“I Hate Free Agency” — Part II

March 4th, 2021


Everyone remembers Super Bowl general manager Jason Licht’s famous quote a year ago.

“I hate free agency.”

It was a quite a statement from Licht at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, especially considering the man had just hit the jackpot with Shaq Barrett.

To refresh your memory:

“I hate free agency,” Licht said. “Well, just because of so many unknowns. You don’t know what the guy’s going to do after you pay him. You don’t know if he’s going to like the city. You don’t know if he’s going to become acclimated to the coaching staff. There’s just so many unknowns.

“I love paying our own guys. We got lucky in free agency last year that all of them were great guys, they performed well and we want’em back.”

Now it’s a year later and Licht nailed several key cogs in free agency last year and rode them to Bucs-fan heaven.

Still hate free agency, Mr. Licht? Yeah, Joe suspects Licht continues to hate free agency.

This year, Licht must look so many deserving players in the face and tell them he can’t pay them exactly what they’re worth, or that he can’t afford to keep them at all.

That’s tough sledding when you’re the GM who brought them to town.

Consider the lower-tier key cogs in the Bucs machine, guys like defensive tackle Rakeem Nuñez-Roches and guard Aaron Stinnie. Licht doesn’t want to wave goodbye to these young dudes whose careers were resurrected because he believed in them.

Then there’s Lavonte David. It was Licht who acted swiftly — and a long before he had to — in extending David’s contract in the summer of 2015. Licht must hate telling David that he can’t give him the fat raise he has earned.

Joe will end this exercise at Chris Godwin, who Licht has previously has called the prototype Buccaneer.  If it hasn’t happened already, Licht is going to hate telling Godwin that the Bucs won’t be his top bidder.

Joe, however, loves free agency. It’s exciting, and the Bucs have great problems: a roster so loaded they can’t afford all the Super Bowl winners.

17 Responses to ““I Hate Free Agency” — Part II”

  1. miken Says:

    we are going to have to lose lvd or godwin. it sucks but its better than the days of have plenty of money and no one good to resign.

  2. Buc4evr Says:

    Like it or not, if Licht wants to keep the team together, contracts with our top FA’s will need to be backloaded this year.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The writing was on the wall when we didn’t extend Godwin last year…….everybody should have seen this coming…..

  4. ocala Says:

    Agree Buc4ever. The Bucs are in good shape with the cap and have the most cap space in the NFL for 2022.

    I think the Bucs have allot of flexibility that most teams do not.

  5. Dick LeBeau Jr. Says:

    It seems hard for folks to grapple with. CG will play on the tag this coming season if nothing gets ironed out. So honestly, we can move on from that. I don’t believe David is going anywhere. Everyone knows and understood what the cap situation was going to be like this year. If they truly all want to still be together and run it back like they’ve been saying, then that comes with the stipulations that everyone is not getting big money this year.

  6. Bucfan81 Says:

    I remember a time when we couldn’t even get free agents to want to come to Tampa. Now we have so many good players we can’t afford to keep them all. Things have really changed. The key is to keep drafting well and everything will fall into place.

  7. Baby Grace Says:

    Why do so many people say the Bucs have the most cap space for 2022? They do right now, but after we sign everyone we can afford to sign we absolutely will not!

  8. 813bucboi Says:

    licht will bring em all back….lets go!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  9. TOM Says:

    I still say CG is the most expendible. WR is probably the strongest position.

  10. NDOGSDAD Says:

    Mcsoftie aint coming back so forget it ging

  11. BA4President Says:

    Agreed TOM

  12. Darin Says:

    Lol. It’s a loaded roster because of one quarterback. Some guys will be replaced and it’ll still be loaded. Enjoy it while he’s here

  13. tvan101 Says:

    This Joe always talks as if we are losing everyone, other years maybe. This year with the cap crunch and so many teams about to cut veterans the market will not be like any other year.

  14. IrishMist Says:

    Since the Glaziers own Man U, they should offer Succop a coaching salary or a consulting fee as a way of keeping his NFL cap hit down.

  15. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Tampa seems to have a talent for finding linebackers that fit the system well. I want LVD to stay as much as anyone. But after Devin White’s play during the playoffs. He seems ready to take on more of a leadership role for this defense. We can’t keep everybody. LVD is 31yrs old. This will probably be his last chance at a big payday. He should cash in. I can’t see him staying if another team beats Tampa’s offer. I hate to say it but I don’t see Tampa realistically offering more than a 3yr deal? They might offer a 5yr back laden deal? In reality LVD probably isn’t going to play past 33 or 34yrs old. So even if Tampa can afford to keep him he probably will only play for 2 or 3yrs? He is on the cusp of the down side of his career.

  16. timbucs2 Says:

    It sucks because Godwin is more replaceable than David, just because there will be options at WR, but losing him would be really tough. I wish we could get the whole band back together, but them’s the breaks when you are successful I guess.

  17. MadMax Says:

    Suh and David are coming back….I told them already, money is money…Back to back SB wins is a whole nother dimension….