Amid plenty of speculation that Mike Evans could be eyeing a huge payday with a championship contender, the star wide receiver is returning to the franchise he has called home his entire NFL career. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Evans have agreed to a two-year, $52 million contract, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The 30-year-old will earn $35 million guaranteed. Tampa shrewdly locks up one of its greatest players of all-time before free agency even begins and can now shift its attention to re-signing quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Mike Evans' great run continues with Buccaneers

Evans, a two-time Second-Team All-Pro selection and five-time Pro Bowler in 10 seasons with the Buccaneers, remains one of the most consistent pass-catchers in the NFL. He is particularly dangerous in the red zone, tying for the league-lead in receiving touchdowns this past year with 13 and scoring 12 or more in a single season five times.

The former No. 7 overall pick is just six TDs away from entering the illustrious 100 club, an honor that the Bucs can now officially celebrate. He and Las Vegas Raiders star Davante Adams will continue their climb towards the top-10 all-time rankings. Additionally, Mike Evans can pull even with legend Jerry Rice for most consecutive seasons ever with 1,000 or more receiving yards (currently sits at 10).

This big re-singing initially seemed unlikely after it was reported that the two sides were far apart during negotiations. Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht refused to let this pillar of consistency leave Tampa Bay, however, and swiftly secures a deal. An intriguing wide receiver free agency class just got much thinner.

Evans' agent, Deryk Gilmore, recently stated that his client's major goal is competing for a Super Bowl. Although many will doubt the Buccaneers' legitimacy in that ultimate quest, the team is fresh off a surprise NFC Divisional Round appearance and has a formidable roster. This move might be the first of several that position the franchise to be a true force next season.