The Buffalo Bills and star wide receiver Lee Evans have agreed to terms on a multi-year contract extension. Terms of the extension have not yet been disclosed.
Evans himself has been hinting that his representation and Bills negotiators have been closing in on a deal for quite some time. The deal, which many predicted would be finalized during the team's bye week, got done a bit early, and Evans is now a Bill for the foreseeable future.
Though Evans' production slipped dramatically from 2006 to 2007, a stabilizing quarterback position has quickly erased doubts about Evans' ability to be a go-to target in this league. Through four games with Trent Edwards as the starting quarterback in 2008, Evans is averaging 23.7 yards per catch and is playing at a Pro Bowl level. The extension ensures that the Edwards-to-Evans connection has a chance to be a potent one in Buffalo for much longer than the end of the '08 season.
People tend to underestimate Evans' value to the team; few realize that in the past two seasons (20 games), the Bills are 11-0 when Evans accrues 50 receiving yards, and 0-9 when he doesn't. If that doesn't scream "sign this guy!", I don't know what does; the Bills happily obliged.
Evans, who until today was working on his rookie deal, was technically signed through the 2009 season, but under the terms of said contract, he could void the final year of the deal. Thus, he would have made himself an unrestricted free agent after this regular season. That's no longer a concern for the Bills or for Evans.
This is great news, Bills fans. Rejoice in the comments section.
Update: NFL Network's Adam Schefter is reporting that Lee Evans' contract extension with the Buffalo Bills is for four years, is worth $37.25 million, and includes $18.25 million in guarantees. He'll be a Bill through the conclusion of the 2012 season. End Update