The Jason Licht Dilemma

February 8th, 2022


If you are Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht, you are between a rock and a hard place.

You have a team mostly stocked and ready to win. You also have critical free agents. And you need a quarterback.

What does Licht do?

Joe suspects a couple of these big-name free agents might want to know who the team’s quarterback will be, and soon, if Licht hopes to retain them. The free agency dinner bell rings on March 16, basically in five weeks.

But to get a quarterback, whether it is through free agency or sweet-talking a quarterback’s agent to help force/facilitate a trade, Licht needs to be able to tell that QB what he plans to do with free agents on offense, namely Chris Godwin, Ryan Jensen, Playoff Lenny and perhaps Rob Gronkowski and Alex Cappa.

And likewise these free agents will want Licht to fill them in on his plan for a quarterback.

It’s all so wild to Joe. This team, albeit with a new starting QB, could look very much the same as the last two seasons, or it could look like a rebuilding team. Joe really doubts the latter option is realistic for 2022.

With agents descending on Indianapolis in the first week of March for the combine, Joe is guessing the Bucs will likely have their plan in place for 2022 by then so they can begin preliminary vegetable groping.

47 Responses to “The Jason Licht Dilemma”

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Joe, just maybe J Licht and company can do an old AFL vs NFL strategy lol in Indy. You know how the AFL hid the draftable players in hotel rooms from the other league lol until they had the player signed. And of course the NFL hid guys too after getting beaten to the punch so many times, lol just kidding, fun to think about. But it was a very cloak and dagger what was going on with the AFL raiding the talent from the established NFL. Joe Namath was the biggest catch for the AFL.
    So if J Licht can somehow….. Naw, there is no way to pull off something like this with one of the Free Agent QB’s in the Modern era.

    OH well GO BUCS!!!!!!

  2. Hodad Says:

    Most FA’s only care about how much they’re going to make, not who the QB is. The FA’s who are looking for their second contract coming off rookie deals certainly only care about the money. Players realize only one team wins it all, so what team can pay the most for me, and my family. Joe didn’t you once say it’s all about the money? Well it is about the money, not who the QB is.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Still remember that old saying ‘Don’t miss the forest for the trees’. Sometimes we spend so much time focusing on one thing (Bucs search for a QB?) that we overlook the obvious (without a strong TEAM surrounding that QB, our Bucs aren’t going anywhere).

    Seattle saw that play out this year with Russell Wilson. So did Jacksonville with Trevor Lawrence. Both potentially good QBs, but the teams they were surrounded with weren’t very sterling.

    And yet a number of other teams did quite well with OK QBs by surrounding them with a quality defense & offense. The extreme example IMO would be the Patriots. Belicheck started the rookie Mac Jones & finished 10-7 (and that included losing to the Dolphins twice). Pats offense finished #6, but just as importantly their defense ranked #2 (and created 30 TOs in the process).

    Lots of other examples could be used, but the point is that the Bucs’ 2022 goal must be to build a strong TEAM, and not get so wrapped up focusing on 1 position that we compromise the bigger picture. We’ve got some excellent talent under contract right now, but not nearly enough of it to be considered a strong contender. Just to use 1 example, our sole RB under contract has a grand total of 62 rushes in 2 years for less than 300 yards and only 2 TDs. We’ve got LOTS of major holes that NEED to be filled; not just QB.

    So yes, I would agree that ‘Jason Licht has a Dilemma’. But it’s a LOT bigger than just figuring out who our starting QB will be.

  4. allbuccedup Says:

    Licht is not going to find another Brady, the free agent QBs stink for the most part and all these whing QBs Rodgers, Wilson, Murray etc. just want money and publicity and really do not care about winning.

  5. lambeau Says:

    Godwin and Jensen are too good to lose, but Rule #1 is get the best QB you can.

  6. VSyl Says:

    Let murray come

  7. Proud Bucs Fan Says:

    It’s a rebuild either way. Some just do not realize how much Brady covered up for. The coaches and player roster will be exposed this season.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Well, Chris…..well Ryan…..well Lenny…..well Alex…..I’ve got some good news and some bad news…..The good news it that we’ve signed a top-tier Quarterback….the bad news is we don’t have enough money left to sign you”

  9. Buczilla Says:

    Either way it’s going to be an exciting season at least until October.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Go with Trask & spend the money elsewhere…..if you pay them, they will stay.

  11. MarkV Says:

    Well said Defense Rules

  12. allbuccedup Says:

    By todays standards Brady worked for peanuts. Wilson, Mahomes, Allen etc.etc. salaries average about 40k a year so be assured the Bucs are not getting a top tier QB.

