received a fit and need grade as well as a contract value grade. 

With the Buccaneers having already re-signed both Mike Evans and Baker Mayfield, those moves have already been graded. Since his deal came first, let's start with the Mike Evans contract, which apparently PFF absolutely loved. 

Fit/need grade : A+

Value grade: A

Analysis: "Evans just keeps on rolling along and emphatically proved his worth in something of a prove-it year after the two sides were unable to agree on an early extension. The “win” from his perspective is that this could amount to a one-year, $29 million contract. The win from Tampa Bay’s side is keeping the total value in check."

PFF had projected Evans to sign a three-year, $69 million contract ($23 million per year), with $52.5 million total guaranteed. But in reality, the contract Evans signed was a two-year deal for $41 million ($20.5 million per year), with $35 million total guaranteed. A strong bargain according to their predicted compensation, with Evans agreeing to a shorter contract for $2.5 million less than anticipated per year. 

Baker Mayfield also jumped at the chance to stay in Tampa, and according to PFF, it was a mutually beneficial decision. 

Fit/need grade : A-

Value grade: B+

Analysis: "This contract is a win for Baker Mayfield, the Buccaneers and the NFL at large. A true mid-tier market is developing at quarterback, which had long been a challenge. Tampa Bay gives itself an out after each year, and Baker gets the major payday he deserves."

PFF had projected Mayfield to sign for three years at $97.5 million ($32.5 million per year), with $58.5 million total guaranteed. The actual contract was $100 million ($33.3 million per year) for three years, with $50 million total guaranteed. 

Although slightly higher than they predicted in terms of annual value, Mayfield's contract is almost $10 million less than expected in guaranteed money.

Regardless of how you feel about Pro Football Focus, there's no denying that both Mike Evans and Baker Mayfield's contracts worked out well. Not just for the players, but for the team. Throw in the continuity that exists between these two players, not to mention the rest of the offense, and I think it's safe to say that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are off to a fantastic start in free agency. 

You can follow Collin Haalboom on Twitter.

Stick with BucsGameday for more coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the 2024 offseason.

Follow BucsGameday on Twitter and Facebook