Gaining Ground On Jason Licht’s Terms

March 10th, 2017


Buc fans don’t know how good they have it right now.

Have you seen what’s going on around the National Football League? Mayhem. Crazy stuff. These people are nuts.

The Redskins are threatening to bump the Browns off their perch as the league’s most dysfunctional franchise.

Former Bucs GM Bruce Allen is the ringmaster of this circus in the nation’s capital, managing to retain his power despite doing very little right in the executive suite for the past 15 years. Does this guy have compromising photos of Daniel Snyder in his office safe?

The Jaguars, hacked off about last year’s debacle, lost their minds and emptied their wallets in free agency. With Tom Coughlin now calling the shots, Jacksonville took the old Redskins approach and threw money around like a tipsy sailor.

Guess what? None of that will matter unless the Jags straighten out Blake Bortles, who looked lost at sea in 2016.

The Browns are stockpiling draft picks like they’re the NFL’s version of the Philadelphia 76ers. It seeMs like they’ve been in rebuilding mode since Robert De Niro was still acting in good movies.

With all that cash to spend, how about adding proven players?

Our Terms

The Bears decided to fork over $16 million to Mike Glennon this upcoming season, knowing he has thrown all of 11 passes since Jameis Winston arrived in Tampa two years ago.

In the midst of all the madness, the Bucs go about their business quietly, content to make their news in September.

Yes, DeSean Jackson was a high-profile free agent, but the Bucs signed him on their terms. He’ll get his money, but it’s not crazy money. I’ll be surprised if Jackson is still playing for Tampa Bay past 2018, but that’s alright.

For two years, he’ll be the deep threat missing around these parts since Joey Galloway was running down balls from Chris Simms and Jeff Garcia. Jackson won’t make a lot of catches, but they will be big ones.

Mike Evans moves the chains as well as any wide receiver in pro football.

Jackson moves the needle.

Ground Gained

Chis Baker will fit in nicely as a rotational defensive tackle, but I’m not going to be a hypocrite — Calais Campbell would have made more of an impact.

The problem was Campbell triggered a bidding war. By the time the Jaguars and Broncos stopped their dollar dance, Campbell waltzed away with a massive contract.

Baker represents good value for Tampa Bay (less than half of Campbell’s salary) but don’t let anyone try to convince you he’s a better player than Campbell.

He’s not.

Coming away with Jackson and Baker on Day 1 is a solid start for Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter. They addressed a pair of needs and received the blessing of the Glazers, who surely had to sign off on the Jackson deal.

Now there’s more work to be done and I’ve got a feeling the Buc brain trust is just getting started.

The running back issue must be resolved and there are plenty of intriguing options looming in the draft. Adding a veteran center makes sense, a bridge anchor who can keep Ali Marpet at right guard.

Safety is still a concern, even if Bradley McDougald returns to join Chris Conte and Keith Tandy. That’s not a championship trio, and depth at cornerback looks spotty at this point.

If that sounds like a scary scenario, it’s not. Look at all the teams who are still looking for the right guy under center.

The Bucs have that guy, and that’s half the battle.

Fans in Atlanta, Charlotte and New Orleans have to admit the Bucs gained ground on the rest of the NFC South on Thursday.

Get used to it.

Tampa Bay’s only Hall of Fame voter, Ira Kaufman. churns out columns for every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, plus podcasts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

18 Responses to “Gaining Ground On Jason Licht’s Terms”

  1. Giovanni Says:

    Go bucs!!

  2. Strider ....Sec 147 Says:

    Let’s carry that big mofo stick all offseason

  3. Destinjohnny Says:

    When we need to Blow a pick on a kicker when we have needs coming out our pie hole…. Jason is the man

  4. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Stop with the Calais Campbell lamentations already Ira.
    You know I have mad love for you, but I disagree with you about Campbell.
    He was a 3-4 defensive player, not a 4-3 player, and would have to learn our defense all over again, at age 30.
    Plus, I have to trust that Jason Licht knows something none of us do about Campbell, since he is so close to the Cardinals.

    I agree about Bruce Allen, the Redskins are a real mess, and lost 1/2 their team.

  5. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I think IRA explained why we didn’t get Campbell. This happens every year in FA. It only takes ONE GM to offer an absurd contract to make an FA unattractive to other teams. We’ve done it ourselves with that stupid wad of cash for Ghost Johnson.

    When two GM’s start bidding against each other there is little likelihood the FA will be a value…Denver and Jax just made Campbell completely overpriced. An excellent player but at how many $$$ ? Apparently Licht thinks not as many as JAX ponied up.

  6. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Bucs doing all the right things right now. Jason Licht seems to know the value of his dollars and the roster is really only lacking some depth, which there’s plenty of cap space and draft picks to take care of that. I agree with Ira. Free agency usually shines a light on franchises that are unraveling, and for the first time in long time the Bucs are looking like a team that’s making the right moves.

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    Nice take…

  8. Tampa Tony Says:

    Ira keep the failed attempts at snarky humor to the Joes. Deniro’s roles in David O Russell’s recent films are all great

  9. unbelievable Says:

    Spot on Ira, as usual.

    We need upgrades at RT and C, and need to address depth at CB, S, and LB.

    I would expect some depth to be address in FA, but the rest will come through the draft (as it should). Really liking the TE, WR, and RB groups in the draft this year.

  10. d-roca Says:

    Great stuff as always ira. The qb is more than half the battle tho. We are lucky we had lovie for that year. Jackson will nove the needle!! Cant wait to see the rest of FA and the draft. Im starting to think mccafrey would be a great pick, assuming cooks gone. I think he would add more juice and finally give us a return game. Go bucs

  11. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Speaking of Glennon and Chicago, my friends up in Chi Town are sick to their stomach’s, getting rid of Cutler, and grabbing Glennon.
    Plus, they lost several key players, so they are sort of in the type of shock Redskin fans are in lately.
    I am thinking either the Jets, Denver or Houston will grab Cutler, especially if he agrees to a pay cut.

  12. Eric Denman Says:

    Great read as always Ira. Our biggest needs are a Center and secondary help for sure.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Excellent assessment Ira. Was really hoping we could land Campbell, but not at $15 mil per season. Agree totally that “safety is still a concern” even if we re-sign McDougald. Priority need now to add a quality starting safety either in FA or the draft, as well as another starting-quality DE & LB. Somehow, someway Bucs have to upgrade our OLine … trade, FA or draft, doesn’t matter.

  14. Kevin V. Says:

    Well stated Ira!

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The only spot lacking a starter is Center. And don’t give me this bull about Evans moving to center. There was a reason he was moved OUT of that spot. He sucked there. Even botched a bunch of snaps.

    With Hawley gone, we have no starter at center.

    RT is a huge need too, but we technically have a ‘starter’. If you want to call him that. But center is the most important and hard to fill spot on the line.

  16. Pickgrin Says:

    Nice Ira.

    Glad to see at least 1 writer at OJP (One Joe Place) is aware that our safeties are not talented enough to be content with.

    You mentioned the likely hood that Bruce Allen must have compromising pictures of Snyder – its funny because I’ve always thought for sure that Mark Dominik has the same type of pictures of at least 1 of the Joes….

  17. SOE buc Says:

    Good center in FA, oj Howard in first, Budda Baker in two. Buyah.

  18. Destinjohnny Says:

    Deepest wideout draft in 15 years
    You can get a banger at 19.
    Best player available at that pick should be a db
    Of course would rather have Oj Howard but he will be long gone.