  13. SB~LV Says:

    It was all a dream…
    I think Tom Brady was in a Buccaneer uniform and they won the Super Bowl in the Ray Jay

  14. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Russell Wilson is NOT a POTENTIALLY GOOD QB as Drules stated-Wilson is an established GREAT QB. Striving for anything less than another world championship this upcoming season is a waste of a year in your 2-3 year window of opportunity. Bucs have the talent and only need a GREAT QB , Wilson is that guy. Tell Wilson you have Jensen and Gronk returning and Tampa is the team for Russ. Sign Wilson and you are headed to Allegiant stadium on Feb.11 2024-without him , not so much.

  15. teacherman777 Says:

    We could also accumulate a lot of compensatory draft picks if we let these free agents go.

  16. Bobby M. Says:

    I think there’s a good chance we plug last years o-line draft pick in for Jensen. Licht has shown he has a great eye for offensive linemen. As a RB in his mid 20s, Lenny likely goes to highest guaranteed contract for financial security…..RBs simply don’t last and aren’t valued like they once were. Godwin is probably the one we’ll keep but grossly over pay for….between he and Lenny, I think cap wise we get a better bargain with Fournette. I’d like to see us bring back JPP if he’ll do one year deals similar to Suh. Suh is likely gone….as is Whitehead and Davis. Our system doesn’t emphasis a need for tight coverage so not much need to overpay in that department. We stop the run and get pressure on the QB….everything else is contingent on that.

  17. Razor Ramone Says:

    Alot easier said than done but I’m also in the Wilson camp.

  18. gotbbucs Says:

    You all forget we got Brady for free.

    Wilson-under contract with Seattle
    Rodgers-under contract with Green Bay
    Watson-under contract with Houston

    Those QB’s will all cost at a minimum two 1st round picks. It’s not as simple as “just sign” so and so.
    Get back to reality people. Without some of our own free agents right now we won’t have a team good enough to contend, and then on top of that we can’t replace them in the draft because we gave away our top draft picks, then we’ll be paying an established QB $35+ million dollars.
    You can’t just wave a magic wand and replace Brady, but this could still be a very good football team without him.

  19. Mike Says:

    It’s an easy sell to go all in when your QB is Brady at the end of his career. Without Brady, you have to take a more long term approach and continue to build through the draft and use Free Agency judiciously. I would expect them to let several of our FA’s walk, with the exception of Godwin.

  20. Bradinator Says:

    We are keeping Godwin unless he asks for way too much. I’d love to keep Fournette, but someone will overpay for him and he’s gone. We really should keep Jensen. Keep Gabbert and let him face off vs Trask. Suh is still productive, keep him if you can. Gholston needs to stay, he is the most consistent DL we have outside of Vea.
    Draft an RB maybe 2. Get a solid FA CB or two and draft one. Draft an Edge rusher high again, and high DL. very good LBs to be had in the mid as well as another OL.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    Signing a vet FA good/great QB is going to cost, money that would otherwise be used to sign important FAs like Godwin and Jensen, and so forth. You won’t have to worry about “windows” because we will already have put ourselves behind.
    It will be difficult enough to sign the FAs we have, let alone a top-tier QB. IMO, it’s not feasible. Build the TEAM as Defense Rules stated.

  22. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    teacherman777 Says:
    February 8th, 2022 at 8:08 am
    We could also accumulate a lot of compensatory draft picks if we let these free agents go.

    An argument could certainly be made to go with Trask….and get much younger by replacing Suh, JPP, Jensen (I’d keep Gholston)…..

    Licht will want to keep our draft picks….Cappa, Whitehead, Davis

    Lenny would depend entirely on money.

  23. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    What? Build a team that maybe wins a championship in 4 or 5 years? Or get Wilson and be the favorite to win it all for the next two years , much
    better to have a known quality and opportunity than an unknown. Greenberg is the best capologist in the NFL and he makes it all work under the cap-not Licht. Wilson is the guy that fits best with the NO RISK IT NO BISCUIT offense of BA.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    gotbbucs … Excellent!

  25. Mike Johnson Says:

    Laugh all you like. Having said all big named QB’s are under contract and its no way we get them? Famous Jameis is available probably at a bargain basement price. And in an open competition with Trask and Gabbert, he wins hands down.

  26. Brian Says:

    Only J Licht dilemma is how does he keep the GM role another year. This team was built around brady and he elevated coaches and players. It was/is a two year window and we won the superbowl. Watching the playoff teams this year, which unit on the bucs is truly dominant? Which players do you build a team around?

