Joe Mazzula sends 6 word Aggressive message to Management board

Celtics Coach Joe Mazzula issued his standard free agency warning after the end of last season, saying the team would not be in the market for any big or splashy moves.

 

But despite the salary cap crunch that will likely preclude any big contracts, the Bills could be a strong fit for one of the top wide receivers about to hit the free-agent market. The agent for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans shared the Pro Bowler’s wish list for a new team, with the Bills meeting nearly all of his preferred criteria.

 

Some insiders have already suggested that the Bills could make a run at Evans, and the recent statement could give them a better chance at landing him.

 

Mike Evans Wants to Land With Contender

 

NFL reporter Jordan Schultz noted that the Buccaneers have already blown past a self-imposed February deadline to re-sign Evans, and the receiver’s agent is setting the guidelines for his next team.

 

“Mike wants to play with an elite quarterback in an offense that will showcase him — and be paid like a top wide receiver,” agent Deryk Gilmore told Schultz. “He doesn’t want to play with a rookie QB. Winning a Super Bowl is a key priority.”

 

Schultz noted that several teams are expected to pursue Evans in free agency, but the Bills could be the ones to best match his criteria. The Bills have an elite quarterback in Josh Allen and an offense that could be looking for a new No. 1 receiver as Stefon Diggs ended the season on a major slump. Diggs went his last seven games without catching a touchdown, the longest scoreless stretch of his career, as he struggled with drops.

 

Just spoke with Mike Evans’ agent, @DerykGilmore, who says: “Mike wants to play with an elite quarterback in an offense that will showcase him — and be paid like a top wide receiver. He doesn’t want to play with a rookie QB. Winning a Super Bowl is a key priority.”

 

 

The Bills are also a top Super Bowl contender, reaching at least the divisional round of the playoffs in each of the last four seasons. The main sticking point would be the pay, as the Bills are close to $40 million over the salary cap and would need some serious gymnastics to find the money needed to pay Evans like a top wide receiver.

 

Some have already seen the Bills as a good fit for Evans. ESPN NFL insider Dan Graziano predicted last season that the Bills would be a top trade destination if the Buccaneers decided to move Evans at the deadline, though they ultimately kept him in place as they finished the season with an NFC South title.

 

Bills Could Make Smaller Additions

 

In order to land Evans, the Bills would either need to make some drastic moves to free up cap space or convince the receiver to take a smaller deal. Some insiders believe the Bills will be in line for some more modest moves, targeting the second tier of free agency where they could add a proven veteran on a smaller deal.

 

Bleacher Report’s Joe Tansey suggested the Bills could find a reliable target to pair alongside Diggs and the quickly improving receiver Khalil Shakir.

 

“Shakir improved in 2023, but he is best suited right now for the slot and No. 3 roles on the depth chart, and not as Diggs’ primary backup,” Tansey wrote. “Buffalo should look to the second tier of wide receiver free agents to add to Diggs, Shakir, Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox in the passing attack.”

 

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