Licht And Free Agents: “That’s On Me”

March 24th, 2015

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Yesterday, when collared by the “Custodian of Canton,” eye-RAH! Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune while at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix — Joe touched down in the Valley of the Sun last night! — general manager Jason Licht did the NFL equivalent of falling on his own sword, suggesting the Karlos Pena-like swings and misses in free agency were his doing.

“We’ve ripped off the ‘Band-Aids’ and we’ll work feverishly to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes twice,” Licht said referring to the terrible troika of Anthony Collins, turnover-prone Josh McCown and Ghost Johnson. “That’s on me.

“It’s better to cut ties a year too early rather than a year too late. We want players who want to be Bucs and players that are hungry. Ownership couldn’t be more supportive.’’

Joe is just going to guess Team Glazer wasn’t so supportive of seeing some $29 million out of their pockets washed away in roughly a year’s time, but it’s good to know Team Glazer was behind Licht cutting bait with the mistakes.

The thing that caught Joe’s eye was Licht referring to hungry players wanting to be with Tampa Bay. Clearly, McCown tried his best. That’s not debatable.

Collins and Ghost? Oh, that’s very debatable. It actually springs to mind a certain Steve Miller song.

27 Responses to “Licht And Free Agents: “That’s On Me””

  1. Johnny Dejay Says:

    Yes, it is on you, Mr. Licht, and you’re very lucky the Glazer Family did not hold you personally accountable for squandering a fortune on terrible players. I wouldn’t count on getting another pass from them. If this year’s class isn’t working out by mid-season, you will likely be on the unemployment line before Halloween, so they have time to replace you going into the offseason.

  2. bucs4lyfe Says:

    yea yea joe but lets step back and remind everyone what greg schiano spent in his first 2 years as head coach its probably double

  3. Buc1987 Says:

    I was under the impression that Lovie has the final say so on every player they bring in.

    So I guess Licht IS the scapegoat then.

    If things go bad, Licht will take the fall for it and the uninformed fans will blame him as well. Brilliant Lovie, brilliant. Take Johnny Deejay for an example of many on this site that think Licht calls the shots.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If that was all Licht….then there sure is a change this year because all of the FA signings look like Lovie picks…..

  5. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I really like Licht. The first step in fixing a mistake is to first ADMIT it was a mistake. In my 50 years in the workforce and Army and University I find that to be a rare talent. I always appreciate somebody who can do that.

    And I’m pretty much from the baseball school of thought. Three strikes and your out. Licht is now down in the count 0-1 but he can rebound this year and next.

    The prime example of never admitting a mistake…our current political system.
    That’s a bipartisan observation btw so please don’t jump on here trashing either party. They ALL do it. And sadly on the rare occasion an politician might simply fall on the sword and admit an error it’s viewed as a sign of weakness.

    Facing one’s shortcomings and admitting errors is a sign of strength IMO.

  6. Dean Says:

    The is a tremendous difference between going after the “top dogs” in free agency, where you have to be decisive and move quickly to attract and win the free agent frenzy and taking your time to add one of the “lesser” free agents as a piece of the puzzle.

    One thing that I don’t understand, though. Everyone of our scouts are out there on the road with scouts from other teams. Assistant coaches are friends and colleagues with other coaches. Equipment guys, medical personnel, etc. all have friends and acquaintances on other teams. OK….you get the point.

    So, why doesn’t anyone do their due diligence and find out if so and so free agent is a dead ass or just into this for the money and won’t put forth the effort. You mean to tell me that Collins and Ghost just developed this lack of passion when they arrived in the Sunshine State?

    Also, I would recommend that L & L be more outspoken about these pieces of crap, that took the Glazier’s money and sat on their duff. This will send out a strong message that these guys are trouble and should be avoided at all costs and it sends a clear message what we expect from new arrivals here.

  7. RayRay1 Says:

    SORRY think he’s taking one for the team. Lovie was first hired of the two. And professed to have final say on the roster. Think the Love man is mostly responsible for last years debacle.

  8. Buc1987 Says:

    RayRay…ding ding ding we have a winnah!

    You are correct sir. Lovie calls almost ALL the shots.

