Jason Licht Tried To Trade Up Multiple Times

April 27th, 2020

Peter King joined the Buccaneers’ war room during Round 1

NBC Sports super insider Peter King was a virtual guest of the Buccaneers on opening night of the NFL Draft.

He basically heard everything from general manager Jason Licht’s mouth in real-time and wrote about it.

Here’s a small excerpt of the much larger story in King’s renowned Monday column.

9:32. Licht takes a moment. Raiders on the clock. Should he up the offer? Yes. He will. He calls Mayock and offers three, five and six while getting a three back. “Okay. Okay. Thanks Mike.” Licht hangs up and tells the Cisco group: “Doesn’t matter what we offer. They’re staying.” You can sense the disbelief. Later, Licht said: “Everybody was looking at each other on the videoconference, kind of putting their hands up, like, I don’t know what the hell’s going on here. Nobody wants to give us their pick. I was getting a little bit antsy, I should say.”

9:33. Thinking. Staring. No talk. Two minutes go by. Niners are next.

  1. Raiders take wide receiver Henry Ruggs.

9:36. “I don’t think we can mess around here,” Licht says, as San Francisco (13) goes on the clock. But why? Why not just sit at 14 and pick the last tackle of the great prospects, Tristan Wirfs of Iowa? Licht had some intel that Niners starting left tackle Joe Staley was going to retire. So the free world was certain this next pick for the Niners was a great wide receiver or Javon Kinlaw, the defensive tackle who could replace the traded DeForest Buckner. Licht said: “Call A.P.” John Spytek, the personnel director, had been talking with San Francisco VP of player personnel Adam Peters during the week. Licht wanted this deal, and he wanted it now. “The Staley stuff scared me,” Licht said later. “The Niners could definitely be a tackle team.”

9:37. The GM side of Licht’s brain didn’t want to move up one spot and surrender a good pick (fourth round, 117 overall), while getting a seven in return. He know it might take that, but he wasn’t ready to make the offer yet. “A six,” he tells Spytek. “Start with that.” Spytek calls Peters.

Man, the Bucs were determined to trade up, though per the NFL.com report with Adam Silver embedded similarly with the Jaguars’ draft, the Bucs didn’t get a trade-up deal done with the Jaguars at No. 9 because Jacksonville wouldn’t return a sixth-round pick.

Joe wonders what player wasn’t worth trading up for because of no extra sixth-round pick kicked back? Odd.

Regardless, it’s an intriguing report from King, but what’s missing is the voices on the other end of Licht and his team’s phone calls with other team. The Vikings (No. 22 overall pick), per King, tried to trade up with the Bucs, but Licht wasn’t interested. Joe suspects that deal would have netted the Bucs a third-round pick.

29 Responses to “Jason Licht Tried To Trade Up Multiple Times”

  1. Op Says:

    I can’t imagine a scenario where trading down to 22 is worth losing Wirfs. Missing out on a top tackle and leaving a day 2 player to protect Brady is just asking for trouble.

  2. ItzOK Says:

    What we all realy want to know is if the Bucs were able to get to 9 and had their pick of three tackles I doubt Wirfs a guard not tackle and combine darling would have been the pick.

  3. mark2001 Says:

    Beat me to it Joe, as usual…just read the article on PFT rumor mill…. very insightful…particularly for those guys that think Licht just sat there and did nothing to get that tackle. For fellow fans, just so you know it isn’t nearly as easy to get where you want to be as we may have speculated.

  4. ©MadMax Says:

    Nice! We were probably going after Wills first since he’s RT only and fast at it. All good though, landing Wirfs is just as awesome.

  5. Sarasota Garey Says:

    And to think people had us taking Josh Jones, and he fell to the 3rd, now that would have been a reach, we got lucky.

  6. mark2001 Says:

    The Panthers were set on taking defensive tackle Derrick Brown, with Bucs director of pro scouting Rob McCartney telling Licht “I don’t think they’d deal even if we offer next year’s one.” Likewise, the Cardinals wouldn’t take Licht’s call, content to choose linebacker-safety Isaiah Simmons. They then offered a third- and a fourth-rounder to Jacksonville to move up to nine, but the Jaguars preferred to sit tight and take cornerback C.J. Henderson. With the Browns and Jets clearly looking for tackles themselves, calls were made, but the reality was they weren’t likely partners.

    While batting offers back and forth with the Raiders, the Vikings called with an offer to trade back to 22, but Licht quickly shot that down, and then got shot down by the Raiders so they could take receiver Henry Ruggs.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Fun stuff. In the end it still came down to ‘the luck of the draw’. Wirfs falling past #12 was unbelievable (the ‘lucky’ part), and us moving up 1 spot made perfect sense, even at the cost of a 4th Rnder. Lynch obviously knew exactly who he was targeting (Kinlaw) and managed to get an extra pick in the process. Well played.

  8. Leighroy Says:

    Joe, Something doesn’t jive between King and Michael (not Adam) Silver. King quotes Licht as “Straight up, 76 and 117,” while Silver noted the sticking point was Licht asking four a 6 in return. King makes no mention of that stipulation, and if it had happened I would think it wouldn’t have been left out of what was still a very intriguing peak behind the curtain by King. What gives?

