Jason Licht’s “Value” Curveball

February 5th, 2014

jason lichtWhat would happen if Joe suggested the Bucs trade Vincent Jackson and the roughly $11 million a season he collects from Team Glazer? Bucs fans would be outraged. The consensus is Jackson is worth every nickel he earns.

And what about Bears fans? What would they — and Lovie Smith — say about the “value” of signing free agent Julius Peppers in 2010, when Peppers broke the bank at $14 million per year. That season the Bears want from a lousy defense in 2009 (21st in points allowed, 17th in yards allowed) to dominant in 2010, with Peppers landing on the All-Pro team and eating pineapple in Hawaii.

Peppers went on to three straight Pro Bowls.

Yes, Joe would say that those premier, big-money players were “value” free agents, the kind new Bucs general manager Jason Licht was talking about signing when he was hired and specifically said the Bucs would seek “value” on the open market.

There is disagreement at the JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters. Some believe Licht’s stated desire to sign “value” free agents is code for inexpensive/non-big-name players; others believe “value” is merely a buzzword that means absolutely nothing and, at most, is an early negotiating tactic directed at agents who might think a new Bucs regime will overpay.

The reality is nobody knows what’s in Licht’s head when he speaks of “value.” 

However, we do know Lovie Smith is in charge in Tampa, the same guy who coveted Peppers in Chicago. And why did Lovie yearn for Peppers? Because his desire for Gaines Adams the previous season led to the failed Bears move of overpaying the Bucs for Adams with a second-round pick.

We also know Lovie is a guy who undeniably said recently that there’s no reason for the Bucs to hold back a penny of available cash.  

“We need to get our new general manager in here, but just as a general rule, you know there’s a reason why there is a salary cap.  And we want to use all of our resources to get as many good football players in here. It’s kind of as simple as that,” Lovie told ProFootballTalk.com.

“We want to be right up; we don’t want to have a lot of money in reserves. No one does. I mean you want to use money to get as many good football players. And it takes money to get good football players in here. So that’s our approach.”

“Value,” of course, is an extremely subjective term. Bucs fans will learn what it means in Licht and Lovie’s world when the free agency dinner bell rings March 11.

33 Responses to “Jason Licht’s “Value” Curveball”

  1. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Great Article-Joe

    Glad to see that , you still have your wits about you.

  2. Patrick in VA Says:

    Definitely looking forward to march 11. This has been the best part of the year for bucs fans for a number of years so i’m enjoying all the speculation and, most of all, the hope that the off season offers and then the excitement that comes after free agency and the draft. hopefully this new regime change will be able to carry that excitement over to the actual season for the first time in a while

  3. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    I think we will see turnover on the roster, the De’s are just pricey as it is a coveted position, Only a fool would over spend on a non coveted position like strong safety.

  4. Tut Says:

    I see value more as a return on investment. Value is not about what you spend but what you get in return.

  5. Martinii Says:

    I have been perplexed by this concept for weeks. I remember when Lovie stated “Spend it all.” I also remember Licht indicating that he wanted value (what I presumed to be bargain basement) players. Consequently I have been cautioning in my post that fans not get to enthused about free agency. Now joe says we have to wait till March 11th. Sort of takes the fun out of the offseason for a few months.

  6. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Please trade VJax. At his rate of depreciation he is nothing close to worth $12 mil this upcoming year, or the following TWO years.

    Before anyone gets on their high horse about our new DBs huge contracts, the year before Goldson and Revis were on the roster the defense gave up 69 passes over 20 yards, good for next to last in the league. Last year the Bucs tallied up 46 pass plays over 20 yards, becoming 8th best in that category. This is with the ninth worst sack total in the league with 35.

    Even with these acquisitions we are still $10 mil under the cap and are cutting long pass plays by a third. With Schiano and Sheridan, the Moron Bros. Goldson and Revis are keeping plays in front of them a helluva lot more, and the number will only decrease once something happens with that D line getting to the QB.

  7. Barry Says:

    Move up for J.Clowney. Trade for R.Incognito and K.Cousins.
    Sign FA’s P.Tillman, J.Edelman. I mean if you wanna spend every dime, which I do. PS, I would sign Tim Tebow. Love him or hate him, he’s good for business.

