January 5th, 2021

“Jason, I won’t get in your way if you want to draft another Big Ten offensive lineman.”

Joe wrote yesterday that Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht could deserve consideration for NFL Executive of the Year. What suit had a better 2020 than Licht?

Well, over at NBC Sports, hot-dog-eating-contest-protestingmock-draft-scowlingL.L. Bean-wearingSecond Amendment abolitionistMike-Florio-arguingparrot-insensitivechewing-with-his-mouth-opensoup-gulpingCalifornia-train-romancinganti-football proliferationouthouse-admiringairline-nappingsteerage-flyingYogi Berra-worshipingurinal-picture-takingvideo-game-playingTaylor-Swift-listeningpickpocket-thwartingBucs-uniform-frowningAllie-LaForce-smittenBig-Ten-Network-hatingpedestrian-bumpingolive oil-lappingpopcorn-munchingcoffee-slurpingfried-chicken-eatingoatmeal-lovingcircle-jerking, craft-beer-chugging, cricket-watchingscone-loathingcollege football-naïvebaseball-box-score-readingNPR-honkfilthy-hotel-stayingfight-instigatingbarista-trainingBudweiser-tolerantbaseball scorecard-keeping, pasta-feasting, vomit-dodging scrooge, Kay-Adams-following, social activist and NFL insider Peter King put together a list of 20 folks who “defined the NFL in a tumultuous year.”

The list is mostly made up of suits, non-NFL employees and non-football people, not players.

Only four players cracked the top-10 (No. 3 was park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking Bucs quarterback Tom Brady).

Who pops up at No. 19? Licht.

This is strange. But I talked to quite a few GMs—John Lynch, Tom Telesco, Thomas Dimitroff, Brett Veach, Mickey Loomis—who didn’t hate being out of the office for long weeks of the offseason, didn’t hate working remotely, and didn’t hate doing meetings and drafting by videoconference. There was a peacefulness to it, a feeling that they could get a lot of work done when people weren’t walking in and out of the office all day. After the draft, Licht told me: “I’m almost to the point where I like working this way, I’m getting so much done. Going back to the office—it’s going to be different.” Licht had one of the busiest pandemic springs of any GM. He wooed and signed Tom Brady. He traded for Ron Gronkowski. (How was your offseason? Pretty good. Signed two of the top 100 players of all time.) Like his peers, Licht scouted virtually. And on draft night, working the phone from the playroom of his three children, Licht was between trade feelers with Minnesota and Las Vegas when, through a wall, a scream of “MOMMY!!!” rang into the room. Hey, it’s after 9 on a Thursday. Kids are antsy. The highlight, though: Licht traded from 14 to 13 with the Niners and drafted the guy he wanted, tackle Tristan Wirfs of Iowa. “First trade ever in a virtual NFL Draft!” Licht cackled. Weird night. Charming night, in a way.

Joe didn’t find King’s synopsis of Licht’s draft night particularly interesting. So what if one of his kids could be heard yelling for Mom during the draft? Far more intriguing was, Joe believes, was Bill Belichick’s dog reading his scouting reports or the guy taking a dump at Mike Vrabel’s house — or Jerry Jones running the draft from his yacht in the Florida Straits or Kliff Kingsbury chilling from his fancy bachelor pad and some topless dude putting on a T-shirt as he walked out of a bedroom with Jacob Eason’s girlfriend fixing her mussed hair.

The simple fact of the matter is that in the last two years, Licht completely reworked the Bucs roster, mastered a couple of trades, nailed key draft picks and landed one of the biggest NFL fish to ever enter free agency.

Of all the moves Licht made in 2020 — there were many — Joe can’t find one where he swung and missed. Maybe Joe Haeg’s rough debut at left guard.

18 Responses to “Impact”

  1. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Licht had a great year for sure. Whether it makes up for the prior years whiffs remains to be seen.

  2. LVMYBUCS Says:

    I agree he has done a great job despite the kicker debacle he put us threw in the past. I just wish he could have shored up the secondary a little more with any remaining money.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Don’t forget the acquisition of Ryan Succop……trade for Steve McClendon & pickup of a real sleeper Ross Cockrell

    And another unbelievable move…..perhaps the greatest FA value in NFL history…..Antonio Brown for peanuts…..

  4. Robert Says:

    He’s always done a good job IMO. It just took a AB to bring it together. Who’s to say the kicker may not have turned out different if not asked to win games as a rookie.

  5. Robert Says:

    A QB..

  6. Bird Says:

    Licht gets some love. He signed the best free agent in bucs history – Brady..
    Hands down. Now some free agents came here only cause brady. Thats the goat effect. Just like jordan and lebron and others. Sure brady has two new stud rookie starters from this draft. But otherwise almost identical starters accept the free agents that came for brady. And the bucs ran for almost identical 1500 yards which was Same as last year. The defense sucks same as last year. The kicker is main change from last year. We got a kicker now. So those people that claim brady got all this help and jameis didnt…you are wrong. Brady is the difference and licht should get credit for that.

