Jason Licht, KeiVarae Russell & The Draft Clueless

September 15th, 2016
The Jason Licht boo birds are quiet this morning.

The Jason Licht boo birds are quiet this morning.

Every Bucs fan should spend a few moments talking about rookie cornerback KeiVarae Russell this morning.

Why? Because he’s the guy drafted by the Chiefs this year with the No. 74 overall pick. And now the third-round pick out of Notre Dame is unemployed, waived yesterday.

That No. 74 overall pick used to belong to the Bucs. Russell was drafted with the pick Tampa Bay gave the Chiefs, plus a fourth-rounder, to move up in the draft and grab kicker Roberto Aguayo at No. 59 overall.

The draft-day deal stunned the NFL world and left legions of prominent NFL analysts calling Licht’s move moronic.

Joe thinks all those blowhards deserve a good, public finger-wagging this morning.

Russell wasn’t a controversial selection for Kansas City, and the Chiefs have an excellent track record in the draft, including third-round picks Dustin Colquitt, Jamaal Charles, Allen Bailey, Justin Houston, Travis Kelce, Phillip Gaines and Chris Conley, who are all on their roster.

Per the Kansas City Star story linked above, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid says Russell had no off-the-field issues. His release was just a football decision.

The lesson here is while Licht gambled drafting Aguayo after trading up, a gamble Joe would not have made, it was a well-reasoned play that wasn’t worthy of the over-top-scrutiny Licht endured.

That should be crystal clear this morning.

NFL third- and fourth-round picks are long shots to become impact players. Burning those 2016 picks on a kicker with truly elite talent was just fine.

Joe hopes Russell clears waivers and Licht signs him for the practice squad. That would be quite a statement.

38 Responses to “Jason Licht, KeiVarae Russell & The Draft Clueless”

  1. Ben the Ga Buc Says:

    Meanwhile, our pick that was so scrutinized has already scored 7 points for us.

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Getting KeiVarae Russell on the practice squad would be ironic…and I’m in favor if it doesn’t mean releasing Vitale.

  3. Compa Gera Says:

    I guess our GM got the last laugh!every day that passes this season feels better and better being a Nice fan!

  4. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    The scrutiny he’s an Aquarius Joe,trust me when I tell you he didn’t lose any sleep over it. We like that, sometimes we’ll go in the opposite direction just cause.

  5. Buc50 Says:

    What is the fascination with Vitale??? The guy sucks.

  6. tmaxcon Says:

    i still think Licht gambled trading up with the pick because he was confident that he would be able to move Glennon and pick recoup a pick. When licht was unable to get any takers for Glennon it made that pick look so much more risky. If he gets a pick for Glennon people still cry about the high round kicker but it would have been much less if he had another pick to grab a much needed WR or DT. Unfortunately Glennon has played so poorly for 2 consecutive years against lesser talent in the preseason he has zero value. It’s a shame really. You can easily argue that Glennon’s poor play in the preseason has hurt the bucs since they were unable to move him and acquire a pick. Oh well at least the 6 glennon fan boys are rejoicing.

  7. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I think this piece is spot on!!! And yes many posters here do not understand that drafting after the first round is a 50-50 crap shoot.

    So yes Licht is looking good right now. But if Aguayo performs in the NFL like he did in the NCAA Licht will just have another argument that he’s a wizard when it comes to personnel and building a team.

    And so Joe…I get your current opinion of drafting a kicker…but if Aguayo turns out to be the next Vinateri or Janikowski are you going to come back for a crow sandwich?

    If he busts I’ll certainly have a seven course dinner of crow since I was screaming for Aguayo long before the draft as 87 can attest. As far as where he was taken your piece here proves the point about the “value” of these draft picks.

  8. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Repost: Concerning CB – KeiVarae Russell (April 4th 2016)

    “I like him more at Free Safety over Corner though – in the 6th round”

    Picking him in the 3rd round was a major reach in my option. Hopefully Licht signs him to the practice squad – because the kid does have talent. Might take him a little to make the transition to safety though.

  9. Pickgrin Says:

    That WOULD be ironic if the guy picked with one of the draft choices we gave to move up for Aguayo wound up on our team for free.

    It just goes to show how much of crap shoot the draft really is. Even 1st round picks have barely more than a 50/50 chance of seeing a 2nd contract in the NFL on average.

    I’d say Licht’s abilities to identify and obtain young talent is WAY above average based on his first 3 drafts.

    In 2 or 3 years when Aguayo is winning playoff games and scoring points in Super Bowls – Licht’s bold move in the 2016 draft that was widely scoffed at and ridiculed will magically be transformed into a stroke of genius.

  10. BigHogHaynes Says:

    That little one-sided narrative, doesn’t make it a good trade, maybe for a wide receiver but not a kicker! Simple as that!

  11. Dirk Disco Says:

    According to KeiVarae Russell, he did not grasp the system so he may not be there mentally even if he is there physically.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I wasn’t a good trade. It was a great trade.

  13. Poor Glennon Says:

    Thats one way to look at it! We were not gonna draft a CB. When we had a need for Snead.