  9. Buddhaboy Says:

    the joker

  10. tmaxcon Says:

    Licht failing on the sword for lovies screw ups. commendable but easy to see through. this roster and all the mistakes have LOVIE’s finger prints on them…

    No ONE free agent signing has been a clear upgrade to the replacement.

    Conte – is a joke

    Melton – plays when he wants to and has injury and effort concerns

    Jenkins – well he obviously has some scandalous pictures because he does not deserve to be on a roster much less gifted a starting job. Only in Lovie Land

    Carter – decent player but you are asking him to switch postions that he has not played frequently in a couple years I believe. Carter himself said he would do it but said he was not necessarily a mlb. So how is this a CLEAR upgrade over foster. Foster had his faults but Lovie and his stubborn system will be the death of tampa bay

    Lovie will get canned and leave the roster full of system specific washed up players. yet another rebuild on the horizon.

  11. Iknowmorethanlovie Says:

    Why is he protecting loser Lovie?

  12. bucrightoff Says:

    He’s protecting Lovie because Lovie is his boss. When the coach gets hired before the GM, the coach is the one who holds the power. Sucks, but Licht really is a puppet.

  13. DallasBuc Says:

    Classic. Lovie Smith farts and blames the the lapdog.
    Everyone knows Lovie Smith hired his GM (unholy and wrong) and he has final say on roster. The only thing on lapdog Licht is Lovie’s ass cheeks and a foul smell.

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    You guys saying Licht is covering for Lovie need to get real.

    Its the GMs job to work directly with the scouts in identifying talent – whether that is FA talent or College player talent. It is also the GMs job to acquire the players whether via drafting or working out a deal with a free agent.

    These decisions are almost always made with input from the coaches – especially the head coach. But it is the GMs job to identify the talent and acquire the players. “That’s on Me” is the truth. It is Licht’s job and thus his ultimate responsibility. Even if Lovie did influence any given decision – its still the GMs ultimate responsibility.

    Lovie has control over the roster – but Licht has ultimate control over which players are added to the team.

    It took guts to cut bait on the 3 players mentioned after only 1 year – especially since $10M in dead cap $ for this year was created with the release of Johnson and Collins. Shows Licht is not afraid to identify and admit personel mistakes and move away from them as quickly as possible in order to keep making the team better. Addition by subtraction was heavily at play in these moves – just as the Barron trade during the middle of last year was as well.

    I like to see it and hope Licht can hit a home run in this year’s draft and find 3 or 4 starters with a couple good developmental contributors to boot. As long as the draft starts with Jameis Winston there is real hope for this franchise moving forward. Well that + finding some talent for the OLine….

  15. tmaxcon Says:


    “Shows Licht is not afraid to identify and admit personnel mistakes and move away from them as quickly as possible ”

    Then if he is a real gm with power, he should have admitted the biggest mistake and sent Lovie to the basement permanently. Oh but he can’t because lap dogs have no real power. Lovie is the only one responsible for this disaster. Don’t ask for full control if you can’t handle the full flaming that your bad decisions warrant.


    Sorry, I hope you don’t mind the usage of your signature phrase.

  16. Pickgrin Says:

    tmaxcon – That’s a stupid premise – because no matter whether that is Licht’s job or the owner’s – no one in their right mind would fire an experienced and proven successful NFL head coach like Lovie Smith after only 1 year – no matter how terrible that 1st year was. Bucs are getting a franchise QB out of that terrible 1st year and that was partially by design – so stop talking crazy in suggesting that Licht has no power because you have the ridiculous notion that Lovie should be fired so quickly.

    Aside from Lack of talent which is largely Dominik’s fault for terrible drafting – this team’s biggest problem is lack of continuity. With players and especially with coaches. Lovie Smith has 3 years to get this franchise turned around. Maybe even 4 depending on how things play out. Glazers are not going to make the mistake of firing coach Smith after only 1 or even 2 years. There are already signs that this team is headed in the right direction – despite the 2-14 record in 2014.

  17. DallasBuc Says:

    tmaxcon- I’m honored! This whole leadership arrangement is a joke.

  18. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I like Light honestly. I think his talent evaluation appears better to me than Dominic in 1 year; despite the FA blunders.

    Anthony Collins had great NFL tape. The mistake was projecting that into full time starter material; but he was young and if that worked out it would have been an amazing deal to land a franchise LT for that $.

