Top 3 pending free agent wide receivers after Mike Evans inks Buccaneers extension

Wide receiver Mike Evans will not test the free agent market this offseason. Who are the top pending free agent wideouts that remain?

Evans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to terms on a two-year, $52 million contract extension Monday according to Evans' agent, Deryk Gilmore. The move takes the would-have-been top free agent wide receiver out of the market.

According to Spotrac, 59 wideouts are set to become unrestricted free agents when the new league year begins on March 13. Eight of those players are younger than 26 years old, and several of them are due to receive significant pay increases as rookie contracts expire.

These are the top pending free agent wide receivers remaining one week before free agent negotiations begin.

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Top pending free agent wide receivers

Michael Pittman, Jr.

Pittman entered the NFL in 2020 as an early second-round pick by the Indianapolis Colts.

In the four years since, the Colts have had seven different quarterbacks start under center: Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger, Nick Foles, Anthony Richardson and Gardner Minshew.

Pittman recorded 503 yards in 13 games, 1,082 yards in 17 games, 925 yards in 16 games and 1,152 yards in 17 games over those first four years and established himself as a true No. 1 wide receiver.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard said Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine that the team plans to keep Pittman around. While both sides hope to get a long-term deal done, Ballard acknowledged that the team could still use the franchise tag for the wideout before the March 5 deadline to keep him in Indianapolis.

The Colts haven't used a franchise tag on a player since placing one on punter Pat McAfee in 2013.

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Calvin Ridley

After three and a half seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and a year off in 2022 with a gambling suspension, Ridley turned his new opportunity with the Jacksonville Jaguars into his second career 1,000-yard season in 2023.

The Alabama product led all Jacksonville receivers with his 1,016 yards and eight touchdown catches last year in a return to form. Ridley's speed and quickness were both on display throughout the season and his production showed off his potential to remain a No. 1 wide receiver.

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, many NFL teams saw the same things and are eager to add the 29-year-old wideout to their rosters.

"The expectation is he will put up a rather gaudy number on a per-year average," Fowler wrote. "Teams see elite ability there."

Worth noting are the terms of the Jaguars' trade to acquire Ridley in 2022. Should Jacksonville extend the receiver, the 2024 third-round draft pick due to the Falcons would become a second-round pick.

The Jaguars can let Ridley hit the free agent market and re-sign him from there to avoid that change, but they run the risk of letting him walk as other teams get the chance to negotiate.

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Gabriel Davis

Davis has been entrenched as a reliable secondary option behind Stefon Diggs for the Buffalo Bills and quarterback Josh Allen over the past few years.

In 2022 and 2023 particularly, Davis established himself among the most productive No. 2 options at his position.

He tallied 836 yards and seven touchdowns on 48 catches two years ago and 746 yards and seven scores with 45 catches last year. Those numbers were good for an average of 17.4 yards per reception in 2022 and 16.6 yards per reception in 2023.

Davis would bring that reliability, plus seven games of playoff experience – including a 200-yard, four-touchdown game – to his next team.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Top 3 NFL free agent wide receivers after Mike Evans' Buccaneers deal