Is Jason Licht NFL Executive Of The Year?

January 4th, 2021

“You like that, Glazer?”

The votes are due by end of day tomorrow from an esteemed panel of media types across the country.

Before Joe gets rolling here, a few things to clarify.

First, the NFL Executive of the Year Award is voted on by Sage columnist Ira Kaufman and a hearty bunch (30?) of NFL scribes and analysts who are part of the official Associated Press panel. They’re the same folks who vote in the league MVP, Coach of the Year, etc.

Second, as for Bucs general manager Jason Licht, he has zero chance of winning this year because that’s how the politics of this stuff works. He’s not a high-profile guy, plus too many would look at the Bucs and think they have not overachieved.

But maybe, just maybe, Licht should get some votes — a lot of votes.

If assessed fairly, the Executive of the Year honor should be about what you did in 2020, not how you have may fumbled, crumbled or succeeded in the past. It’s about the now, just like all the other annual awards.

So if Licht is assessed through that lens, then it’s easy to think he’s in the running for the league’s highest honor for GMs.

In no particular order:

  1. Licht fixed the Bucs’ miserable kicking situation with a veteran coming off an injury who drilled field goals at a 90 percent clip.
  2. Licht’s’ first two draft picks of 2020, Tristan Wirfs and Antoine Winfield, were dynamite. Wirfs may be the very best right tackle in football right now, and Winfield showed versatility, durability and impact production. His next three picks off the board also made contributions.
  3. The Bucs improved to fourth in the NFL in sacks behind Licht making the bold move to open the vault to re-sign Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh and Shaq Barrett. Not every GM would have invested so heavily there. And the subsequent decisions on the D-line helped the Bucs finish No. 1 against the run in just about every category.
  4. Obviously, there’s signing Tom Brady — on the cheap — and having enough room to sign/trade for Brady’s high-impact friends, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. Gronk playing 16 games and improving through the season didn’t seem possible when he stepped away from the game in 2018.
  5. Leonard Fournette won the Bucs a game and has behaved, and performed extremely well as a No. 2 back. No, he’s not the Fournette fans envisioned, but he’s got six touchdowns and a lot of other teams wanted him.
  6. A consistent contribution from Ross Cockrell?

What other GM can claim this much booty in the 2020 season?

One could argue Licht’s moves aren’t special with Bucco Bruce Arians and Tom Brady around, but what did Arians really accomplish in the NFL Draft during his days in Arizona? It was not overly impressive.

Joe hammered Licht over the years for the simple reason that he deserved it for various painful moves and non-moves, and the team was failing. Ira Kaufman even publicly called for Licht’s head after the 2018 season. So Joe is not like other media types who suck up to Licht because they’re afraid for their jobs and for their information pipelines. Joe doesn’t worry about such nonsense and isn’t a one-source wonder.

This season, Licht is worthy of high praise for the job he’s done.

The results cannot be denied. Joe sees a seventh-year GM who has become reasoned and seasoned and successful.

54 Responses to “Is Jason Licht NFL Executive Of The Year?”

  1. ocala Says:


  2. Youngbucs Says:

    He most definitely is!!!Because he had the balls to do the necessary thing.

  3. Tampabay Allday Says:

    Hell yes

  4. Robert Says:

    TB should get the title. 1/2 those guys wouldn’t be hear if not for him and the other 1/2 wouldn’t look as good…..they are finally playing with heart.

    and he didn’t get TB….TB new where he was going.

    Still give Licht props, but most of its on TB.

  5. Tampabay Allday Says:

    Lmao what happed to all the Bucs trolls though?

  6. Wesley Says:


  7. Wesley Says:

    Give it to Arians and Tom Brady. It’s no mistake that his decision making greatly improved when Arians got here.

  8. Casual Observer Says:

    Who’d a thunk it?

  9. orlbucfan Says:

    Another yes vote here.

  10. SB : Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    CONGRATULATIONS to Cannonfire for winning the Pickem league!
    I will set a new one up next year. Thanks to all who played!

  11. Buc Bro Says:

    Brady deserves the title and recognition over Licht. Who still can’t draft a pass rusher or a quality CB

  12. huh Says:


  13. huh Says:


  14. AMI_Chris Says:

    Oh, please! Most GMs that go six years with no playoffs don’t get a seventh year. Licht’s major accomplishment was building a good enough offense that Tom Brady saw this as his best opportunity to win. BUF, CLE, IND have built solid teams, too.

  15. buc15 Says:

    Yes. He got off to a slow start but things are on the up trend nowadays

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    realist got a hard on bashing licht….lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    It’s amazing how winning changes attitudes.

    And deflates trolls.

    Where’s NDog?