  8. Sapp, STFU Says:

    (Repeat) After watching Seattle dismantle the most potent offense in history, I am now very excited to see Lovie focus on dominant defense and, hopefully, a potent offense that manages the game. If Vincent is sacrificed, so be it.

  9. Jon Says:

    @ Buc Realist- bet Seattle will spend on both of their non important position of safety

  10. Architek Says:

    Joe –
    Man you all have turned your site up a notch every year! Man this site is like narcotics and no matter how bad my day or issues at work or home, I can come here and take my mind off of the stress.

    Even in the middle of a losing season – this site is therapeutic for us Bucs fans!

    Keep up the good work Joes! And you last podcast with Big Dog was the absolute best I have heard period. Thank you for keeping Bucs info coming daily – year around.

  11. Kevin Says:

    Incognito should be the best Value player out there right now. I’d be blowing his agents phone up.

  12. Joe Says:


    Man this site is like narcotics

    Thanks. Um, Joe thinks. 🙂

  13. OB Says:

    Joe I think what he means with the word value is that if we win the SB, it was a value deal, if we don’t, it wasn’t. Of course he may just mean the division at first.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I think there is danger of over spending if Lovie has his way completely. I mean, because we went thru some really cheap years, Bucs fans have demanded spending a lot. But the truth is there should be a balance.

    I’m all for spending, so long as the contracts are structured to keep us out of cap issues in future years.

    I fully expect Revis to be cut next year if the Bucs draft a quality CB or sign a quality CB. That will free up $16 mill for next year. The only exception to that would be if Lovie pulls a Jon Gruden and takes us to the Superbowl.

    Of course, then Revis would probably want $20 million per year.

  15. Harry Says:

    Great “VALUE” signings in ’13: Bennett, Avril, Wes Welker, Talib, Brent Grimes, John Abraham, etc.

    Greg Hardy will not be a “value” signing; he is young and talented and is going to be expensive.

    Some Possible “Value” FA for ’14: Peppers, Allen, Bennett, Devin Hester, Richie Incognito (you only hate him if he is not on your team), and several more

    Point is they are there for us, even with our small budget. We can fill a lot of spots thru FA and not be so dependent on the draft (then we can trade away and move up the get a real franchise QB! lol).

  16. Harry Says:

    Aren’t you going to suggest Free as a “value” signing? I am sure he will come ‘relatively’ cheap, and he has all that talent… Teasing, lol

  17. pick6 Says:

    unfortunately, “value” is generally something that is determined after the fact. very few teams do free agent deals with the belief they are not getting value for their money. they have to convince themselves there’s value there to ever do the deal. taking it outside of player terms, the package to get gruden was a “value” for the glazer family, while the peanuts they paid to raheem morris resulted in a franchise-sized crater they are still trying to get themselves out of. With players, value is just as wide-ranging and just as retrospective

  18. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    After watching Seattle Destroy the Best offense in League history (With a bunch of Mid/Low round misfits).

    IMHO (-Rambling 101-)

    There’s only ONE true trade chip to me.

    -Yep thats right-Darrell Revis!!

    I know its sounds like yet, another broken record coming from me. I’m just not attached to anyone on this organization (Nor will I every be –after the way we Treated #55) Sure he was on his last leg, it get that. But when you a have man of that caliber don your halls; You let him cash that last check.

    “THIS IS THE ULTIMATE TEAM GAME”-And we have entirely too many holes on this roster to win it all.

    And to have a dominate defense line your going to need, a quality defensive line rotation. If that team in the Pacific North West cans Do it; Why not us? They’ve should us the Blue Print (Flaws & All)

    Look, we need COMPETITIVE DEPTH at almost every position on our roster.

    Who know maybe those EXTRA FUNDS aid us in signing, an Upper Tier Talented

    • Defensive End(s),
    • Nose Tackle, or
    • Defensive Tackle to Back Up Gerald McCoy

    Or a few

    • Guards
    • Maybe A Dominate Center
    • Or Tight End

    Still No Value?

    Sure we can’t supplement all of our depth issues through free Agency (Yet its a start). Of course we’re gonna need to mix it up some, or you’ll end up in cap purgatory. Duh right?

    So how about the Extra PREMIUM DRAFT PICKS you’ll get by trading him.

    Off the top, we’ll get our 3rd draft pick back( JETS)+the additional compensation from the trade.

