Tired Of Whiffing

March 24th, 2019

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Free agency the past few years has not been kind to the Bucs. The draft has been a bigger success.

So is this why the Bucs this just sat on the sidelines and picked through leftovers rather than trying to sign a difference-maker, deciding to put their efforts into an area of team-building in which they have had a much higher batting average?

Jenna Laine of ESPN makes the case that’s exactly what happened.

Holding on to six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy, who counts $13 million against the salary gap, limited the Bucs’ spending options. So instead of shopping for Gucci, they got Michael Kors — still a reliable brand without the hefty investment — stretching what little cash they had into addressing needs at wide receiver, offensive guard, safety, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, kicker and punter.

No outside free agent other than punter Bradley Pinion was signed for more than one year or will earn more than $4 million in guaranteed money (Breshad Perriman). This unquestionably made it more challenging to compete for talent, but the Bucs found players such as linebacker Deone Bucannon and guard Earl Watford who have a strong familiarity with the new staff.

Considering how many failed free agents they’ve had under GM Jason Licht (Michael Johnson, Anthony Collins and Alterraun Verner, to name a few) versus success in the draft (Evans, Winston, Marpet, Smith, Kwon Alexander and Chris Godwin) and with undrafted free agents (Cameron Brate and Adam Humphries), it’s no wonder the team has put more emphasis on what it has done well in recent years — drafting and developing young talent.

In so many words, it seems Laine is saying Licht got burned way too many times playing with matches so now he has moved on to throwing rocks at moving cars.

This all seems very logical except when it comes to last year and the dreaded franchise curse of second-round picks.

This team has been snake-bit so bad on second-round picks for years, dating back to Chucky’s administration. Joe is almost of the mind Licht and the Bucs are better off trading second-round picks for players who have shown they can produce (missing out on Dee Ford is a perfect example, who the Chiefs moved for a second-round pick).

Last year, Licht looked to have produced a haul of second-round picks by trading back. Instead, only one of those three second-round picks has shown remote signs of an NFL life.

33 Responses to “Tired Of Whiffing”

  1. Jean Lafitte Says:

    The two CB’s were thrown to the wolves their rookie season with Davis faring the better. Jones wasn’t trusted enough from a paranoid Head Coach who was constantly being reminded his job was on the line. 25 total carries is unfair to label him a bust.

    As much as you guys love Ford, it will be interesting to see if he lives up to that fat juicy contract. Of course we would’ve had to pay more. He better be in the top 5 for that cash.

  2. Ndog Says:

    Jean for once I 100% agree with your comment. Nice job!!!!

  3. Not there yet Says:

    Not sure why this joe keeps bringing up Dee Ford. They didn’t miss out on Dee Ford the dude had two double digit sacks seasons and no one was talking about him until last year. He’s 28 and we’d be trying to replace him in two years also. Joe you love the one year wonders to try and prove a point. Verner and Anthony Collins and that first haul of free agents were all Lovie guys. Chris bakers would have been a better example though. Dee Ford has not had a great career unless two good seasons count and will probably have lynch updating his resume the way he threw away money this off-season

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Hopefully we’ve now got some adult supervision in the draft room. BA’s as much of a gambler as Licht is. Assuming that he’s calling the shots, the only question in my mind is … ‘Is he better at gambling than Jason was?’

    Bucs MUST hit on picks 1 & 2 as starters (hopefully MLB & RG), with quality rotational players out of 2 of the remaining picks (RB & DLine). IF that happens, we’ve got a chance of having a respectable season (assuming of course that Jameis plays to the talent-level that everyone assumed he’d be when we drafted him).

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Dee Ford = Ghost Johnson.

    And Joe is completely wrong on last year’s picks.

    By the way…Ali Marpet.

  6. martinii Says:

    Free agency is the perfect example of a “Crap shoot,” For every one high priced performer you sign you get 3-4 high priced disappointments.( JPP/ Johnson, Collins, Jackson,) Take a flyer and you get a Nassib. I agree the way to go is through the draft.Also the more you spend in FA the worse the results. Patriots in contrast to the Browns and Buc’s. I am more optimistic with the bargain basement FA selections we took this year than the high priced names we have acquired over the past several years. Finally we seldom speak of the chemistry between a player and the team he winds up on. Someone should write a book about the stars that were traded from one team and instantly became mediocre on their new team and visa versa. The older I get the more I emphasize coaching.

  7. Bad Influence Says:

    Joe, your comedy skills are vastly underrated, but the best in the biz. 😊

    “In so many words, it seems Laine is saying Licht got burned way too many times playing with matches so now he has moved on to throwing rocks at moving cars.”

  8. Bucs Guy Says:

    Yes add ROJO to the list of busts.

  9. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Be Afraid…Be very afraid

    We know what happened to Klueless Koetter when he crossed pitbull Jenna Laine

    Run Forrest Run”

    Kobe Faker

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You left out Peyton Barber as a successful Licht UDFA

    After saying you we have no money…..you continue to whine about not acquiring Dee Ford and spending $17 mil (obsessed?)