  18. EA Says:

    Sure, as long as he can share it with Brady for helping him lure some of the big fish.

  19. Lamarcus Guiton Says:

    Gm of the year ? Lol. Those rewards go to guys who win without overly talented teams and make it. Like the Bills, Bears, Browns, or Packers, etc. Not a team that’s this stacked and getting a 5th seed. Come on Joe … That’s a nice theory, but the job of the GM is to stack the roster. –Joe

  20. AJ Says:

    Wouldn’t hang my hat on the Wirfs pick as GM of the year move. Oh I agree that Wirfs is everything we could of hoped for, he has been legit. But we were taking 1 of the 4 OT’s that was the consensus best in the draft. And yes Licht moved up a spot to get him, hat tip to Mr. Licht. We just lucked out that the other 3 Tackles were picked and left us with what turned out to be the best of the lot.

  21. Jmarkbuc Says:

    1 year doesn’t make up for all the rest….

  22. Doctor Stroud Says:

    You don’t get credit for what you’re supposed to do. This is what Chris Rock called the “deadbeat dad defense”. The job is not finished. I’ll let him know after the Bucs win the Super Bowl. And, only then maybe buy him AC/DC’s new album “Power Up”.

  23. Colin in Canada Says:

    Arguing that he shouldnt get the award because the team is stacked… Smh lol

    Everyone knows that brady is the reason gronk and AB are on the team but Jason Licht got Brady. He did a great job and deserves consideration.

  24. Jason Says:

    Whichever team wins the Superbowl should have the Executive of the year.
    Pretty simple really.

  25. meh Says:

    I’ve been very critical of Licht over his tenure, but Joe’s on to something here. Licht did a phenomenal job this year. He deserves serious consideration for this.

  26. Cannon Says:

    Honestly, the fact that a team like this exists… a literal dream team…, is deserving of a hat tip…

  27. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Brady, Brady, Brady…are some of you stupid? Who do you think signed Brady??? Geesh.

  28. Jim Says:

    After five lost years?

  29. gotbbucs Says:

    If you’re not happy with Lichts overall contributions to the talent on this team then I don’t know what to say. This was a good roster last year too, with a bad QB. Insert a good QB, and suddenly, playoffs.

    The best QB in league history chose Jason Licht’s roster. Is Licht perfect? No. You could do alot worse though.

  30. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Gee one year after 5 years of him sticking faithfully to Jamyth he is one of the names up for GM of the year… it takes at least two dots to make a line

  31. tbbucs3 Says:

    He would be if he could build a secondary….

  32. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    I would give it to Loomis. No matter who they play at qb or rb or receiver they continue to win. They could win with Winston. That is a true plug n play team plus the guys they got on that defense. Licht can hold the trophy so he can hand it to him.

  33. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Lamarcus – you are waaaay off. Coaches get measured that way. If a GM compiles a bad roster he is doing the opposite of a good job.

  34. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Show Me – and Brady chose to come here only because of all the talent Licht had already acquired.

  35. Adrnagy Says:

    He still sucks. Drafted 2 kickers.

  36. Joseph Mamma Says:

    No, he’s not the Fournette fans envisioned, but he’s got six touchdowns and a lot of other teams wanted him.


    Lol, not the Fournette fans envisioned. Jacksonville drafted him 4th overall in 2017 and just released him for absolutely nothing cause no team was interested in trading for him. Perhaps fans can be delusional.

  37. REDZONE BA Says:

    I give JL kudos for not drafting a kicker — again….
    Seriously though, JL felt incredible urgency to win now and at minimum build a roster make the playoffs, which he did. And kept enough cap$$$ to add impact players as needed when FA’s came available. Tip of the cap, JL!

  38. BucEmUp Says:

    Wesley Says:
    January 4th, 2021 at 4:32 pm
    Give it to Arians and Tom Brady. It’s no mistake that his decision making greatly improved when Arians got here.

    Licht wasn’t a true GM UNTIL Arians got here. Remember that Movie hired Licht and ran the entire show, and then Koetter was handed the keys, hired Mike Smith and the two of them held power over personnel more so than Jason. As much as Arians loves to delegate for good or for bad….I believe these were Jasons first two seasons actually being able to make whatever calls he desires. Now that’s not to say that Arians has not heavily influenced decisions along with Brady, but neither one of them would be here without Licht. The guy deserves credit.

    Also, Tristan Worfs being an offensive lineman, and Arians stating that Oline is his favorite position and Arians stating that high drafted olineman are usually for the following coaching staff, I have to give Jason Licht credit for arguably the best tackle taken in the draft.

