It's time. It's time for Steve Rogers to give up the mantle of the shield, within the range of Captain America: Civil War - Avengers: Infinty War.
It's nothing against the patriot. Heck, Captain America's probably my favorite avenger right now, and he's reached a point where he's becoming awesomer and awesomer with each and every new movie that comes out in the MCU.
But gosh darn it, it needs to happen.
When was the last time the Marvel Universe has had a really huge death that changed the course of the movies altogether? (Besides Age of Ultron, because though it made everyone quite sad, that character hadn't really offered a lot yet) Odds are, you're thinking back to Agent Phil Coulson in The Avengers, or to the death in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which I will not spoil yet for those who haven't seen it yet.
And we as the nerds want blood.
Throughout the comics, many, many, MANY characters die, all the time, because that's what we want. We want the teams to feel vulnerable, we want to know that they can be stopped, we want them to be human, just like us, so we ask that every so often, someone huge in the story dies, preferably in a surprising way we didn't see coming.
Well, the next huge death is gonna be needed pretty quickly here, and my vote is none other than the Captain himself. Why? Well, I'll tell you why.
This is the most opportune time. Steve Rogers' death is one of the most important events in the Avengers' history, and is regarded as one of the most touching Marvel comics, too. So killing him off seems kinda necessary, so why not do it now? Chris Evans is mortal, he can't play the role of a super patriotic badass for the rest of his life, and quite honestly, so is his superhero counterpart. Shouldn't it be shown that Steve Rogers is also mortal, after fighting the god of mischief and an 8-foot tall killer robot? We're starting to get a sense that he truly is a god, of the likes of Thor or Hulk, but in reality, he's not. He's a human, and he's not gonna live forever (Even though he is 90-something and still awesome). So when are you gonna find a better time to kill him off than right now? After he's already stopped HYDRA (actually, I hope they come back, but only before Steve dies so he can beat up Baron Zemo a bit), saved the world with the Avengers twice, and lost many of his dear friends from the 1930s and 40s, he's probably a bit stressed out, but he feels accomplished of the work he's done to help humanity. After saving Bucky, I think Cap's done more than enough to deserve a proper retirement from Marvel with his heroism still intact.
Chris Evan's contract is nearly up, and he's not coming back. Evans doesn't want to be Captain America forever. It's obviously taken a toll on him, and he's openly expressed interest of ending the role. He's been at it since filming the first Cap movie, and after years of work, he seems ready to finish his legacy as one of the greatest superhero performances of all time. His contract stood at 6 films with Marvel, and it's generally accepted that this means 3 Cap films, with 3 Avengers films (which will easily turn to 4 since Avengers 3 is split into two halves). After that, don't expect to see Evans in anything more than perhaps a cameo, or if he does indeed get killed off, nothing at all).
This is about when the Cap died in the comics. After the Civil War, Captain America was killed by Crossbones, who is conveniently being placed into an important villain spot right about now. If the movies will indeed follow the same general pattern as the comics, this is about the time where Steve finally perishes. It just logically makes sense.
It could end the Civil War between the heroes. I'm assuming that after Civil War, nobody will trust each other. Tony won't look at Steve, Natasha, Clint, or even Rhodey the same ever again. The general distrust of the Avengers after this huge event will lead them to have issues whilst battling Thanos in Infinity War, no doubt, and even if they're not physically fighting anymore, it would make sense that they still butt heads quite often, and Iron Man will always try to find a solution that differs from Captain America's solution. But...what if Steve dies a sacrificial death, in order to save the whole team, distrusted members included? That could make everyone realize that in the end, they're all friends, and could end a feud between all of the members. This is, of course, not as likely, because most everyone envisions Marvel killing Cap off with the assassination by Crossbones, which was unexpected and iconic.
We all know it's inevitable. C'mon, admit it. Steve Rogers won't live forever. You know fate's coming, it's only a matter of time. As much as we all hate it, we know by now that Steve, and Tony, and Thor, and Bruce, and everyone else will eventually have to give up their roles as superheroes. There's simply no other way besides retiring or death, and for many cases, it will probably be death, with all of the darkened story lines coming up in Marvel's slate for Phase 3.
On the bright side, even if Avengers: Infinity War Pt. 2 IS our last Cap appearance by Chris Evans (but a Winter Soldier Captain America would be AWESOME, don't count that out), we have a lot to look forward to until his demise. We get to see him go toe-to-toe with Iron Man, a reunion with Bucky (probably, anyway), more awesome action with him and his fellow Avengers, and, if Chris Pratt gets his wish, an awesome fight with Star-Lord if the Guardians do cross paths with the Avengers in Infinity War (which is all just speculation, but Marvel really needs to make that happen, just for one movie...or, technically, two), plus more general awesomeness that comes with Captain America, hopefully including some 'Winter Soldier'-style action that worked SO WELL!!
Enjoy Steve Rogers while you still can, Avengers fans.
You won't be able to when he's gone.