BUFFALO – Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie wide receiver Mike Evans expressed regret late Friday over the distraction caused by a fracas he was involved in that was caught on video and published on the internet.
A video of Evans engaged in an argument that escalated into a brawl outside a Miami nightclub last March was posted on the internet on Friday by TMZ Sports, which initially reported that the incident took place last Saturday.
“The incident in question happened during spring break in March while I was vacationing with friends in Miami,’’ Evan said in a statement released by the Bucs. “The issue occurred at the end of the night when someone in my party was approached by a member of the security staff.
“The situation escalated very quickly from there, but fortunately no one was injured. I regret that this incident that happened nearly six months ago has become a distraction to my team and I look forward to continuing to prepare for the start of my rookie season with the Buccaneers.’’
Evans, who was playing in the Bucs 20-14 loss to the Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium last Saturday night, was the Bucs first-round draft pick (seventh overall) out of Texas A&M in May.
In the 54-second video, Evans appears to be arguing with someone when a fracas breaks out next to him. Evans appears to get shoved a couple of times, then hops over the hood of a car, seemingly in an attempt to avoid a pursuer.
It is unclear whether Evans threw any punches during the fracas, though he does seem at one point to take a boxer’s pose. Evans agent, Deryk Gilmore, said no one was arrested as a result of the incident.
“During his time here since we drafted him in May, Mike has met all of our expectations both on and off the football field,’’ Bucs coach Lovie Smith said in a statement.
“After speaking with Mike, our feelings about him remain unchanged. We expect him to be an important member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for many years to come and we consider this matter closed.’’