Will Jason Licht Pass On A Free Agent WR?

February 9th, 2017

One could say Bucs general manager Jason Licht would be insane to pass on a wide receiver in free agency, given the receiver flock residing at One Buc Palace.

However, Licht is a confident and fearless man.

Consider how desperate the Bucs were for offensive line help — and a rebuild — following the horrific 2014 season.

The booting of 2016 Pro Bowlers Donald Penn and Jeremy Zuttah in favor of Anthony Collins and Evan Dietrich-Smith proved disastrous. But Licht didn’t panic. The man didn’t bring in one free agent on the offensive line during the 2015 offseason.

Instead, Licht put his jewels on display and waited/gambled on the draft. There, the Bucs patiently targeted left tackle Donovan Smith in the second round and pounced to trade up for Division III — Division III — star left tackle Ali Marpet. The pride of Hobart College was relocated to right guard and the rest is history.

That summer, Licht also found two effective starters on the street: Joe Hawley and Gosder Cherilus.

Poof! The 2015 O-line was fantastic blocking for a punishing running game and a rookie quarterback,

It was quite a stunning display and turnaround by Licht.

So back to the state of the 2017 receiving corps and guys like Josh Huff, Bernard Reedy, Russell Shepard and CFL great Derrel Walker, among others. It’s not pretty after Mike Evans.

But would Licht dare to wait for a fix until the draft, like he did with the O-line two years ago?

It would be a gutsy play, one that might be wise but one that would require Joe to be institutionalized for at least 48 hours.

66 Responses to “Will Jason Licht Pass On A Free Agent WR?”

  1. 941BUC Says:

    I think he will only jump on 1 WR in FA…..and that is Jackson. The reason being that he will resign VJax for depth and pick up 2 WR in the Draft.which in fine in because Licht has proven to be a scouting guru…kinda..Lol.

  2. firethecannons58 Says:

    I don’t know exactly who the Bucs are going to bring in whether it be from free agency or the draft but I am confident saying that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have someone new returning kicks and punts and I believe that they will have at least two returns for TD’s this season. Just a hunch.

  3. macabee Says:

    Spotrac UFA Wide Receiver Valuations

    WR Alshon Jeffrey (26) 12.2mil
    WR Terelle Pryor (27) 8.9mil
    WR Pierre Garcon (30) 8.7mil
    WR Kenny Stills (24) 8.2mil
    WR DeSean Jackson (30) 7.6mil
    WR Brandon Lafell (30) 6.6mil
    WR Ted Ginn, Jr. (31) 4.2mil

  4. al121976 Says:

    If they can get D Jackson and somehow re-sign V Jackson, that would be awesome. put VJax as the 3 in the slot, evans on the right for reliability and Djax on the left for speed; that would be so cool.

  5. Joeypoppems Says:

    Gutsy is the right word to define not going after a FA WR imo. The draft is deep enough at the WR position to be able to come away with a legit #2 receiver and a speedy receiver to stretch the field. And as of now it can be done in multiple ways.

    Guys like Corey Davis, Malachi Dupre, Juju Smith-Schuster, Zay Jones, Josh Reynolds, Isaiah Ford and Amarah Darboh can all step in and be #2 receivers IMO.

    Guys like John Ross, Curtis Samuel, Dede Westbrook, Taywan Taylor, Travin Dural, and Cooper Kupp can be big play threats out of the slot or play on the outside.

    To me the WR situation should be addressed with 1 vet free agent (no Jeffrey, Pryor, or Stills) and 1 rookie. However imo it can addressed through the draft completely if it comes down to that.

  6. Tampa Tony Says:

    Falcons have shown Licht the blueprint it’s up to him to follow it

    They signed Sanu to compliment Jones, a receiver the Bucs could’ve and should’ve targeted but Licht failed. Then the Falcons signed a Pro Bowl Center to improve their line. Licht needs to be realistic in his self evaluation of this roster and sign some receivers

  7. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    If the Browns don’t tag Pryor we got to swoop in and get him. Man if that happened along with Stills… BOOM elite speed AND experience. Jameis would have a field day on the league. Now you got hump at the 4.
    I can dream right

  8. Tampa Tony Says:

    Rookies are nice but you also have to wait around for them to develop. Build a rapport with Winston and learn the playbook

  9. Buc 4ever Says:

    We must obtain an experienced FA receiver and I don’t mean a 30 year old Garson or DJAX. There are many young FA receivers out there that we can sign for a good price such as K. Stills, K. Britt, or hopefully A. Jeffries. We see and know what the Falcons bring to the table and we must match that. We can’t go into the season with the unknowns of what a rookie receiver is going to do. We can’t do that to Jameis. Sign a FA receiver, draft T.E. Howard in the round and another receiver or 2 later in the draft.