    Michael Johnson; despite lack of sacks; still had a ton of pressure on the QBs in 2013 and virtually everyone had him as the #1 DE on the market. So if you think Light is an idiot for signing him most everyone was an idiot for thinking he was good.

    Josh McCown really did play exceptionally in Trestman’s offense for 4 games. His contract was what some backup QBs typically make. I mainly liked the signing because it meant we didn’t believe in Glennon.

    Those 3 signings didn’t bother me a lot at the time but in retrospect it’s easy to say they were dumb. I’m glad we’re in the positition we’re in now though to finally land a QB.

    Verner / McDonald worked out nice. Maybe Jenkins contributes this year. I like the Carter/Spencer/Melton additions. Contracts aren’t much and there is good upside and depth created by adding them.

    They hit on their first draft pick very well last year; probably better than any 1st rounder besides McCoy that Dominic produced. ASJ looks like a first round talent if he can stay healthy. Not sure on Sims or rest of draft; but if Pamphile becomes a starter that’s great; and Bradley McDougal / Jacquis Smith were huge finds.

  19. DallasBuc Says:

    “…despite the FA blunders”?

  20. tmaxcon Says:


    proven, successful… wow that’s funny. you would have thought this guy was a perennial playoff contender for championships not one and done every couple of years decent season surrounded by a couple of mediocre that’s not success that’s lovie. Lovie has never had consistent success. lovie is the definition of mediocre at best. what’s is his playoff win percentage or regular season winning % it’s mediocre period… proven successful coaches are challenging for championships not the first Waiver Wire Claim… wow

    we went from zero dead money to 29 million plus in less than 8 months with that proven loser you refer to in charge and at the helm.

    laugh all you want but when lovie leaves the cupboards bare and nothing but has been prove it deal prayers on the roster people will still be playing the bs nice guy card and making excuses for him.

  21. LargoBuc Says:

    Im sure Licht and Lovie are both responsible for those blunders but at the end of the day, it’s GM Jason Lichts job to pull the strings, do the dirty work and get X player signed to Y amount of years. Of course a seasoned experienced coach like Lovie is going to have strong influence on who comes and goes through one Buc but its ultimatley Jasons responsibility in that regard.
    And yea Lovies wins and playoff appearance are “mediocre”. But really thats still an upgrade over the two we had before Lovie. Raheem will be a great NFL coach once he figures it out but he was in over his head like none other. Snd Schiano. That guy had ZERO respect among NFL people regardless how much Belichick endorses him. The guy made our Bucs a laughingstock. So Lovie is an upgrade. No he’s not on the level of say Bill Belichick or Tony Dungy or Jon Gruden but not too many are.
    So does it really matter who’s at fault. Its kinda both of them. But at the end of the day it’s going to fall on the GM. Its no big mystery. Licht isnt some scapegoat for Lovie. Its just how it is. Get over it.

  22. Buccfan37 Says:

    Only in sports and politics can you not earn it and still take the money and run.

  23. Pickgrin Says:

    Yes tmaxcon. Lovie Smith is a proven and successful NFL head coach.

    Despite a 2-14 record last year – Lovie still has a winning record in the NFL with 10 years of NFL head coaching experience.

    Take a poll of 100 NFL coaches, execs and insiders and ask them what they think of Lovie Smith as a head coach. More than 90 of them will tell you that they respect Lovie and think he is a good coach.

    But I guess you know better eh. Still pining for Schiano to get that 3rd year are we?

  24. Bird Says:

    You guys don’t get it. It’s clear lovie is being in the free agents. You really think licht wanted all the Bears players this year and lovie’s buddy rod marinelli from Cowboys. Get a clue. Unfortunately licht may get fired cause of lovie bad personnel decisions. I think licht has some say in draft only. Lovie is just like Gruden. Good coach. Terrible talent evLuator

  25. DallasBuc Says:

    ^^^the Bird is the word. Well said.

  26. tmaxcon Says:


    raise your standards sir.

    he is 3-3 in playoffs as a head coach that is hardly proven.

    a proven coach goes to the playoffs year in and year out not twice in his first 3 years then 1 other time in the remainder 7

    Lovie has never consistently won anywhere.

  27. Jack Says:

    Licht F***ed up last year! He is getting his chance to fix it and do it cheaply this year.