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Potential NY Jets target Mike Evans re-signs with Tampa Bay

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By: Rivka Boord

Evans was never going to leave Tampa Bay for the New York Jets

The first major free agency shoe for the New York Jets has dropped: Mike Evans is no longer on the market.

The perennial 1,000-yard receiver signed a two-year deal with Tampa Bay worth $26 million per year.

This contradicts previous reports that Evans was going to test the free-agent market. Speculation around the NFL Combine in Indianapolis was that the Jets would make a run at Evans.

The 30-year-old receiver would have been a perfect fit opposite Garrett Wilson. Still, his reported asking price of $25-30 million per year and his eventual price tag of $26 million were out of the Jets’ range.

With Tee Higgins officially franchise-tagged and Michael Pittman widely expected to follow, the top receiver on the free-agent market is likely Calvin Ridley. That might drive Ridley’s price up out of their range, as well.

To a large extent, Evans being off the market may benefit the Jets. Recent reports indicated that he wanted to go to a team ready to compete for a championship. That could have easily meant the Chiefs or Ravens, two of the Jets’ AFC competitors. Evans staying in the NFC is one less hurdle for the Jets to navigate in their quest for a title.

Still, the Jets will need at least one, if not two quality receivers to take the pressure off Wilson. Robert Saleh stated as much in exit press conferences at the end of the season. Names like Hollywood Brown, Curtis Samuel, and Tyler Boyd could become the focal points of the Jets’ search if the bigger names become cost-prohibitive.

The legal tampering period for free agency opens on Monday, March 11 at 12 p.m. ET.

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Originally posted on Jets XFactor