  10. Joeypoppems Says:


    How is adding Pryor and Stills adding experience? Pryor just finished litterally his first season as a WR and Stills is coming off his rookie contract to what could be his 3rd team. Speed, Yes. Experience, imo not so much.

  11. SB Says:

    Unfortunately Whatda, the Browns have already stated that they will tag Pryor if they can’t get a deal done. He was my highest priority as well.

  12. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I don’t have high hopes of us signing any of these Top Free agents.

  13. usf commutter Says:

    seems to easy to sign djax & draft a wr in second and resign djax…. let those other bums walk

  14. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Joeypoppems… NFL exp., Use to the league in all aspects. That’s huge.
    SB… Well that’s a bummer
    Listen, we’re all expecting to play atleast 17 games next year. We need to wait on ALOT depending on just rookies.

  15. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    We have the SLOWEST skill players in the NFL. Love ME13 but he’s not a burner…Brate is a developing TE…no speed…same for Hump at WR…our backfield is a joke…the Muscle Turtle gets hauled down from behind in his best days when he was able to reach the secondary.

    I feel the need…the need for SPEED. VJAX is going to provide anything we don’t already have. I do not want just speed…I want football speed with guys who can catch and run like Dalvin and Samuels..no pretty boys who can fly like Jeff Demps and the other “projects” we’ve brought in and none of the other guys in this draft are proven either…other than Dalvin and Samuels.

    We can build this defense till the cows come home but if it’s like last year where our offense couldn’t even help out in the 4th Q we’ll suffer the same fate as Atlanta in the SB. Their offense contributed squat and the same thing will happen to the Bucs…no offense and eventually no matter how talented the D just wears down.

  16. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    edit…VJAX is NOT going to provide anything we don’t already have…slow ponderous receivers at the end of their career are easy to find.

    Sign D Jackson!

  17. The Buc Realist Says:

    I told all of you a year ago!!!!!!!!

    The Buc Realist Says:
    June 3rd, 2016 at 6:51 am
    Is it too early to be scouting for WR in the 2017 draft??? We will hear lots of key words, such as “explosiveness” and “speed” when the Bucs will be looking early and often for WR!!!!


  18. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    N.E Receiver Depth
    • WR Danny Amendola – 40 Yrd Dash: 4.58
    • WR Chris Hogan – 40 Yrd Dash: 4.50
    • WR Julian Edelman – 40 Yrd Dash: 4.52
    • WR Malcolm Mitchell – 40 High: 4.50
    • WR Michael Floyd – 40 High: 4.51
    • TE Martellus Bennett – 40 Time: 4.68
    • TE Rob Gronkowski – 40 Time: 4.68

    I wouldn’t call them track stars.

  19. LargoBuc Says:

    Williams, Davis, Ross plus tight ends Howard and Njoku impress me more than any free agent play maker out there, except maybe DJax. IMO supplement the defense in FA, specifically Dontari Poe.
    Fantasizing about opponents trying to run on that line, the interior lineman having to chose between double blocking Poe or Mccoy, with Gholston and “angry” Ayers on the end. Kwon and LVD will really be flying down the los then. Or even passing downs when you swap Gholston for Spence. And hopefully Gholston does in fact come back for a price that makes both sides happy.

  20. Joeypoppems Says:


    “none of the other guys in this draft are proven either… other than Dalvin and Samuel.”

    I’m gonna need you to explain that to me. What makes Cook and Samuel “proven” compared to the other rookies? Because of the school they went to? None of these guys are proven until they succeed in the NFL…. including Dalvin and Samuel.

