NFC Notes: Brian Burns, Mike Evans, Kyle Pitts, Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


Buccaneers GM Jason Licht commented on the team attempting to re-sign WR Mike Evans for the remainder of his career. The two sides then came to an agreement on a new deal that was finalized on Monday 

“He’s an unprecedented player. We want him to be a Buc for life. We’re working towards that,” Licht said, via Jenna Laine of ESPN. “Obviously it takes two sides. I know he wants to be a Buc. We’ll probably have to strain a little bit but we’re working towards that right now. Mike … decided to table [those discussions], then focus on the year. Man, did he focus on the year. He had a hell of a year, and I’m happy for him and bet on himself, too.”

“Mike did a heck of a job and he came to work every day,” Bucs HC Todd Bowles added. “He came to play every day, as you can see as a result from the statistics. And he’s been here for a decade and he’s done the same thing every year. He has been very consistent, very dynamic, yet he’s very humble off the field. But he’s a confident player. He’s one of my favorite players. I have a lot of respect for Mike and everything he does and he’s earned what he done.”

Licht addressed reports that the two sides were far apart in contract negotiations.

“How recent was that?” Licht said jokingly. “There was another that said we were getting closer. … We’re working very hard on that. Both sides, both ends are. And trust me — we all want Mike. Well, I mean there’s always a chance (he could hit the market). But we’re going to do whatever we can to make sure that he’s a Buc.”

Licht also addressed the negotiations of QB Baker Mayfield and said he would not rule out the team adding a quarterback.

“I know he wants to be a Buc. We want him to be a Buc, so that’s usually a good starting point,” Licht said. “We want Baker back. Trust me, I can’t go two blocks in Tampa without somebody asking me that and you understand that and I totally understand it. He’s been great for our team. He’s been great for the organization and we would love to have Baker.”


Falcons GM Terry Fontenot said the team has confidence in TE Kyle Pitts and they haven’t lost faith in his abilities.

We have a lot of faith in Kyle, and obviously he was dealing with an injury this season,” Fontenot said, via Falcons Wire. “And look, he fought through and he finished the season but now he’s healthy, right? He can have a healthy offseason. We know Kyle is going to put in the work and get the most of himself and we’re going to continue to add but we’re very excited about Kyle having a great offseason and having a great year.”


Regarding Panthers’ looming extension negotiations with OLB Brian Burns, GM Dan Morgan said they are meeting this week, and “all options are on the table” right now.

“We’ll have a little more clarity on the situation after that, but we’re working on it,” Morgan said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s site. “I think right now, all options are on the table. You know, what those options are, we’ll find out. I’ll have a little more clarity on that after I meet with the agent.”

When asked about the possibility of using the $24.007 million franchise tag, Morgan responded there is a definite chance. 

“Yeah, I think we would use it… We would definitely use it if we had to use it, and you know, we love Brian,” Morgan said. “Brian’s a Panther. Somebody that I know and that I’m close to, I played with his brother (Stanley McClover). So, I definitely love Brian. But all options are on the table for him.”

As for DT Derrick Brown entering his fifth-year option, Morgan said they will look into an extension at some point. 

“I think we will look to extend him at some point,” Morgan said. “Derrick’s a great player, a great person, and he embodies what a Panther is, right?”

  • Aaron Wilson reports LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr. formally met with the Panthers at the Combine.
  • Carolina held a formal meeting with TCU TE Jared Wiley at the Combine. (Mike Kaye)

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