  39. meh Says:

    He didn’t draft 2 kickers this year. He brought in competition for his own draft pick. They both sucked. Instead of doubling down he cut them bith and got us the best kicker we’ve had since at least Barth. GM of the year means that – this year. You’d have to be blind to think Licht was anything but stellar this year.

  40. Buczilla Says:

    I agree Joe’s. Licht has been on one heck of a tear.

  41. David Says:

    I’d love for him to get that award. Just to shut people the hell up. He’s been damn good. People constantly point out the errors of GM’s. They expect a pro bowler to be picked every single level, it’s ridiculous.
    Some don’t pan out , some don’t get coached properly, some don’t have the heart but they had the talent, some end up in the wrong schemes.
    There are a lot of factors a GM has little or no control over.

    Overall I would say he has done pretty damn good. They all have bad years and make mistakes. The bottom line is the team going to the playoffs right now that just finished 11-5, he put it together.

    Great job Licht!

  42. David Says:

    Now get Kyle Trask to sit behind Brady, some more linemen on both sides of the ball, and another DB and they will be set for a few years

  43. REDZONE BA Says:

    @David – Trask would be a good pick. Need to start planning for future in addition to planning to win now. Lot of good options in later rounds for help.

  44. DoooshLaRue Says:


  45. Mike Johnson Says:

    Nope. A few good deeds does not..wash away sins from the past. But..he does get an..atta boy! its like saying 2 thousand stimulus recommendations by upmster wipes away all of his incompetency? Come on man.

  46. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Lamarcus Guiton Says:
    January 4th, 2021 at 5:16 pm
    Gm of the year ? Lol. Those rewards go to guys who win without overly talented teams and make it. Like the Bills, Bears, Browns, or Packers, etc. Not a team that’s this stacked and getting a 5th seed. Come on Joe …

    What you described is the duty of a head coach and that person would get head coach of the year.

    A team that is stacked is done so by the, wait for it, gm!

    This dude is a serious moron and the Vegas sun has fried his brain.

    And to the idiots who said “well, what about the X amount of years?”

    The award is called executive of the YEAR as in this year/season.

  47. David Says:

    Lamarcus G….

    You describe the duties of a head coach kicking ass without talent. Then you basically said this team has a lot of talent … which… Is because of the GM.
    Is it fun arguing with yourself?

    You also mentioned the Bills, Browns, and Packers as examples of teams that don’t have talent??!?!?! LoL … Do you know anything about football? 😂

  48. David Says:

    I find it amusing how people still bitch about Licht drafting a kicker. Yes it sucks he wasted a second rounder on a kicker.
    Trying again with the fifth rounder doesn’t bother me.

    But, the kicking game matters. Every one of you bitch about the kickers missing field goals and extra points for the last decade here in Tampa (and all over the league). But then you complain when they try to draft a kicker because bring it in guys off the street hasn’t worked for the long term since Gramática. You can’t have it both ways.

    Regardless, LICHT has done a great job getting this team together. Yes he has made mistakes in the past, like every single GM that has ever existed in the national football league, but it’s all about right now, and right now they are
    11-5 and going to the playoffs

  49. BigMacAttack Says:

    I agree Joes 💯. Licht has gone from zero to hero in one season. He deserves the credit and accolades whether he’s awarded or not. His reward is keeping his high paying job that was on the line. Btw, Winfield was the steal of the draft, just like Godwin. If Vita Vea didn’t get injured it would be even more aoparthiw well Licht did in 2020.

  50. BigMacAttack Says:

    Go home iPhone you’re drunk 🥴
    *apparent how*

  51. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    IMHO, Jason Licht did a great job this year, and certainly deserves consideration.

  52. Pewter Power Says:

    Weren’t stacking this roster unless Brady was here so guess they should be co executives of the year. Kinda gotta win something before we go throwing all kind of praise his way. If we had OJ and Vea I think we would have been more dominant and yes probably would have a better record than 11-5

  53. meh Says:

    Win something? Like 11 games?

    Brady would not have come here if he thought the roster was bad. We had quality talent already. Yes, Brady’s presence helped beef it up further, but don’t pretend we didn’t have significant talent already.

  54. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I am a “YES” all the way. It is Executive of the Year, not 7 years. And Licht has excelled.

    He fired Mr. Koetter bc he could not develop the talent Licht drafted; look at Rojo and McNichols with the Titans now.

    Licht signed BA for exactly that – developing young talent and game planning

    For those who say AB & Gronk signed bc of TB, who signed TB?!

    For the McCoy haters… how do you like that swap?

    The roster Licht has put together for 2020 is lights out, Exec of the Year.

    Yes, he drafted a kicker in the 2nd rd. Dumb. THAT will be the reason Licht will not get votes.