Mike Evans desires make grim reading for Carolina Panthers' pursuit

The wide receiver made his feelings known heading into free agency.

Mike Evans
Mike Evans / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver Mike Evans has a specific set of desires that all but rule out a potential move to the Carolina Panthers in free agency.

One of the most consistent wide receivers of all time is going to test the free-agent market. Mike Evans' long association with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be coming to an end after 10 seasons. Given his previous connection to head coach Dave Canales, the Carolina Panthers have been tipped by many to throw their hat in the ring.

Evans might be on the wrong side of 30 years old now, but his production remains elite. He's never achieved less than 1,000 receiving yards in a season since being drafted. This would provide quarterback Bryce Young with the genuine No. 1 option he didn't have the benefit of during his rookie struggles.

After working closely with Canales last season on the Buccaneers, many fans were salivating at the prospect of them linking up again in Carolina. However, a recent revelation from Jordan Schultz of The Bleacher Report seems to have ended the dream almost before it began.

Carolina Panthers don't fit Mike Evans' criterias

Schultz sought some insight from Deryk Gilmore - who happens to be Evans' agent. He made the player's feelings known about what he wanted next. Winning another Super Bowl seems to be high on the list when it comes to choosing his next destination. Something that probably means the Panthers should be looking elsewhere for pass-catching assistance.

"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."

Deryk Gilmore via X

This time of the offseason is a time for dreaming big. But at some stage, reality must set in.

The Panthers signing someone with Evans' credentials was always a pipe dream. He's a future Pro Football Hall of Famer with plenty of juice left in the tank. Those with a need at wide receiver should be falling over themselves to sign the player. This could give the former Texas A&M star his choice of destinations when it's all said and done.

Canales might shoot his shot on the off chance Evans is intrigued. The Panthers should also have a long list of more realistic targets. These might not be top-tier or big names in free agency, but they might be able to make decent contributions depending on how they fit into the new head coach's offensive philosophy.

Evans is thinking bigger than the Panthers, which is fine. He might not have many elite-level years left. Getting one more lucrative deal somewhere with a genuine chance of winning a ring in the next two seasons seems to be the primary desire. Judging by his supposed reluctance to play with a rookie quarterback, it narrows the shortlist down even further.

It won't be Evans, but that doesn't mean the Panthers cannot find productive players capable of helping Young reach new heights. Free agency is full of diamonds waiting to the carved into valuable performers. This is also one of the deepest wide receiver draft classes in recent memory, so help is out there if those in power can identify the right individuals.

Carolina isn't the most coveted destination at the best of times, let alone after one of the worst seasons in franchise history. Had they done a little more during the previous campaign, Evans might feel differently. But they only have themselves to blame.