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Buccaneers WR Mike Evans hopes to get Baker Mayfield back: 'He's an elite quarterback'

Mike Evans is staying put in Tampa and believes he has five to six seasons of stellar production left.

Unsurprisingly, he would like to have quarterback Baker Mayfield back with him on the Buccaneers.

"Of course. Of course," Evans said Friday, via team transcript, when asked if he had checked in with Mayfield during negotiations for the wide receiver's two-year, $52 million extension. "Me and Baker, we played one season together and I feel like we can build on what we did last year. Hopefully we get him back – he's a hell of a player. I appreciate [him]. They're going to handle their process and I trust [general manager] Jason [Licht] and the front office no matter what happens."

Evans' extension became official Friday, and he addressed the media, accordingly.

While the 30-year-old is set to begin his 11th and 12th seasons with the Buccaneers after working out his extension, Mayfield's status remains in limbo as he's bound for free agency and could well be one-and-done in Tampa.

Evans is hopeful that's not the case after he and Mayfield found nearly instant chemistry. As Mayfield achieved career-best statistical success during the Bucs' NFC South-winning season, Evans led the NFL with 13 touchdown receptions and recorded 79 receptions (his most since 2018) and 1,255 yards (his most since 2018) to garner his fifth Pro Bowl selection.

"It's on record that I've played with many quarterbacks throughout my career, so that doesn't matter. Whoever the quarterback is, he's an NFL quarterback," Evans said. "But, yeah, me and Baker, we have a really good connection. I think he's an elite quarterback."

With or without Mayfield, Evans is optimistic he still has plenty of elite-level play remaining for himself.

"I've told you all throughout the years that I train more and I train harder in the offseason, eat better and things like that -- stretching, chiropractor, the whole nine," he said. "I have it all. That's definitely helped me prolong my career and made me feel better. Hopefully I can play five-to-six more years at a high level."

The first and only player to ever rack up 10 straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons to start a career, Evans has already left his mark. He was steadfast in his hopes of being a Buc for life and his new deal is the next step in accomplishing that. Just who will be throwing him the ball in 2024 remains to be seen, but for now, Evans is locked up and looking to remain the steady and stellar contributor he's always been for Tampa.

"Obviously, it's been well known that I wanted to be a Buc for my whole career," he said. "It's very rare to stay with one team the entirety of your career and that's something that was a goal of mine. This is one step closer to one of my biggest goals."

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