    Now, as far as the FA busts……can’t we also blame some of that on coaches? There are FAs that performed quite well before and after they were Bucs.

    Take a FA like Bradley McDougald……I suspect the coaches are the ones that didn’t want him retained…..not Light. Same with DJ Swearinger.

    I suspect the ones we get now will outperform their salaries.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Jenna is spot on in her assessment of Licht”s attempts at free agency, often
    making it necessary to scour waiver wires and practice squad rosters.
    His second round mistakes have hurt the team,with the exception of Smith and
    Marpet. Licht needs to move away from specialists in the draft. We need RB who can catch and run with the ball equally well. IMO, a DE pick should be able to both stop the run and rush the passer. One can only guess why Spence barely played.
    My guess is that he was a liability in run support and hadn’t developed enough moves other than the speed rush. In his defense the shoulder injuries didn’t
    help his progress.

  12. isrBuc Says:

    Is JL really a “draft guru” as joe makes it sound? I mean, is drafting JW, evans and howard really requires GM and scouting dept? JL was drafting high most seasons. Some guys were no brainers and you also have to look at guys he DIDN’T pick while he could have not to mention his flops. I don’t see him as a good GM on any aspect.
    Where the bucs are for all these years i’d expect the GM to make a bold move and start over. It seems like GL is gust floating and trying to keep his job.
    Now he brings in a coach to take over and oversee him like it was with Lovie.
    JL will have to pay the price if JW won’t pan out. Everyone outside of tampa think JW’s experiment should be over. If it fails JL must go with him

  13. JA Says:


    Agree with you about agreeing with Jean.
    That said, I feel something is “off” with his comment. It actually made sense!
    My guess is that someone hijacked his preferred joebucs input device and posted a lucid comment to mess with the 19th century pirate’s mind …

  14. El Buco Realisto Says:

    What happened to all of the Joe’s and sheep “Hold Them Accountable”?????? Where is the “status woe” and “definition of insanity”?????????? or was that just for coaches they did not like????????

    The Question needs to be is when Players and GM’s “be held accountable”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2019 will reveal answers to the sheep, that the “Real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Licht has not done well in the draft in the second round. One reason is his
    drafting of specialists, aka Aguayo ,Spence and Rojo. We need good all round football players that have more than one skill. I want my DE to be able to play the
    run as well as he rushes the passer. This team has too many holes to require
    two DE’s for one position.; Same with RoJo, his pass receiving skills limited him to spot duty. As for Aquayo his kicking percentage trended down after his stellar first year at FSU.

  16. Noles Says:

    JL has drafted horribly & is why we are here & had to take shots at free agents because he keeps missing in the draft.. at least 5 missed 2nd round picks… he has only been here 5 years & 1 -6 in the 2nd round should get your fired & is why we have no depth. Ali Marpet is only good 2nd rd pick… we could have gotten Davis in 3rd or later… JL needs to go

    Noah Spence
    Roberto Agauyo
    Ronald Jones
    mj Stewart
    Carlton Davis ( not as hood as Other DB’s we could have picked before him in tound 2)

  17. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Reaching for M J Stewart was also questionable, his lack of speed hurt us in coverage. So whats left for him,he isn’t going to be any faster at safety which is a problem at safety, IMO. So is he going to be play in the box to stop the run where Whitehead did pretty well as a rookie and was a later round draft pick? Much like Stewart should have been if at all.

  18. BucHead5588 Says:

    TampaBayBucFan I Agree with you I think we will see a Dramatic jump in this teams players just from good coaching let’s let these coaches coach thiesr young guys up im pumped for the Bucs to finally have Coaches hold them accountable an I really feel like RoJo just never had any confidence he’s 21 BA will get him going Good Coaching Player Development New Winning Culture GoBucs

  19. Bculaw Says:

    Licht has seen “his guys” go 5-11 the last two years and still kept his job. Seems to me like his best chance at job security is to have “his guys” win with better coaching. Loads on this site have been blaming Licht for a lack of talent. Well, if BA turns the bus around with the current roster, then it will prove that the talent was never the problem. Win for the the Bucs. Win for BA. Major win for Licht.

    Of course, if BA goes 5-11 with this roster, then our new GM will have quite the sh*+! show to clean up.

  20. OneBuc55 Says:


    Rojo is not a bust after only 1 season…44 total carries last season is hardly enough of a sample size to determine what we had in him…

    Instead of finding a way to utilize his speed/skill set by finding creative ways to get him the ball the previous coaching staff decided to basically leave him on the shelf…

    An argument could be made that the previous staff didn’t develop anyone the entire time they were here…

  21. Jeagan1999 Says:

    When you look objectively at the facts, the Bucs have done a poor job of adding NFL quality talent (especially “elite” talent=top 10 in the league) to the roster over the years. Mike Evans and OJ Howard are pretty much the only “elite” players I would consider on this roster. We don’t have an elite QB! We don’t have anywhere near elite RB’s! Our O-line is average to mediocre at best (Marpet is a good player, but probably not top 10). Outside of JPP and occasional GMC flashes, our D-line is totally underperforming. Lavonte David is a good, not great, Linebacker. And our secondary has been burnt so much, it might as well be a sandwich (with Swiss cheese, because of all the holes). Special teams….I won’t even deign to respond to that laughingstock.

