News broke Friday that Evans has been rewarded handsomely by Tampa with a new five-year deal worth an estimated $82.5 million.
His $16.5 million annual salary is certain to up the demands by players like Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins, two free-agent receivers the Bears are expected to pursue.
Robinson was likely to receive a contract in excess of $13 million per year, according to Spotrac.com, before the Evans deal.
Evans now ranks third all time for the Buccaneers in receptions (309), third all time in yards (4,579), sixth all time in average yards per reception (14.82), and second all time in touchdowns (32). Evans is only the second-highest play receiver in the league behind Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Evans follows in the footsteps of Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David as highly successful Buccaneer draft picks who earned a second long-term deal with the franchise. He has topped 1,000 yards receiving every year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans catches a 4-yard pass for a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016.
Fitzpatrick, 35, finished with seven touchdowns and three interceptions in 2017.