  9. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    What about the rumor of the Bucs trying to trade BACK into the first round…anything to that story…T or F at least

  10. Stanglassman Says:

    I’d like to hear the backstory on the Saints jumping in front of the Bucs to grab that Miss St Qb Tommy Stevens. Is this the first trove of Intell to be funneled from Jameis to the Saints?

  11. mark2001 Says:

    Leeroy…think it would be impossible to trade a third and forth, straight up, for a top 10 pick. Based upon value and such, would have to believe that they were in addition to our 1st round pick. So possibly someone misunderstood what was being said. I honestly can’t imagine anyone trading a first round pick for a third and forth….I’d be trading third and forths every year for a top 10 pick, if that were the case, as would every drafting team.

  12. '79 Defense Says:

    I just read the full article. Great stuff and very interesting to hear all of the back .and forth, how hectic it gets, and how these guys have to make decisions very quickly on what to offer or what to accept.

  13. Afo Says:

    Nobody cares about a QB that’s not gon start in 5 years, a lot of team have wasted day 3 picks looking for the next Brady, out of the day 3 QB only 5% makes it to be a starter in the league for 5-10 years or more, it’s high time we know development of QB is more of miss than hits.
    Congratulations to BA and Litch for the successful draft, thru drafted smart and all the people drafted will definitely make an impact like last year. #Gobucs

  14. JGhotier Says:

    These are one of my favorite types of articles to read. Love the insight. Great read!

  15. View from 132 Says:

    Agree with JGhotier… the rest of us are just fans, including the journalists and the bloggers… the thinking is very different when your career and the career of everyone around you is on the line with those decisions and phone calls. I like the focus, honestly… “best player available” is fine when we are a defending champ picking 32. Right now, the Bucs had specific needs.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Without seeing the Bucs draft board, we’ll never really know what went on…..

    It’s very easy to second guess trades but remember “it takes two to tango”…

    I’m happy giving up a 4th for Wirfs…..and giving up a 4th for Gronk…..not so happy with the $10 mil given our cap restraints….

  17. Sarasota Garey Says:

    Now we need to go sign Devonta Freeman

  18. Richard Dickson Says:

    Yeah, hopefully this will remind the “WHY DIDN’T WE TRADE UP?!?!?” crowd that there has to be a willing partner to do that.

  19. Brandon Says:

    Never been a huge fan of King but sometimes his columns contain interesting info. I just wonder if he came from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle school of writing and thinks he still gets paid per word. That dude can rack up the word count like no other.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Some people are so determined to hate on Jason Licht that they will never be satisfied,

  21. Leighroy Says:

    Thanks Mark, I see it was unclear but that’s not what I was asking. The implication by King was a swap of 1’s plus a 3 & 4, but Silver reported there was a condition about a 6 in return from Jax that King made no mention of. This is the discrepancy

  22. TOM Says:

    Saying this was a successful draft is a little premature. Lets wait & see how these players pan out. I would love to sit in a NFL draft room & watch what goes on. Of course I do hope all the players they picked turns out for the good even some of the UDFA’s. I like to root for the under dog. (UDFA) Could PR give us a run down on the UDFA. Any they feel have a good chance to make the team. Intrigued by Sinnett, Molchon & Shackleford.

  23. Pryda...sec147 Says:

    Super cool for Peter King let’s get Ira into the war room next year

  24. teacherman777 Says:

    We got Vita Vea at #13. Who has become the best D-lineman from his draft class.

    Now we got Wirfs at #13. Hopefully, the best RT in the league.

    But we still have Cappa at RG!!

    What are we doing!?

  25. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    Although I’m still unsure whether Wirfs plays G or T I still like the pick and the trade as well. Lynch gave the heads up to prevent them from moving further than they had to as well. The fourth we gave up was vital but all players drafted were good and versatile. Vaughn may turn into a third down blocking back which will go along to solidify our 3rd down offense gives the line extra time to block on a crucial down. Johnson sounds he may compete in the slot pushing Miller off the team unless he can return kicks. Davis I feel will replace Gohlston at end. Winfield was the best selection overall. Good trade in the end the Bucs ended up not missing those 4ths at all getting great value in the seventh round and still finding a quality depth RB in the 3rd. If anything the Bucs maybe could’ve used one more heavy DT with one of the fourth

  26. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    Now I feel better about Gump getting his lunch money stolen again.

    He actually made a decision based on “intel”. What a concept!

  27. DerrickBrooksGOATLB Says:

    LOL at Mike Mayock. He wouldn’t take a 3/5/6 for a 3 to swap 1st rounders and move down two spots? My only thought is they believed the Niners would take Ruggs but even then. They followed the Al Davis strategy of ‘draft a fast guy’.

  28. Bucs Guy Says:

    There you have it – Licht got scared and gave up a 4th for nothing. The Gronk trade, failure to get a day 2 pick for OJ and this move hurt us throughout the draft.

    I do give Licht credit for not trading back with the Vikings. You only trade back to 22 if none of the big 4 OTs were available.

  29. ElBajito43 Says:


    These are the ways of the universe Danielson