Extreme Job Security For Jason Licht?

June 13th, 2019

Out of seemingly nowhere, and coming off a playoff berth, the Houston Texans fired general manager Brian Gaine late last week and Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian smells a trend.

Polian had great things to say about Gaine, but he likened his ousting a bit to that of recently-fired Jets GM Mike Maccagnan.

“Both of these jobs were essentially personnel director jobs, the head coach controlled the process, controlled the roster, controlled who came and went, and had a loud voice in player acquisition. So they’re not typical in that regard,” Polian told his SiriusXM NFL Radio audience.

The former Bills, Panthers and Colts general manager, Polian said he’s no fan of GMs who lack any kind of significant power but those structures exist in the NFL.

Consider that Gaine jumped from being a very young Jets scout directly to the role of Cowboys director of pro scouting under Bill Parcells and Jerry Jones back in 2005. After that gig, he built a solid resume that included years as player personnel director in Houston while current head coach Bill O’Brien was there. Gaine was only in the GM role for 17 months and had three years remaining on his contract.

This all got Joe thinking about Bucs general manager Jason Licht.

One would think Licht’s job security is flimsy. There are no reports that he has a Bucs contract for 2020, and his won-loss record over five years is horrible, plus the Bucs just came off a 5-11 season staring at salary cap issues. But Joe has to think Licht’s job security is pretty good.

Look at what Polian said about GMs who are glorified personnel directors. Licht would fit that mold now and he’s super tight with Bruce Arians, who absolutely is in love with the Bucs’ 2019 draft picks. Heck, Licht got Arians the job.

But now it’s obvious Arians has ultimate power and is being served by Licht, who doesn’t have the same strong hand he had when Dirk Koetter was here.

Unless Arians somehow spooks Team Glazer with his coaching or the team performance this season, Joe totally expects Licht back for a seventh season in 2020. Why would Arians potentially make Licht a fall guy if he trusts him and has gotten whatever he wanted this offseason?

30 Responses to “Extreme Job Security For Jason Licht?”

  1. Hodad Says:

    As long as Licht has some sort of parent control, he stays, but if daddy B.A. doesn’t win, please just sell the team.

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    i think he’s standing on solid ground for the simple fact that it seems as if licht has already embedded into the brains of the glazers that the problem was coach and not talent…..which i believe is true…the problem has been lack of coaching and development….and BA has made similar comments….

    glazers have low expectations…..they’ll keep licht 1 more year even if we only win 6games which i doubt….we win 9 or more and they’ll resign him to a 3 or 4year deal….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  3. D-Rome Says:

    But now it’s obvious Arians has ultimate power and is being served by Licht, who doesn’t have the same strong hand he had when Dirk Koetter was here.

    Which is why, as I have been saying all along, Backstabbin’ Jason Licht is a horrible GM. We have all been witness to the decisions he’s made with FA, the draft, and coaching during his reign of terror and this is all prior to Band-Aid arriving.

  4. PBarber4President Says:

    I love that you wrote this Joe, as I started thinking about this a few weeks ago. When the question is asked why we kept Licht as GM, I started to wonder…

    What if he isn’t really the GM and simply manages the scouting reports, contracts, salary numbers, etc., and that Licht isn’t actually the one pulling the trigger on adding and dropping players. You can’t be fired from a job when you weren’t the final decision maker.

    Then again, I could be totally wrong but it’s a theory I’ve been floating around in my head.

  5. Bird Says:

    Totally agree

    He stays as long as arians stays

  6. Bobby M. Says:

    Koetter never had any say…..Licht was drafting players that didn’t remotely fit the schemes the coaches were running. He’s been doing that since day one and justifies it by saying he’s picking the best players available….I think we all know how that has gone. The few gems he does find end up signing with other teams…He’s inexperienced but that’s what the Glazers prefer.

  7. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    I’ll bet he holds out for a big money multi year contract with a massive power grab….. hahah…….just kidding.

    Fire Licht Tonight!!