    Brady stats:
    At 43-years old, Brady completed 401/610 passes (65.7%) for 4,633 yards and 43 total touchdowns against 12 interceptions.
    3 extra tds were qb keepers
    He had the best qb season ever. Broke every record but jameis yards that some people care about.
    Suck it trolls

  7. Bobby M. Says:

    I think if we only analyze this one season…..then maybe but when it comes to awards for a sport, the person’s body of work is still cast in the background. IMO we would have to get in or win the SB….that would put him over the top. Whomever is running the Bills, should be in strong consideration. They won their division….we came in 2nd. The Browns come to mind as well….hired a new coach, crazy offseason, and they still make the playoffs. The Chiefs are now contenders every year….that has to count for something.

    Licht has had ONE good season and many of these guys came here because of Tom Brady, not Licht. I dont think Suh, JPP, Gronk, Brown….come here if we landed Bridgewater.

  8. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Haeg was signed as a backup RT not as a G, so his struggles at the position aren’t Licht’s fault. All indications are he’s a good backup at the RT position and he’s an excellent tackle-eligible in max protect formations, which by the way I expect to see quite a few times this coming Saturday night against the WFT.

  9. Listnfrmafar Says:

    I have to believe Licht knew by landing Brady the Bucs would get interest from veterans that want to see what it is like to play with him. It took balls to sign Brady, if he was a bust Licht is sent packing. Signing Brady got Gronk, AB, inspired Evan’s and Godwin and created a winning culture. Hat’s off to Licht and BA if he had input in this decision. Can’t stress it enough, it took balls and vision to sign a 43 yr old QB that appeared to be losing his edge in NE. Think about the ancillary promo sales from this signing not to mention a sold out stadium once this covid crap subsides.

  10. Hodad Says:

    Only took him 6 years to realize you have a better success rate in the draft by selecting players who’ve done it at a high level in college for the position you’re drafting. Need a good MLB? I’ll take one from LSU, not What’samatter U. Cappa, and Marpet grew into good O linemen. Wirfs is starting out as one of the best in the NFL from day one, big difference. Keep drafting big time players from big time programs.

  11. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    omg … last year we were gonna fire him…. this year he is the best give me a break ….. The GOAT makes everyone shine.

  12. meh Says:

    Marpet was really good right out of the gate. Yeah, Wirfs is clearly our best OL, but Marpet has been very solid from the start.

  13. meh Says:

    So every post is under moderation since I hated Joe’s covid take? Don’t post the politics if you don’t want replies.

  14. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    Its amazing how tom makes everyone shine…….

  15. unbelievable Says:

    Haha that video of Eason’s gf coming out of the room with the shirtless guy is hilarious.

    She is a smoke show too.

  16. SlyPirate Says:

    Let me ask you this … How many playoff appearances would the Bucs have had if Winston had ever learned to not throw INTs? Brady has only done what Winston did for five years with less turnovers. The result is 11-5. For those judging Licht harshly, are you sure Licht’s really to blame?

  17. D-Rome Says:

    The simple fact of the matter is that in the last two years, Licht completely reworked the Bucs roster, mastered a couple of trades, nailed key draft picks and landed one of the biggest NFL fish to ever enter free agency.

    Licht’s most important move over the past two years (actually, it was Arians’ move) was to let one of the most turnover prone players in league history, America’s Turnover Machine Jay-Miss WinsTOn, walk and test the market. Jay-Miss believed his market value was $30 million. Licht evaluated the market and determined he wasn’t even worth 1% of his asking price. Even if he didn’t sign Tom Brady the decision to let Jay-Miss go was the turning point of this franchise. It put an end to an era of bad free agency decisions. Most importantly, it silenced the deranged fans who thought he was an elite level QB.

    Yet despite all that, *this* Joe continues to use a disrespectful moniker for Tom Brady while *this* Joe continues to refer to the aforementioned #1 overall draft bust as America’s Quarterback. Tom Brady single handedly brought this team back to relevancy and single handedly gave you an opportunity to cover a playoff team as JoeBucsFan.

  18. stpetebucsfan Says:

    D-1 made an excellent point about how we judge players and coaches on a single season without considering that players and coaches grow with experience.

    I think this is true for Licht as well. Recall his first year shouldn’t count since Lovie had ALL the decision making power…in his deal.

    Then TL finally got his chance to actually be a GM with Koetter.

    So here is the question…does the player who scores the TD get the credit or the GM who got him….a little like which came first the chicken or the egg.

    Licht started this entire turnaround by convincing his ole buddy BA to sign on and try to fix JW. When that didn’t work out Licht had the genius to join with BA for the Brady experiment and the rest is history.

    Yeah he got Gronk and AB because of Brady..but duh..that’s the point…he and BA got Brady and additionally the AB signing was mildly controversial and took some cojones given the team was already good. This week we see the genius of the move…remember BA was not a huge AB guy last year so I gotta give the AB move to Licht/Brady.

    So by any metric TL has done an excellent job the past two years. But if he wants to be great now is the challenge.

    This team could be very good for at least 2 more years…it’s dependent on how Licht works the cap and keeps everybody he can. If he succeeds there the challenge will continue with a real biggie where Licht DID FAIL the last time with the top pick in the entire draft. Hard to really know how much Licht had to say about JW’s selection since he was neutered by Lovie in that first year. But sooner or later we’re going to have to face the prospect of finding another QB.