  14. Poor Glennon Says:

    I like how extra points are now considered kicks. He’s 5-5 c’mon there are thousands of dude’s that can kick 33 yard FG’s. He’s 1-1 with a big game ahead. The fact is his 25-30 is not worth the pick when Barth goes 24-30. He has to be a top 5 kicker every year to validate that pick

  15. DislocatedBucsFan Says:


    I agree completely he’s hasn’t done a dang thing!

  16. Mojiska Says:

    My problem so far is that we could have had von bell, bronson kaufusi, Braxton miller. In the future we will see what those guys end up doing, they may all flame out, but it was not a move I liked. But that’s why I’m not the gm. Aguayo needs to be a top 5 kicker for 10+ years for it to not be considered a bad pick imo.

  17. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Ultimately, Licht will need wins to be considered great.

    But, if you don’t think this team is top to bottom better roster wise than it was before he came on board, then, I don’t know if we are looking at the same team.

  18. threadkiller Says:

    The Chiefs making a bad draft selection doesn’t make ours a better pick. Nor would I be screaming from the rooftops that Roberto is the man. Good start to his season though. Right there with over half the kickers who also converted all their week 1 attempts.

  19. LakeLandBuc Says:

    The trading of a 3rd and 4th for a kicker was a stupid move and it always will be. The picks should have been Braxton Miller and Malcolm Mitchell.

  20. ndog Says:

    How many games in week 1 were decided by a kick? That should put all of this “is a kicker worth it” debate to rest.

  21. Destinjohnny Says:

    Joe the issue was not drafting a d lineman when it was the deepest d lineman draft in 20 years. g Mac needs a badass next to him and we for sure could have used the depth.

  22. Dave Says:

    Ha! Signing him to the practice squad would be pretty funny

  23. Bobby Says:

    Just Joe’s out clueless posters are. Look at the leading scorers in the league year after year and it’s always kickers. They are worth their weight in gold if they’re good and I believe Roberto is VERY good.

  24. Bobby Says:

    Just “shows”. I hate voice to text.

  25. FartinMartin Says:

    I Dunno,
    NE kicker makes all of his kicks, AZ kicker mises his to ‘win the game’
    23 – 21 NE wins.
    CAR had a kick to win the game, missed it.
    21 – 20 DEN wins.

    Still doesn’t mean we made a good pick, only time will tell, but it ought to be easy to see how a great kicker does make a difference AND has Value.

    Sorry guys, I think I have to go with Belicheat on this one … they are Valueable.

  26. stpetebucsfan Says:

    And speaking of personnel moves…sometimes the money you don’t spend is a great move.

    Antonio Brown..2 TD’s 126 yards. Man did that superstar Josh Norman really shore up the Redskins secondary.

    Of course we got whipped by the Cowboys for Hardy the year before. That was a real loss eh…he just killed if for the ‘Boys. *snark font off*

  27. McBuc Says:

    St Pete. I agree with your second post and most of your first one, except Joe is saying it was fine to pick the kicker, so he will not need to eat crow when he turns into the next great kicker.

  28. LakeLandBuc Says:

    The Saints cut Connor Barth (even though he was perfect in preseason games) and they cut Kai Forbath. They went with Will Lutz ( UDFA from Georgia State ) and he missed 2 FG’s Sunday against the Raiders during a 35-34 loss, including a 61 yarder with no time left.

  29. mike n Says:

    By this post’s logic Dexter Jackson in the 2nd round wasn’t a bad pick, because the next player taken was green bays pat lee who never did anything for the pack and only recorded 2 tackles for green bay before moving on.

  30. David Says:

    Uhhh isn’t Vitale a member of the Giants??

  31. BucFan20 Says:

    No.The Giants let him go an the Bucs put him on the practice squad on the 10th.

  32. Pickgrin Says:

    Vitale was cut by the Bills via a “failed physical” designation the day after they picked him up off waivers.

    He posted on Instagram that night:
    “Not gonna let someone tell me I’m injured when I’m fine. This is just the beginning. Wait and see. More motivated than ever.
    #WhatTheMindCanConceive #ManCanAchieve”

    Vitale was signed to the Bucs practice squad 4 days later.

  33. Pickgrin Says:

    Giants – not Bills

  34. Pickgrin Says:

    Actually it was the Bills. You guys had me 2nd guessing my memory

  35. grafikdetail Says:

    was hoping to land Russell just because of the draft position… didn’t know he was the pick given up for Aguayo

  36. Brent bull/buc Says:

    3rd and 4th Ed picks are long shots? Cmon. I’ll take tage sharpe with that 3rd rd pick. Go check out the best teams and look what they’ve done with their 3rd and 4th td pick. Check out the cardinals panthers Seahawks steelers etc. they find good players. I bet if as a gm all you hit on are 1/2nd rd picks your team sucks. Heck even the Bucs have a couple recent 3/4th td guys contributing: gholston spence Alexander Tandy Simms pamphlet on and on.

  37. Lou517 Says:

    I was never against drafting Aguayo. Just didn’t seem necessary to trade up

  38. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Joe to put this silly argument to rest, how many 3rd and 4th round picks are still on this team that actually score points and was drafted by us? I’ll take a player who scores every game over someone who will take 2-3 years just to become a starter. They say production at the college levels is very important and Aguayo produced a lot!