  8. JA Says:

    Gregg Rosenthal, from nfl.com, rated from best to worst GM’s. The newbies weren’t ranked because their impact has yet to be felt.
    That whittled the number down to 25.
    At #25, we have Bruce Allen.
    At #24, Jason Licht arrives as the second worst.
    At #22, John Lynch appears.
    Seeing a trend here?

    I’m not versed enough to know the credential levels of Rosenthal. Maybe someone could enlighten me.
    The rankings were published only three weeks ago, making them current.
    The only “scientific” evidence I can ascertain from this dubious group of current and ex-Buccaneers is that … it must be in the water!

    Lastly, if Joe has previously broached this subject I apologize. Must have missed it …

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    D-Rome … Au contraire, Bucs stunk it up when JL was calling the personnel shots. BA is a lot of things, but one of them is NOT a Band Aid. BA & TB are setting the same type of foundation that Tony Dungy & Monte Kiffin set when they arrived in 1996. Hopefully ownership will ‘stay the course’ this time instead of playing the coach-flipping game like we’ve played for the past 10 years.

    I’m convinced that Licht started off as Lovie’s lapdog, but that lapdog eventually bit him in the arse it seems. Promoting Dirk Koetter to HC & dual-hatting him as OC was JL’s worst personnel move IMO (and he’s had quite a few). But getting Bruce Arians to come onboard will turn out to be JL’s best personnel move. Give it time.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Just goes to show…no matter how much the haters push their anti-Licht agenda and claim he isn’t any good, he actually is among the best…at least so far as drafts, trades and cap.

  11. Prada...sec 147 Says:

    Follow the Licht !

  12. SCBucsFan Says:

    I think as the NFL moves forward its going in the opposite direction of MLB; front offices run teams in MLB, coaches run them in the NFL. It means can Licht get on Arians’ page with how he wants the franchise run… if he can, he stays as long as BA is here.

  13. TBUC North Carolina Says:

    I agree Gump should stay within the organization…. he could thrive as the Swashbuckler/Cheerleading personnel coordinator! And official Team Beer evaluator!! That’s about it folks. Wake up people. Dude is horrific as a GM. Might be worse than Keim

  14. Magadude Says:

    Great thought piece here, Joe.

    If the Bucs have a good year, sure, great chance Licht stays. And I think Arians stays (if health permits) for at least another year regardless of what happens this year to the Bucs or to Licht.

    But there is no reason to think if they are sub .500 and/or don’t go to the playoffs AND have arrows pointing up as the season ends, that the Glazers won’t dump Licht. Arians doesn’t need or want a fall guy, likely true…but he is well below the strategic decision making of the ownership, with the problem set the owners have. Influence? Yes. But that’s the extent of it.

    I would not put much stock in comparing and contrasting what other owners do with what the Bucs do or may do, though there is intrigue. Like it or not, the Glazers are not like the others, and the Bucs have their own train wreck and accompanying dilemmas, from cap issues to consistent losing to Winston’s issues to being in a small market where ticket buyers are bleeding off like crazy.

  15. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Licht will go as far as BA goes. I don’t see one succeeding and one failing here. Their futures are tied together. Ideal situation is instant success and then BA moving to a front office role like Tom Coughlin eventually while Licht/scouts/etc do his dirty work.

    The issue has been the general front office dynamic management between head coach / GM and the coaches that have been hired, more so than Jason Licht.

    Mark Dominic was the last and only GM we knew that was actually truly running the personnel show through various coaches IMO.

    With Licht/Lovie it seemed Lovie ran it.

    With LIcht/DIrk & Mike it seemed Licht ran it but there was a huge disconnect in the drafted players vs how they were used.

    With Licht/BA it’s BA/Bowles running it.

    Licht’s future is tied to BA

  16. Allbuccedup Says:

    Bucs have a better season than the last two JL will stay. Six wins or less who knows.