  21. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    LUV that’s works for them in that system. I watched the “Greatest Show on turf” win a Superbowl with plenty speed.

  22. K2 Says:

    When you see what influences the coaches have on bring in their guys in free agency…it is amazing to me that Licht is still blamed for all the bad moves. Furthermore, it is amazing how much better he got at finding quality free agents after Lovie’s departure. It’s a team sport…on the field and off. I think we now have a much better off the field team. That will produce a much better on field product.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Um…I hate t break it to you, but he ALREADY signed a free agent wide receiver.

  24. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Stpetebucsfan… Lmao, slow down big homie. ATL showed us speed kills… True. It killed they’re own defense scoring so fast in the first half. The flip side of scoring with speed…
    While I’m with you with the whole speed deal. I think (Nos Bos, don’t kill me homie) we should grab a bruiser like Mixon in the draft. Points are the ulemas goal. You also have to protect you’re DEFENSE too

  25. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Sometimes speed is overplayed

    Qualities of a good Receiver Core
    -Excellent Route Runner
    -Above Average short-area quickness
    -Catches balls with their hands in most cases – not w/body
    -YAC <- Once they catch it – what the hell they gonna do with it

    For the most part that’s what I see – On the depth charts of the last couple…
    … Super Bowl winners

    • Seattle Seahawks 43, Denver Broncos 8
    • New England Patriots 28, Seattle Seahawks 24
    • Denver Broncos 24, Carolina Panthers 10
    • New England Patriots 34, Atlanta Falcons 28

  26. Joeypoppems Says:

    @Buccaneer Bonzai

    Players out of the CFL aren’t free agents. Free agents come from other NFL teams. So technically he hasnt yet. I get your point tho.

  27. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    And prolly would’ve won another one had Belichess not video taped they’re gameplan.

  28. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun

    Yeah – that’s before the league caught up to them.
    Remember the BUCS gave the LEAGUE the blue print on how to stop them.

  29. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    I agree sometimes it can be overplayed but I’m not shying away from it if I can get my hands on some. The birds added Gabriel mid season and that lil sppedy mofo took they O to another level.

  30. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Maybe so but speed didn’t lose the game for the birds last week actually that speed was killing the pats. Kyle not running the ball lost that game last week.

  31. Joeypoppems Says:

    How about we stop blaming the Shannahan for “bad” play calling and just give the Patriots credit where it is due. If Ryan completes a pass or doesnt get sacked they win. The Patriots defense came up big and stopped them when they needed to.

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    WR Pierre Garcon
    HB/TE Evan Engram
    WR Zay Jones

    Would give this unit a huge boost

  33. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Save it Pop. If they meekly run the ball every down and milk the clock all the way down up 25 wit 6 minutes to go in the third they would be champs today. LUV you don’t think adding a Tyrik Hill type guy (Samuels) to our O wouldn’t be of benefit???

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun

    When Its all said in done – with all that speed Atlanta had – they still lost.
    They got pass happy – when they should’ve went to the ground.

  35. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    We currently don’t separate from anyone down field. Not even ME who out musles and out athletic his defenders. Thats why he like CBs right at the line of scrimmage.

  36. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    LUV that’s I’m saying bro. Up 25 had they done that the outcome would’ve been different. The speed didn’t hurt creating the 25 point nargin tho.

  37. Joeypoppems Says:


    I know and I agree with that. Again, if the plays he called worked it wouldnt be a conversation. They didnt work because of the Patriots defense.

  38. DB55 Says:

    Seems to me like the only ones that care are Jameis and the posters in this here corner of the interweb.

    I’m convinced we won’t sign any of the FAs mentioned above unless they cost about 900k a yr. CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. Cheap cheap cheep

  39. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Devonta was gashing them,6.8 a carry. I’m not mad at all unlike some I wasn’t all to happy with notion of a division rival being champs.

  40. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    I pray you’re wrong DB.

  41. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun

    For sh*tz and giggles

    If went ….