    So there’s our team….a fantastic WR who can really be a gamechanger, and a young TE who is already great and getting better! A good young Guard. A30 year old one handed DE who can still wreak a little havoc, a solid, if undersized LB, and…..What else? A QB who can’t get above a 2-1 TD/INT ratio? A stable of running backs who average 3 yards a carry? Offensive and defensive lines that are both near the bottom of the league standings? A linebacker Corp is called on to do too much? And a secondary that has had so many new top draft picks added over the years, and still allows opposing QB’s to complete 70% of their passes!

    I’m beginning to think that a blindfolded chimpanzee throwing darts at names on a wall could have drafted nearly as well as we have over the last 5 years or so.

  22. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    defense rules, what makes you think lovie and koetter didnt influence dradt picks? As much money as they paid smitty to stay I wouldnt doubt ownership gave yhe greenlight to listen to his input on picks. The only bust I can put 100% on licht is kenny bell and thats really not a busy because he was a fifth rounder, but wveryone knew bell was lichts pick.

    Lovie hired licht so no question there. I feel many people have misevaluated Jason Licht as a GM , FAILING to consider the power ranks among him and the coaches at the time. BA is going to instantly have a positive effect

  23. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I wish one of our researcher here did a comparison of how ALL NFL teams fared in FA.

    Here is a conclusion from NFL.com

    “The results of building a team through free agency have been mixed. It is certainly another piece of the roster-building puzzle but is rarely successful when desperate teams try to salve their wounds quickly and, often expensively, through free agency.”

    Are we…have we always been the latter..a desperate team?

    And NO it’s not because of Licht’s drafting. He hits as well or better as all the other NFL GM’s. Simply listing his failures without listing his successes is a truly LAZY form of poor posting. Give both sides of the story.

    AGAIN!!! This year’s FA proves Licht’s skill…losing a 4th round pick and a UDFA to big contracts. How bad could those picks have been? And then there is D. Smith who would have cashed in big time and Ali Marpet who we wisely locked up before FA.

    I could list plenty of others but some here seem to want to focus on failure. As the Zen saying goes…you’ll see where you place your attention! Focus on the misses and that’s what YOU see.
    Focus on the successes and that’s what I see!

  24. Gambelero Says:

    Like El Realisto, I thought “status woe” was a brilliant and depressingly apropos descriptor for the state of the Bucs. I think Joe dropped it last year after the JPP signing—or maybe it after Smith was finally let go.

    It is even more spot-on now than anytime I can remember.

  25. Hodad Says:

    Why does everyone point to Marpet as some sort of magical pick? He’s on his third line position in four years. He’s being paid like a pro bowler, but has never been an one, or an all pro. He’s an average linemen over paid by Jason Gump, period. Nice dude, and that’s what counts with Buc fans.

  26. The Coroner Says:

    Jason Licht – Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up!

  27. #1bucfan Says:

    Honestly guys Rojo didn’t really get a chance to show his mojo. Wen he did he was met in the back field by the opposing team. Give him a chance. I believe with better blocking an coaching he will rid himself of the unfair label that has bin placed on him. Honestly that should go to all the picks that are still on the team. Ownership must think it was just coaching an not talent. We all might be surprised at a huge turnaround this team will have with better coaching now

  28. rrsrq Says:

    This years 2nd and next years 2nd for Patrick Peterson

  29. Phillip Says:

    23 carries in a vanilla offense that knew when RoJo actually saw the field meant he was getting the ball.. must be a bust 🙄

    I forgot Dirk handled Freeman so well in his rookie year as well

  30. Jeffbuc Says:

    Joe why are you in love with Dee ford. Teams don’t let elite players at a prime position get away for second round picks. Mack got 2 1st round picks because he is elite. Ford played defense on a team that was the highest scoring team in the league. So all teams were forced to throw it a lot. So he could just pin his ears back and rush the passer and still had only 8. That’s 5.5 less than jpp on a horrible team that was playing from behind most of the game. If he was so elite he would have had a lot more than 8.5 sacks. Houston who was injured and missed games and everyone says is damaged goods had that many sacks in the same defense. Get over ford. I would rather have Noah Spence on a rookie contract than ford for 18 million a year.

  31. Joe Says:

    Jeff Buc:

    Can tell you didn’t watch the Chiefs much if at all.

  32. Joe Says:

    You left out Peyton Barber as a successful Licht UDFA

    Is he? Barber averages 50 yards a game. That’s not what Joe deems “successful.”

  33. Loyaltotheend Says:


    Ford averaged 6 sacks a year definitely not elite. 18 million for a inconsistent player is insane. Our roster is filled with inconsistent underperforming players don’t need another