“He’s The Real GM”

February 27th, 2021

The real gm?

The power structure at One Buc Palace has long been rather mysterious and free-flowing.

And that dynamic gets an LED spotlight when a team is terrible, and when it’s winning big.

The Bucs swung the pendulum in the right direction with their Super Bowl victory, so the nation is talking about how they got it done.

Recently on The Adam Schefter Podcast, Bucs general manager Jason Licht appeared with his right-hand man, Buccaneers director of football operations Mike Greenberg. He’s the contract guru/lawyer that former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik hired about 10 years ago.

Greenberg is a friend of Schefter, the ESPN insider. They hail from the same New York hometown, it was revealed on the podcast. Schefter shared that Greenberg has been pushing him to get the word out nationally for a long time about how great Licht is as a general manager.

So Schefter asked Greenberg to share his adoration of Licht publicly.

“We love Jason and always believed in him and the plan he had. He’s an unbelievable leader,” Greenberg said. “We all absolutely love working for him. He’s an unbelievable evaluator. The team we have, that Jason was able to assemble, it’s a phenomenal team. It’s a phenomenal culture here. And I think that also, honestly, is what kind of made this all come together.

“It’s a great place to wake up and come to work every day. Even through some of the losing seasons and the darker days, all of us still woke up and were thrilled to come to work. It’s a reflection of Jason and his leadership and the organization. Nobody deserves this championship more than him.”

Licht talked about “what gets me choked up at night,” which he said is knowing how great his staff is even though they weren’t winning for years, and now they get they finally get their glory courtesy of tireless work and tremendous family support.

And then the love feast got interesting to Joe.

Licht called Greenberg “the real GM” and insisted he wasn’t blowing smoke.

“He is so important to me professionally, me personally, and this entire organization. He’s the real deal. He’s the real GM,” Licht said. “I couldn’t survive without the work that he does.

“I’m not trying to pull the humble card.”

Hmmm, that’s awfully thought-provoking from Licht, especially when considered alongside the long Greenberg feature story in Newsday, which highlights multiple sources explaining why Greenberg is superstar GM material at 35 years old.

“Mike Greenberg is one of the first people you would want to build a team with if you need a general manager,” said Dave Gardi, the NFL’s senior vice president of football operations, who had Greenberg as his intern in the league office in early 2009. “If you gave Mike the keys to an organization and let him run with it I know he’d bring in great people. His name should be considered. He deserves that.”

Gardi speculated that one of Greenberg’s best assets — being humble — is actually what has held him back.

“If he politicked a bit more, he might have a job now as a general manager,” Gardi said.

Added [former Jets GM Mike] Tannenbaum: “He was ready five years ago.”

The Bucs got a gift from the football gods last month when no team hired Todd Bowles or Byron Leftwich as a head coach. Either move would have upset team chemistry. And it seems Greenberg sticking around is a similar gift to the organization.

If Greenberg is as valuable as is being reported, then maybe it’s time for Team Glazer to figure out a way to keep a trusted and hot young NFL executive in-house.

Enjoy the latest Ira Kaufman Podcast, presented by Bill Currie Ford.

19 Responses to ““He’s The Real GM””

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    He & Licht will truly earn their money this year…..spreadsheets…..computer algorithms…..calculators & coffee. (no Bud Lichts) please!!!

  2. Sport Says:

    If we do this the right way, we have the staff in place for a very strong transition plan for the next decade. Keep that awesome continuity going.

    This is so different than our first SB win. Grudens ego went from huge to straight AHole.

    We had given up 4 1st round draft picks and players were done with Grudens act.

    Thanks for the SB, but you got everything you deserved.

    This could be the making of a family organization and football dynasty!

    Go Bucs!

    In BA I Trust!

  3. Steven007 Says:

    It’s nice to know that we have a good pipeline here at various levels. Jon Robinson, former director of player personnel was also highly regarded. He landed as GM of the Titans. Hopefully Greenberg stays for a little while longer before he ascends.

  4. SKBucsfan Says:

    To be a good GM you need to have good people around you. We have one that likes to swing for the fences with some of his picks. Glad to hear others are getting their due. And hopefully they help keep him from taking too many more wild swings.