    With either – in the 1st round

    Followed by
    2. Evan Engram
    3. Zay Jones
    4. Pee-Rhine
    7. Tarik Cohen

    We could still do some demage

  42. LUVMYBUCS Says:


  43. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    100% licht will as long as said WR played in the arena league or CFL, licht has his minions out looking at espm 30 for 30 XFL highlights to see if “he hate me” still has some tread on the tires…..let me know when licht succeeds at FA, he def got a punter….but there could be a long snapper or NCAA FG holder of the year available in round 2 that the bucs scouts seemed to want to address before a FA WR or OL that will help protect and allow jameis to thrive

  44. Bucsfanman Says:

    It doesn’t matter where we get them, we need weapons. I believe in building through the draft. Maybe VJax is in their plans for next year and they’re looking to draft a speedster. I just don’t see the Bucs shelling out big coin to DeSean or any other player that will be a rental.

  45. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    I guess I view FA differently from most. Because If I sign you and two solid years out of you at reasonable price I’m good wit. Nine times of ten I’ve drafted at that same position anyway. LUV no doubt bro. My wish list is clear but I won’t be jumping out any windows if don’t happen. Ima say tho I don’t think it was by chance last years 1st round pick said what he said during that radio interview. I believe there was more to VH3’s words.

  46. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Garcon has been my #1 want at WR all offseason if he is let go.

    He’s a perfect #2 WR – steady & reliable and doesn’t miss games / can run all routes / good hands / good character

    I hope we sign a FA WR because I don’t want to be pigeon holed into taking one round 1. I just feel the value of WR will be in rounds 2-4 for where we pick.

    In round 1 I see mostly elite D players that will be available to us – D-line/S/CB.

    Sign Garcon
    Draft Taco Charlton round 1
    Draft Dede Westbrook round 2
    Draft Pocic or TE round 3
    Draft Mixon round 4

  47. Etzel Says:

    I’m sorry but can we forget about VJax. Dude gets hurt WAY too easily and when he is healthy is a nonfactor. Time to let him go.

  48. Broy34 Says:

    Anyone who says they don’t see the bucs signing top free agents are clueless. They have loads of money and usually spend loads of money. The cap increased and a team that goes 9-7 doesn’t make the owners much money

  49. Bucamania Says:

    Yes, WR in FA is a MUST. Was last year too but Licht ignored it. Can’t make that mistake again.

  50. Bucamania Says:

    Let’s not forget VJAX wasn’t juts hurt last year, he was a problem. Remember the lackluster effort and drops early last year?

  51. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Lord I wouldn’t mad at all if Garcon was singed. I’ve always appreciated his toughness and willingness to go across the middle without fear. Vjax I’m grateful for all he’s done while here in the Bay but man it looks like he got old overnight.

  52. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “but man it looks like he got old overnight.”

    Yeah I really just am hoping he retires. I feel we’re better off using his spot to develop the future at this point; versus whatever he has to offer now along with the likelihood of missed games. Great guy tho

  53. LakeLandBuc Says:

    The Bucs are competing against 31 other teams in Free Agency. And the player current team has the advantage of resigning him. Free Agency isn’t as simple as who has the most money. Some players only want to play for a playoff team, who is close to a Championship. Some players will go the highest bidder, and I wouldn’t touch them with a 10 foot pole. The Bottom Line is this: It’s not up to the Bucs, who they sign in Free Agency. It’s more up to the player, will he pass up 31 other teams to play in Tampa.

  54. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Do not pass on Kenny Britt….guy would be an excellent addition to our corps!

  55. Rod Munch Says:

    The team has a ton of money and they don’t have to start paying anyone for 2 years, so they can spend money, make a mistake and then have it off the board. The team has to get better at WR, and the draft isn’t the answer since most young WRs take a year or two to get into the flow of the NFL (outside of the 2014 draft this has always been the rule not the exception).

    BUT, big huge problem, everyone needs WRs and you’re going to pay dearly to get someone – in fact you will have to overpay. To which I say – who cares, overpay up front so in 2 years when you have to put Evans contract and others on the books you have money to work with.

    Also if the Bucs can trade for Antonio Brown, if he’s really available, make it happen. If a 1st and say a 3rd can get it done – then do it. I’d rather spend a 1st on a proven player like Brown than drafting a lottery ticket and hoping for the best. The cap would be the only concern and it’s not a concern with the Bucs, not now and not in 2 years either. If the Bucs get to the point that the cap is a problem, it means they actually have a collection of good players and depth, and that would be a good problem to have since it hasn’t been a problem since 2003.

