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Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs sign top pick Evans, third pick Sims

— For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the second shall be last.

Second-round choice Austin Seferian-Jenkins became the only Tampa Bay draft pick still seeking to finalize an NFL contract Thursday, following the signings of WR Mike Evans and RB Charles Sims.

With salaries determined largely by the slot in which the player was selected, the Bucs reached agreement with Evans, a first-round pick out of Texas A&M, and Sims, selected from West Virginia in the third round.

Evans, the No. 7 overall pick, signed a four-year deal with a club option for a fifth year. Based on the payout given to 2013 draft picks, the deal is believed to be worth approximately $14.6 million, with a guaranteed payout of almost $9 million.

Evans started all 26 games in his collegiate career, finishing with 151 receptions for 2,499 yards and 17 touchdowns as Johnny Manziel's favorite deep target.

“It's just a blessing, man,” Evans said. “I've never seen that many zeroes. It's pretty tight man. It's a dream come true. I was just thinking about my family and being about to help them out.”

Sims rushed for 1,095 yards and 11 touchdowns last year for the Mountaineers, adding 45 catches while reinforcing his reputation as a polished receiver out of the backfield.

Given his advanced pass-catching skills, Sims could emerge as Tampa Bay's top third-down back in coordinator Jeff Tedford's offense.

“We knew the deals would get done,'' Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. “From a 30,000-foot view, we were haggling over some little things.''

Tampa Bay's only unsigned draft choice is Seferian-Jenkins, a 6-foot-5 tight end from the University of Washington who missed this week's mandatory minicamp at One Buc Place because school was still in session.

“We're hoping to get Austin done in the next day or so,'' Licht said.

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