Will Jason Licht Play Poker Again?

April 12th, 2021

In an often interesting column from NBC Sports, this week’s edition documents how NFL general managers have become loose when it comes to draft picks.

The author, hot-dog-eating-contest-protesting, mock-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, Coors-Light-souring social activist and NFL insider Peter King, noted that back in the 1980s general managers held on to draft picks like they were each bricks of gold.

But one person changed that. His name is Jimmy Johnson.

When Johnson ran the Cowboys, King typed, he didn’t see a trade he didn’t like when it came to draft picks. The results (and revolutionary philosophy) worked like a charm and Johnson built a dynasty in Dallas.

It took a while, but teams learned from Johnson and now trades involving draft picks happen all the time.

So why does Joe bring this up? Well, there was a young scout who worked for the Dolphins when Don Shula was pushed into retirement and replaced by Johnson, who then took over the football operations of the Dolphins.

And that young scout’s name was Jason Licht.

When Johnson came on board, he promoted Licht to his staff as an offensive quality control assistant. Licht has since outperformed his old Pro Football Hall of Fame boss in one category. Licht (unlike Johnson) built a Super Bowl winner in Florida.

It sure seems as if Licht learned a bunch from Johnson. Licht likes to wheel and deal with picks during the draft, not unlike Johnson. In his seven years as Bucs general manager, three times Licht has either moved up or down in the first round. And he’s batting .666 in those at-bats.

Licht, in two separate drafts, traded back in the first round. He got his man both times but swung and missed on one: Vernon Hargreaves. In 2018, he traded back for Vita Vea. Last year Licht traded up and got Tristan Wirfs.

So with Licht not averse to dealing in the first round, and sitting at No. 32, would he maybe trade back into the second round and collect a draft pick for next year, when there will be a combine and private workouts, or does Licht possibly have a player in mind to target with a trade up in 2 1/2 weeks?

31 Responses to “Will Jason Licht Play Poker Again?”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    I do think he will trade back and have two picks in round 2. Plus another pick in round 3 (or 4). Will be fun to watch.

  2. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    He will trade up. Or trade back. Or stay put. Bank on that.

  3. SlyPirate Says:

    Licht and co. have finally figured out the draft. The last 3 years we see solid contributors from the top to the bottom of each draft.

    Give credit to Licht for perfecting their evaluation process AND to the Glazers for sticking with Licht and letting him learn and develop.

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    JL will trade down imo…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  5. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Jimmy Johnson actually changed the NFL, by drafting for Speed.
    He showed the entire league the true value of Speed.
    Unless a real stud falls to us at #32, I think it best to trade down.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Licht could have 5 or 6 players available at 32…..keep in mind, all positions are on the board….best player….if that is the case, he can trade back and still get one of them.

  7. Swampbuc Says:

    I hope we trade up to draft a kicker. Yeah!

  8. adrnagy Says:

    Licht should of played poker with shaq but he didn’t he got bend over. And shaq nailed him.

    Draft ? No. You’re in a win situation. You grab the best player ready now to play. Unless—- the offer is to hard to pass.

  9. Allbuccedup Says:

    Hopefully someone in early to middle second round will have a player they can t live without at pick 32 and Licht can clean up!

  10. Casual Observer Says:

    Allbuc – Exactly the scenario. Hope it happens.

  11. BA4President Says:

    Joe, is there any advantage to trading back to say the 33rd or 34th spot, just for the benefit of having the next day to review how day 1 of the draft went down and adjust their strategy accordingly? Or am I overthinking this?

  12. iamrhenry Says:

    Why not trade the entire 2021 draft class? We basically draft last in each round so returns on picks we trade even steven for couldnt be worse and might drastically improve. Since the team has no major weakness, we could use the money designated for the 2021 rooks to sign a few free agents for depth. Next year, we would hold 14 draft picks, two in each round that could be used to start the inevitable rebuild after Tom.

  13. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The 2 greatest moves Licht has made:
    1) signed Arians- which led to
    2) signed Brady- which led to numerous FA’s and potential FA’s signing with Bucs

  14. Joe Says:

    Joe, is there any advantage to trading back to say the 33rd or 34th spot, just for the benefit of having the next day to review how day 1 of the draft went down and adjust their strategy accordingly? Or am I overthinking this?

    There is absolutely value in taking a step back and see how the smoke clears after the first day. Might also be able to swing a helluva trade from someone who has targeted a player they expected to go in the first round and is still on the board. Good thinking man!

  15. Buxszntkt Says:

    I didn’t read the article but love the pic Joe !

  16. Fred mcneil Says:

    If we trade up it would have to be for an edge or a corner who can rotate in now. we could trade back a little and still get a good pass catching back.
    Can Gainwell pass block at all? The other 3 can.

  17. BenonaBuck Says:

    I bet we package 32 and and a few other picks and move up into the teens or 20’s. We only have so many positions available right now we have more draft picks than we have players. Looking forward to the season ticket holder draft party at Raymond James!

  18. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    All Buc fans and Jason Licht, go to Youtube and type this into the search box:

    Andre Cisco 2018 & 2019 Highlights | Syracuse Safety

    I have never seen a DB pick off more balls than this guy.


  19. Dan Williamson Says:

    Irst of all, Peter King is an idiot. Abolish the second amendment indeed. What a bone head.Second, Jason Licht is not Jimmy Johnson and their 6 degrees of separation doesnt lend to the theory. He did exactly what he needed to this year, but lets not forget the early round selections of kickers, punters and water boys he lined up when he first arrived.

  20. Oxycondoms Says:

    Trading back usually means the player you want isnt there . Vea turned out to be a good gamble he was still there

  21. PatsBucsfan4years Says:

    Hey Joe is Jason’s last name pronounced Light or Licked ?

    Hearing it both ways on BSPN🤔

  22. Hodad Says:

    Jason Licht has picked some real stinkers in the second round, let’s be honest. Stay at 32, get a better player who can help us win this year, and get that 5th year option. There isn’t a lot of room on our roster, we don’t need a bunch of 3rd round garbage. There’s a reason one player is rated higher then another. Run up to the podium with #32.

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    “He will trade up. Or trade back. Or stay put. Bank on that.”

    LOL, statement of the year!!!

  24. BA4President Says:

    Thanks for being so fan-friendly Joe!

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    Aside from the 1st round trades Licht has made a few other notable moves in rounds 2-6.

    2015-Traded for Marpet
    2016-Traded for Roberto the kicker
    2018-Used traded picks to get Ronald Jones/M.J. Stewart/Carlton Davis(not sure which picks were the traded ones)
    2018-Traded up to get Cappa.

    Not perfect but really good. Many of those players were key to our Super Bowl Championship

  26. JimmyJack Says:

    I like to add in that Licht traded away that bum D Jax for a measely 6th rounder and turned that pick into a better Buccaneer then Djax could ever dream to be when we picked Scotty Miller.

    Miller is a world Champ probably laying on the beach while Hackson remains a all time loser that has to buy his own expense rings just to look cool.

  27. Joe Says:

    Miller is a world Champ probably laying on the beach

    That or his hotel room. He got married Saturday night.

  28. Ne+ bucs fan Says:

    Joe I do like how you put all the nicknames in red that way we can pass them over and just go towards the end not complaining but good move👍

  29. Ne+ bucs fan Says:

    Sc bucs fan,,, funny, funny

  30. BucFanSince1998 Says:

    That is a great thought…trade each round pick for future same round and supplemental later round pick if possible if BAP is not of interest on our draft board. And keep Alex Smith on our radar for QB backup.

  31. Ne+ bucs fan Says:

    Lots of comedy today,, good one swampbuc