  56. StPeteBucsfan Says:

    N.E. got their clocks cleaned in the first half with those “excellent” WR’s who couldn’t seem to get separation. Brady throws a pick six to end the first half.

    Atlanta’s D was on the field all night. By the 4th Q they were totally GASSED.
    Even 4.55 speed can get open against guys sucking for air.

    NE did not win that game…Atlanta lost it with a lame offense in the 2nd half and Shanahan’s moronic play calling…especially that pass call on 3rd and 1 that set up the game changing turnover. Can you say Pete Carroll redux.

    In fairness the Pats lost an SB game they probably should have won in their SB against the Giants. But the Pats did not beat Seattle or Atlanta…those two teams just lost it with mind numbing stupid play calling.

  57. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Devonta Freeman averaged 2.8 ypc in the 2nd half. And on the Drive where Ryan took 2 sacks that he didn’t need to take, he had 5 rushes for 5 yards.

    After that fantastic catch by Julio Jones to get them in Field goal range (a catch made on 3rd down if I remember correctly) They did try to run on 1st down, and lost a yard. I would have still run the ball twice and tried for a field goal, but that’s beside the point.

    The Falcons lost because they tried to rely on Matt Ryan to close out the game. He took 2 sacks on that last drive that He could have avoided, and cemented his status in history as a Professional Choke Artist.

  58. StPeteBucsfan Says:


    If they had run the ball and failed..and I certainly concede that was a possibility at that point…they could still have punted and put another 50 yards between the Pats and success.

    Furthermore THAT play made the Pats believe something special was happening.
    They were a whipped team until that moronic play…after that turnover you could see their sidelines and fans suddenly light up.

  59. Rod Munch Says:

    StPeteBucsfan – Amazing how boring people are just drawn to boring people. Ryan is the LEAGUE MVP, the most valuable player in all of football – how can you blame a coach for putting the ball in the hands of the league’s most valuable player? Matt Ryan is a choke artist. Jameis Winston, the youngest starting QB in the league, is 3-1 versus Ryan with two 4th quarter comeback wins. Ryan is fine so long as the pressure isn’t on, but once the Pats did get pressure on him they scored 31 straight points without Ryan, the league’s most valuable player, responding. If Julio doesn’t make one of the best catches I’ve ever seen then Ryan is falling apart even faster. Stop defending the guy just because he’s boring and white like yourself.

  60. FutureBucsGM Says:

    Honestly can’t tell if it has to do with my urge to rebel against the trend or if I just an uncanny ability to see the obvious. I would definitely go and get Alshon from Chicago he’s always been a strong WR2 and good run blocking ability. Get him, snatch OJ in the 1st combined with Gibson in the later rounds and we’re looking at a monster offense.

  61. Joeypoppems Says:


    “NE did not win that game ….Atlanta lost it with a lame offense in the 2nd half and Shanahan’s moronic play calling…”

    Why was the offense lame in the 2nd half? Because the Patriots defense stopped them constantly. I’m tired of hearing people talk about how bad Atlanta choked. The Patriots deserve credit. If these “moronic” plays worked then nobody would be talking about them. And like I said earlier to Nosbos, they didnt work because the Patriots defense came up big and made big plays. Saying that NE didnt earn that victory is more moronic than the play calls.

  62. Defense Rules Says:

    @Rod Munch … “Stop defending the guy (Ryan) just because he’s boring and white like yourself.” Congratulations Rod … You just won the award for the dumbest statement I’ve ever seen on JBF.

  63. Joeypoppems Says:


    Lol yea thats a pretty dumb thing to say

  64. FutureBucsGM Says:

    I rescind my statement on Dalvin Cook and OJ Howard in the first round neither is worthy.

  65. Ben Says:

    Kenny stills is a must. Fits the FA type Licht usually goes for and wont command big bucks like Jackson. Everyone seems to think the Bucs need another #1 wideout. I disagree. Evans and Brate will continue to eat up most of the targets. They just need solid depth and a couple playmakers.

  66. Fred E. Buc Says:

    Get one in FA, and draft one.