The Chess Of Bucs Free Agency

March 29th, 2021

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Despite the Bucs and particularly AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht winning the offseason by bringing back seven of their Big 8 free agents, one guy is still left to reel in.

And that would be furniture-tossing, bicycle-throwing receiver Antonio Brown.

More on Brown in a second, but last week when Licht appeared on “Airing it Out,” co-hosted by Bill Lekas and Charlie Weis exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Lekas asked Licht how he pulled off all the signings.

Licht sort of explained his battleplans for when the free agency dinner bell rang, after Lekas asked about the strategy of franchise tagging Chris Godwin but not Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett.

“All of these guys, they wanted to be here at the end of the day,” Licht said. “And why wouldn’t you? We’re coming off a Super Bowl. We have the GOAT at quarterback. We have a great head coach, great ownership and a great town. So, it was a little bit of a chess game deciding what to do there.

“We wanted to make the move that we thought had the chance to keep both [Shaq and Godwin]. Turned out we got it right. And everybody is very happy about it.”

Damn right everyone is happy. Giddy even.

In an episode of “The Ira Kaufman Podcast” just after it was learned the Bucs chose to franchise Godwin and cross their fingers with Shaq, Joe guessed the reason Licht shocked the football world by tagging Godwin and not Shaq was Licht thought he had a better chance of signing Shaq than signing Godwin.

From whispers Joe is hearing, that is just what motivated Licht to tag Godwin and roll the dice with Shaq. And in recent interviews, Shaq all but stated the same, he had no plans or desire to leave the Bucs.

Licht’s appearance was Friday morning just minutes before Playoff Lenny Facetimed Josina Anderson, telling her he was re-signing with the Bucs. Licht was asked by Weis about bringing back Playoff Lenny and/or Brown.

Licht said don’t count the Bucs out yet.

“Anything can happen at any given moment,” Licht said.

Indeed it did.

24 Responses to “The Chess Of Bucs Free Agency”

  1. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Jaymiss is really holding out hope that we sign AB. He would come relatively cheap I suspect in relation to his talent. What a luxury depth piece AB would be.

  2. Leighroy Says:

    Chess is great, but this move was as simple as checkers bc tagging Godwin was just cheaper. I think both were pretty clear they had no plans or desire to play elsewhere.

    Golladay, a lesser talent, is getting 18mil annually, compared to 16mil this yr for Godwin’s tag. Shaq’ tag would have been 20.5mil (NBCsports a day ago), but signed for avg of 18mil per yr.

    That’s 4.5 mil saved by being smart, no matter what game you fancy. You don’t hear much from the Licht haters on these boards anymore do you?

  3. Robert Says:

    The only update I wan to see now is AB is signed.

  4. #1bucsfan Says:

    Our GM has done an amazing job. A lot of us including me were very skeptical about the things JL was doing 7 years later he’s done a helluvu job. We got the best GM in football.

  5. Bruce Blahak Says:

    and the wandering Buccaneer ship, through the darkness, found the Licht House…

  6. Says:

    I think the haters moved back to the Panthers, Falcons and Saints blogs.

  7. RustyRhinos Says:

    Blog, no my belief is they are waiting for a bad game and then they will be back. Unfortunately.

  8. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I totally agree that Jason Licht has drastically improved, and has done a great job!

  9. mark2001 Says:

    I mentioned to some incredulous posters that Licht and Greenberg would find a way to get all our guys back within the cap, if we so chose. And make room for our draft picks as well.

    It is all a matter of understanding how the contracts are an amalgamation of signing bonuses, roster bonuses, voidable years, base salaries, and such. That is the thing these very good salary cap sites can’t account for. Because it isn’t a static thing with restructuring and such. And we hadn’t availed ourselves of the methods of pushing much money to future years in the past and had a great deal of flexibility. Finance guys and accountants are familiar with such things and sensitivity analysis as part of their functions. So it isn’t that unusual. But for those not familiar with some things, it is a paradigm shift.

  10. PSL Bob Says:

    Considering all the criticism Licht took on this site over the years, you’ve got to give the man big props now. Joe always says we wouldn’t have won the SB without Shaq Barrett. Well, we wouldn’t have won the SB without Jason Licht. Who brought in Shaq during FA in 2019? Who brought in Brady, the GOAT in FA in 2020? Who brought in Gronk, Fournette, Suh, and AB to add to the Bucs arsenal surrounding Brady? Who drafted small-school o-linemen Marpet and Cappa? And on and on it goes. Licht assembled this team and now he has kept it together for another year. He deserves as much credit for this glorious team as anyone!

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m still waiting on the possibility of a Godwin long-term deal along with a Jensen & JPP extension.

  12. ocala Says:

    Jason Licht is the best GM in the NFL

  13. Bird Says:

    Ab has 3 suitors apparently

    Bucs , 49ers and seahawks
    Brady gAve him a second football life
    Got a feeling he is coming back here

  14. lambeau Says:

    No real evidence the 49ers are interested in AB, and the Ravens are now out.
    Russ wants him in Seattle, but Pete wants to throw less, not more, the front office doesn’t like him, and the fanbase on their blogs is thoroughly negative–it’s a liberal, PC town. I like our chances.

  15. lambeau Says:

    No real evidethe 49ers are interested in AB, and the Ravens are now out.
    In Seattle Pete wants to throw less, not more, the front office doesn’t like him, and the fanbase on their blogs is thoroughly negative–it’s a liberal, PC town. I like our chances.

  16. mark2001 Says:

    lambeau… yes…who knows how much is “agent speak” planted around these teams.

  17. TOM Says:

    It’s funny before they signed TB a lot of people were saying how terrible a GM Licht was. Now all of a sudden he’s the best GM in the NFL. Yes, he’s done a great job the last couple of years but I would like to give a big shout out to Mike Greenberg who puts the icing on the cake.

  18. Capt.Tim Says:

    Bruce B
    “Found the Licht house” lol!
    Brilliant! Well done!

  19. ocala Says:

    Usually people that are smart, listen to others and work hard get better at their job. Jason Licht was not the best GM in football 4 years ago, but he is now.

  20. Buc4evr Says:

    I re-watched the playoffs and the SB. It’s pretty apparent that AB has skills our other WR’s don’t have. He can always find a way to get open and has moves that the CB’s can’t counter. He could easily be a number 1 receiver if needed and still has the hands and speed. With the injury history of Evans and Godwin, we better find a way to sign AB.

  21. Beeej Says:

    Can it be assumed we gave him an offer, and he’s shopping for better?

  22. Jerry Says:

    I’m surprised Seattle would be interested in Brown considering there is brewing dysfunction between Wilson and Carroll. Throwing AB in the mix could set up a bad situation potentially.

  23. Leighroy Says:

    Beeej – I’d say that’s a safe one. Hopefully Licht’s offer is not unlike the same deal as last year; vet minimum laden with incentives.

    I’m sure AB thinks he can do better, but I doubt anyone else will offer much else beyond that either.

  24. Chesapeake Bay Bucco Says:

    Why does Bucs’ site still have RB Leonard Fournette as a FA? I thought it was reported elsewhere that he signed?