  17. Race to 10 Says:

    He stays as long as BA stays? So if the team is winning when BA retires you start off with a new coach and gm? Lol no wonder fan opinions are taken seriously. He either gets fired after this season or gets the contract he’s been hoping for. BA kinds trying to make sure everyone is set up for success when he retires it seems

  18. Lord Cornelius Says:

    We don’t even know that Licht has hired any coach.

    Koetter could have easily been a Glazer move.

    Licht recruited BA so we at least can point the finger at that being an obvious connection but other than that who knows at this point

  19. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Even if we go 0-16, Gump is here for another year with BA

    Glazers DO NOT fire Head coaches after 1 year when they sign them with a 3 year guaranteed contracts

    BA will not coach with another GM next year

    When Gump hoodwinked the gullible Glazers into giving over 21 million 3 year guaranteed money to retired BSing BA, he gave himself a 2 year contract”

    Kobe “No BSing” Faker

  20. doolnutts Says:

    Lord Cornelius – hits the nail on the head and this is really why I think Licht is here. Lovie Smith brought in Licht that much we know is clear as day. What we don’t know when Glazer’s fired Lovie is was it Licht’s idea to hire Koetter? Was it ownership? Maybe both?

    Logically speaking just looking at how things ended up… I would have to assume Glazers spared Licht because he hasn’t made his own pick at HC. Glazers have shown us one thing consistently and that is they are trigger happy to fire GM’s, coaches etc. If this was all on Licht we would have to assume he would be gone already?

    I think Glazers got together toward the middle to end of last season and basically said “Jason, we are going in a different direction come up with a plan to save the team.” Jason’s plan was Bruce Arians and this would in turn be his first true hire.

    Either way for me I really don’t care I just want to win and make playoffs.. Enough is enough.

  21. Kobe Faker Says:


    WTF! Klueless was 100% Gumps hire

    Stick with +s and -s and numbers,

    Kobe will handle matters pertaining to physiological, psychological and conspiracy theory”

    Kobe tin foil Faker

  22. FrankPillow Says:

    Joes- I’m surprised you haven’t done some more digging to confirm (or deny) that Licht was extended for several years/the duration of Bruce’s contract.

  23. Lord Cornelius Says:


    lol I’ve asked on here multiple times – Who hired Koetter? – hoping that Joe or someone would have the know it all.

    As far as I’ve read – and you know I like you have an unhealthy habbit of keeping up with Bucs news – no writer has ever definitely said who was behind the hire of Dirk Koetter (i.e. a Jason Licht decision or Glazer one).

    And yes I will stick with the +s / -s because math/facts can’t be debated lol – only what they imply.

    Agree that Gump getting BA basically was the biggest job security move he could have pulled.

  24. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Buc Bonzee declaring Licht Weight as one of the best GMs around reminds me why he was the co-founder of the Stick Holder movement. Yikes

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    Speaking of Polian did you read that great front page ESPN story about the AAF they have posted today? It’s really good and interesting. Anywho Polian, in my mind, comes off as completely out of touch with reality and wanting to spend the AAF into bankruptcy before it even began. Anywho, it’s a must read from the normally useless ESPN.

  26. T REX Says:

    Wash, rinse, repeat


    Wash, rinse, repeat.


  27. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Licht saved his job by bringing in Arians

    Sometimes it’s more about who you know then if you are actually good at your job

    Awfully run organization from top to bottom

  28. Destinjohnny Says:


  29. Brandon Says:

    Licht has always served the head coach and found, drafted, and signed the players the head coach wanted. Not much has changed.

  30. DT25 Says:

    Not so sure Licht had as strong of a hand as so many are convinced he did with Koetter. He’s always been a coach’s GM. He gets players his coaches believe can help the team. For much of the Koetter/Smith years (and very obviously during the Lovie years), that’s what he’s done. Not much is going to change with Arians. He will continue to give his coaching staff a heavy hand in personnel decisions. Let’s just hope Arians and Bowles are better at using the guys we get than the past 2 coaching staffs were.