    No Value there either huh?

    Oh well, Just My Opinion

  19. Brandon Says:

    Smart teams load up on their front 4, that’s where the value is…not in the back end.

  20. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    (Interesting Conversation)

    -Sherman or Bailey in there Prime-

    A few great points from HOF wide receiver Michael Irvin

  21. biff barker Says:

    Revis’ value was $16M wen it he was ordained as the missing link to the Lombardi.
    We’ve got a new system coming in. Every current starter will be evacuated to at each position. Value assessment means e spend more or spend less to get what we need to win from each player.

  22. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    That’s right, never seen a team lead from the backend. Even when Cleveland had Frank Minnifield & Hanford Dixon they still had a mean front 7. Same to be said for Kansas City when they had Kevin Ross & Albert Lewis. And Pittsburgh when they had Lake, Perry & Woodson. Along with countless other combinations. That backend will not never measure up, if the quarterback has time to throw the ball. Seattle and countless defensive Champions have proving that OVER and OVER again.

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    -I’m just not attached to anyone in this organization

    -When you a have man of that caliber don your halls; You let him cash the last check.

    -They’ve showed us the Blue Print (Flaws & All)

    smh-too many errors-Hopefully you’ll get the point

  24. Glennon Mob Says:

    I would have no problem trading Vjax. He is getting old so old that defensive linemen and linebackers can catch him from behind. In my eyes he is just a really good number two and just a luxury player on our team. I rather focus on OL. If Glennon is not protected and without a run game, Vjax cannot even be utilized. We could find value players at receiver and still win

  25. Snook Says:

    I love how people just toss the word TRADE around. Like there’s just a line full of teams looking for a CB that makes $16 million per year. Or a 30 year old WR that makes $12 million per year. Yeah, there’s just teams DROOLING to trade big time picks for that. What’s the most a team would give up for VJ? A 3rd rounder would be shocking. So is VJ better than a rookie 3rd round WR? Or anyone that will be a free agent?

    So stupid….

  26. Architek Says:

    Joe Says:
    February 5th, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Man this site is like narcotics

    Thanks. Um, Joe thinks. 🙂

    No foul play here – just analogy – LOL (Make me a hypocrite despising Freeman for his recklessness and team killing activities)

  27. McBuc Says:

    @lovemybucs…Brooks is over, maybe it is time for everyone to be over it…

  28. buccanAy Says:

    and how many SB’s have the Bears been to since Peppers trade? And Tampa? Vincent Jax, Revis, Carl Nicks, and Goldson have taken the Bucs where? My point is, you HAVE to draft well, and we have been historically atrocious, especially in later rounds and even with our top picks, although we’ve hit on a few recently. My hope is our new GM, the one who helped the Seahawks hit on some unbelievable late round picks can work his magic here. We gave a 1st and 3rd for Revis, and those wanting to trade UP for a Qb, would include our 2105 1st round pick among others could decimate this franchise for years, considering all the over-priced FA’s we already have on this team.

  29. MTM Says:

    Jackson is the best receiver on the Bucs but he would be a # 2 on a lot of teams. A tough player but can’t finish in the end zone on the deep ball to save his life. VJ can’t get any separation which makes him easy to defend and his salary is very high. If he were to restructure it and stay that would be the best case scenario.

  30. Patrick Says:

    Trading Jackson??? Bahahahahaha! Yeah…..just leave us with no reliable receiver. Mike Williams future is looking dim as well. After those two leave, who do we have?

    Maybe if the Bucs stopped getting rid of all our good players (see: Blount, Bennett), we wouldn’t be a joke right now.

  31. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    buccanAy Says
    “…would include our 2105 1st round pick among others could decimate this franchise for years…”

    If anyone is dumb enough to take our 2105 1st round pick 91 years in advance, I would give it! 😉

  32. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    MTM Says
    “Jackson is the best receiver on the Bucs but he would be a # 2 on a lot of teams.”

    He broke 1K yards with a bad QB…that’s pretty good to me. Speed means nothing if the fast guy cannot catch. I would take good hands over speed 100% of the time.

    Keyshawn was not fast…he was a true #1. A jerk, but a #1.

  33. MTM Says:

    @ Buc Bon

    Thanks for making my point. Meshawn was at best #2 on the Bucs.