It’s not a secret that the New England Patriots have missed a big-time, play-making wide receiver in their offense in recent seasons.

So why not fill that void by signing arguably the most consistent wide receiver in the NFL?

Mike Evans can hit the free agent market this offseason after 10 stellar seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers, who couldn’t come to terms on a contract extension with Evans prior to the season, could always prevent Evans from going elsewhere by placing the franchise tag on him — teams have from Feb. 20 to March 5 to use the tag.

But if Evans were to hit the open market, the 30-year-old surely would draw plenty of attention from teams like the Patriots who are in desperate need of help at the receiver position.

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Evans would solve a major issue for the Patriots, but there are some things for New England to consider before pulling the trigger on going after the veteran wideout.

Here are cases for and against the Patriots pursuing Evans in free agency:

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Evans will get a boatload of cash in free agency and if the Patriots are going to make a massive financial commitment to him, it should put fans at ease knowing that Evans is as reliable as they come.

Evans has been the model of consistency at the wide receiver position since entering the league in 2014. He delivered 10 straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons — an NFL record — in a Tampa Bay offense that, besides Tom Brady, has started Baker Mayfield, Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown and Mike Glennon at quarterback over the last decade.

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“I don’t know what more you can say. He’s done this for 10 years now,” Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said of Evans, per “Over 60 catches 10 years in a row. Over 1,000 yards 10 years in a row. You know he’s getting the ball and everyone is trying to stop him, and he makes plays over and over. It’s a credit to him and his work ethic. The way he approaches the game, it’s unbelievable.”

Evans hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, either. He recorded 79 receptions for 1,255 yards while being tied for the league lead in touchdown catches with 13 this past season.

Evans knows how to shoulder the weight of being a No. 1 wide receiver and would immediately become New England’s best offensive weapon. The attention defenses have to give him would open things up for DeVante Parker, DeMario Douglas, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kendrick Bourne, if New England decides to re-sign him. Evans’ presence would also take pressure off whoever plays quarterback next season for the Patriots.

Evans couples his consistency with durability, having played no fewer than 13 games in a season in his career.

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While Evans is a bona fide No. 1 receiver, his reception volume isn’t all that impressive.

He tallied over 80 catches just twice in his career, which pales in comparison to the other top pass-catchers in the NFL who routinely surpass the century mark.

The Patriots need a do-it-all type of receiver, but Evans is more of a downfield threat. New England does need to add that dynamic in its offense, but it might not suit the team’s quarterback, especially if the Patriots try to get another season out of Mac Jones.

Evans is durable as previously mentioned, but that also means he has plenty of miles already on his body. He’ll be 31 by the time next season rolls around, which might make the Patriots look for someone younger at the position, like Michael Pittman.

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If the Buccaneers end up not using the franchise tag on Evans, the Patriots should be all-in on him. The lack of high-volume catches is a little bit of a red flag, but Evans would look great in a Patriots uniform.

Featured image via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images