This time, he declined and was released.
"He's healthy and hungry and looking forward to the next chapter of his career."
Evans agreed to restructure his deal last year, which helped the cap-strapped Saints save about $4 million. This year, they needed to shave as much as possible off the $8.2 million Evans was set to cost them in 2016. Instead, they'll be watching him play football somewhere else.
Saints head coach Sean Payton talked about a culture change in New Orleans and the drive to win again with quarterback Drew Brees. After a tumultuous end to the regular season, it seemed like the Saints were committed to a rebuild instead of simply placing a band-aid on all their glaring holes. But is releasing one of their best offensive linemen really the best way to start?
Surprisingly, left tackle Terron Armstead and right tackle Zach Strief had very good seasons in 2015. Max Unger was also more than solid under center. But Evans, a former undrafted free agent out of Bloomsburg (PA) University who has missed just seven games in 10 seasons (five of them last year), has been the unit's bedrock for the better part of a decade. Sometimes a rebuild means making sure some of the best veterans come along for the ride.