3 receivers not named Tee Higgins the Jaguars should target if Calvin Ridley leaves

• Even if Tee Higgins remains in Cincinnati, the Jaguars will have options in free agency to replace Calvin Ridley.

Dec 17, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel (4)
Dec 17, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel (4) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans has been a staple of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense since they drafted him seventh overall in 2014. Regardless of who's behind center, he'll make a play when called upon, having played with the likes of Jameis Winston, Tom Brady, and more recently, Baker Mayfield.

Evans is coming off his 10th NFL season but hasn't shown signs of slowing down. Just last year, he hauled in 79 receptions for 1,255 yards with 13 touchdowns. Moreover, he averaged 15.9 yarsd per catch, showing he's still got enough speed to get deep. His salary demands could make a few teams hesitant to pursue him in free agency but he's a proven commodity whose play will reflect his contract.

Having said that, there's no guarantee Evans will hit the open market. Last offseason, they got Baker Mayfield at a discount rate. Having spent the 2022 season with the Carolina Panthers and the Los Angeles Rams, Mayfield signed a budget-friendly $4 million contract. After enjoying a career revival, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018 will be in a position to get premium compensation to remain with the Bucs. This could complicate Evans' return to Tampa Bay in 2024.

Although Mayfield has made it clear he wants the Buccaneers to bring Evans back, it's not a given they'll be able to pull it off. With $36 million in cap space, Tampa Bay may not have enough room to re-sign both. As it is, they'll have to move on from a handful of players and restructure a few contracts just to get Mayfield under contract.

All things considered, Evans would be an intriguing option to replace Calvin Ridley if he walks in free agency.

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