As a fourth-round pick out of Bloomsburg, Jahri Evans certainly made a lasting impression with the New Orleans Saints.
It’s hard to imagine composing any type of Top 50 All-Time Saints list, and not having him in the equation. For years, Evans held down the fort to protect Drew Brees. Up until 2013, Evans played in every game for the black and gold. After missing two contests in 2013, Evans bounced back to play in all 16 games for the team in 2014.
However, 2015 was a different story. Evans would miss 5 games last season, and would end up only appearing in 69.2 percent (820) of the team’s offensive snaps. At the conclusion of the season, a decision was to be made on the league’s impending top paid guard. Evans was asked to take another pay cut for the second year in a row, and he refused.
His exit, or release, left a big hole for the team to fill. Many thought that it wouldn’t take long for Evans to find work, as he was one of NFL.com’s top free agents (No. 68) heading into free agency.
Free agency came, and the only reported visit the 32-year-old guard had was with the Buffalo Bills on March 7. Evans’ market was dry, and he eventually put his Destrehan house up for sale in June. After a visit with the Seattle Seahawks on August 4, Evans would sign a deal two days later to help their line.
I say all that to point out his contract with the Seahawks, which is a 1-year, $1.065 million deal that guarantees him $80,000. The deal, as ESPN points out, includes a split salary of $478,000 if he gets injured and then released.
Jahri Evans' deal with the Seahawks is one year, $1.065 million with $80,000 guaranteed. It's a minimum salary... https://t.co/dMfNRMuA4D— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) August 10, 2016
Evans rolled the dice and came up empty with his gamble, and as Seahawks coach Pete Carroll indicated on Friday, he’s not guaranteed to be the starter.
“You know, he’s been sitting at home and we’ve got a pretty good clip here, so we’ll see how it works out,” Carroll said. “I think it’s a really interesting opportunity for us to bring him in. He’s not been told he’s the starter or anything like that, he’s been brought in to compete, hoping he’ll add to the level of our play.”
So, was it because he didn’t want to take another pay cut, or did he not want to be in New Orleans anymore for whatever reason? We can throw out all sorts of theories, and it wouldn’t be that shocking to learn about another former playing ripping the organization.
If Evans makes it to the Week 8 matchup between the Saints and Seahawks, it will be very interesting to see how it goes. Assuming health and other factors, the Saints could also face Jimmy Graham, Brandon Browner, Tavaris Barnes, and Stanley Jean-Baptiste.