  5. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Greenberg is gonna have his work really cut out for him, keeping our team together.
    I am truly surprised no team has come calling for Todd Bowles services. It was his brilliant defensive plan that beat the mighty Chiefs.

  6. August 1976 Buc Says:

    We will know very soon how this hot potato Bucs FA market will be handled by Mike “Bobby Heenan” Greenberg and Jason “Andre the Giant” Licht in the Battle royal. Cool picture Joe of the Battle Royal, it brought back a lot fun memories at the Bayfront Ctr back in the 70’s, and the Armory in Tampa on Tuesday nights. Teams are going to try and at least weaken the Bucs, that is for sure. Teams will try anything to disrupt what is going on with the World Champions in Tampa. GO BUCS!!!

  7. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    Being humble should be at the top of the list when hiring a leader. Look no further than Brady. People play harder and with passion when they know a leader is humble and a servant. Think of the converse of this…. Jerry Jones… nuff said…

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Excellent combination: knowledgeable talent guy backed up by the best capologist.

    Almost as good as Sonny Weaver, Jr. & Ali Parker… 😉 😉 😉

  9. BucDan Says:

    Greenberg’s analysis of the salary cap rules and insight to setup the team cap as such that he is able to front load contracts with roster bonuses vs signing bonuses has very other front office looking foolish (St. Louis, New Orleans, NYG, etc.).

    If a guy doesn’t work out by the third year, he’s gone because there is never any guaranteed money left on the dealing no signing bonus speed out over the remainder of a crap contract for the team!

    Jon Robinson left to Nashville and wishes he could have taken Mike Greenberg with him!

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    Quite the combo: excellent talent guy and excellent capologist.

    Almost as good as Sonny Weaver, Jr. and Ali Parker… 😉 😉 😉

  11. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Seems like we’ve always been a breeding ground for FO/Coaching talent.
    There’s a lot of ex-Bucs in the NFL.

    Kinda weird considering all the dark days, but hey …… Tampa is Tampa…

  12. Ben Says:

    Management has stated that Greenberg and team has set up the team cap perfectly to be able to retain players, even with this years reduced cap due to COVID.
    @joe, I’m guessing there is a significant amount of work happening behind the scenes to restructure/ extend some Bucs players to free up cap space. Any thoughts on when these details may be released assuming they are almost finalized. I’m guessing this week and next will be busy leading up to Free Agency.

  13. windbaggery Says:

    A year ago, people around here thought Licht was garbage… and who would’ve thought one of his underlings was an ascending star? This really highlights how shortsighted and impatient most fans are. Outside of a few bonehead moves (Aguayo, mostly), it’s been clear to many of us that Licht knew what he was doing all along. Maybe Joe should start calling him Rockstar GM Jason Licht?

  14. DoooshLaRue Says:

    That’s Newbomb Turk in that pic isn’t it?

  15. cmurda Says:

    This was an insightful piece here Joe. I’m not going to lie. I only know Greenberg through his name only but he seems like the real “Rock Star” if you will.

  16. Jmarkbuc Says:


    All due respect but, it has taken 7yrs. Most GMs wouldn’t be given a leash that long.

    He has made some huge gaffes, and has only been showered with praise since BA got here. Coincidence?

  17. Rob F Says:

    Wait, the guy in that photo is 35 years old?!

  18. David Says:

    Got to have a good numbers guy, and girl apparently, for that matter.
    As for Licht, I have been all in with him for years. I think he has been fantastic. We just have a bunch of idiots around here who think every pick in every round should be a pro bowler. There were very few picks in the first 3 rounds That he made that people complained about. The only complained two years later.
    It’s always easy in hindsight. Whatever, that’s part of the draft. We’ve bitched about a kicker forever but then complained when he tried to get one of the most accurate kickers in the history of college football. It was a bad move and it didn’t work out. Oh well, get over it.

  19. MDFree Says:

    Jason Licht is quietly building a formidable executive tree. First it was his right hand man, Jon Robinson who moved on to do big things with Tennessee as GM. If Greenberg is really as good as league circles are suggesting, he might be the next one to go.