    We are likely .500 team in a bad NFC south next year, which is good for Jason pre Brady days. Yeah I don’t think he’s a good GM for a rebuild – his track record show its.

  27. Will Says:

    They saw something in Trask and went with him in round 2 knowing he wasn’t going to see the field. Granted they probably thought we’d have Brady for this year and let Trask be the man next but that didn’t happen. I’d still think we go with Trask since he’s on his rookie deal and build up the trenches and the defense so that we don’t depend on him to win games but to manage them and at times surprise us with some great moments. Now that Brady is gone we’ll see if the guys remaining learned from him and can be winners without him.

  28. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Everything is for sale in the NFL at any time including Russ-three number ones and Seattle will trade Wilson , so please stop with all this namby pamby BS that he is under contract.

  29. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Defense Rules

    You are 100% correct. Good post…

    @ gotbucs

    Most people don’t want to deal with reality. They just want to believe so bad that another franchise saving QB is going to just fall into our laps again.

    Sorry folks – it ain’t gonna happen…

  30. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    It can and will happen if the Bucs decide to make it happen.

  31. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Bucsfansince1976

    Which QB would you like to see the Bucs trade for?

  32. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    BA is coming back for ONE more year-ONE. BA will not fritter away his LAST year as a head coach on a unproven QB , because BA knows this is his last hurrah.

  33. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Russell Wilson would be preferred above all else if trading , however if you want to keep alot of your FA’s and sign some experienced QB at bargain basement pricing-Mariota or Minshew could be had for a song and both offer a wealth of experience.

  34. SKBucsFan Says:

    The good thing is that Licht isn’t forming a team out of desperation because he knows it’s his last year as GM, unlike BA and many of the shortsighted posters on here. He can focus on building a better team around Trask and not trading away the teams'(and his) future for a QB.

  35. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Shortsighted? Build a team? The goal is to win another Superbowl next year and any other goal is unacceptable and I know BA is squarely in that mindset as all clear thinking Bucs fans should be. There is no need to build a team as we have the best Oline in the NFL and one of the best Dlines.

  36. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Bucsfansince1976

    Minshew is an interesting suggestion… Wilson is not.

    I do agree with you on this possibly being BA’s last season and he may want to “go for broke” – however – this is not Jason Licht’s last season… I doubt the GM will want to scuttle the next 2-4 seasons to make a trade for Wilson, Rodgers or Jimmy G.

    No draft picks, salary cap hell and an aging QB with limited talent surrounding him.

  37. SKBucsFan Says:

    We HAD a great O-Line. Licht still needs to sign a Center and Guard. And another guard next year. I hope Wilson, Mayfield , etc can still run. They will need to when there is no money to keep the best O-line in football together.

  38. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    There was a time when I would stress over all this. Not anymore. I have crossed over the maturity line, I suppose.

    I’m just going to sit back and see what shakes out. I’m no expert.

    In my ignorant opinion, I think that if can hold onto most of our FAs, then trading for Wilson or Rogers is a great idea. As joe says, we are built to win now.

    But…I’m also okay if we don’t do that…so long as we don’t put all our eggs in one basket.

    For once, if we are not trading, then I would like to see true competition at QB…not the illusion of competition that we’ve seen in the past.

  39. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    SKBucsFan Says
    “We HAD a great O-Line. Licht still needs to sign a Center and Guard. And another guard next year. I hope Wilson, Mayfield , etc can still run. They will need to when there is no money to keep the best O-line in football together.”

    We have.

    Alex Cappa isn’t going anywhere.
    Jenson won’t either, unless he retires.

  40. Architek Says:

    With all due respect, this team should look very different in key positions!

  41. SKBucsFan Says:

    I hope you’re right Bonzai. Im pretty confident about Jensen but Cappa may become a victim of the cap.

  42. matthew veal Says:

    In Jason we trust.

  43. Buc king Says:

    Since the new revelations of Murray wanting out..he tops my list then Winston then Russell then Ryan then who ever

  44. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    As this article points out so well Licht is between a rock and a hard place, indeed. As sooon as Tom Brady announced his retirement I am sure that JL began the execution of Plan B, C or D as the case may be.

    Even the best made plan does not in itself guarantee the perfect outcome. Whether we can continue as top tier contenders or are forced to fall back into rebuild mode this year is at stake. Licht will have to have “all the stars align” in order to pull this one off!

    I’ve enjoyed most of the comments so far. Go Bucs!

  45. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    I was impressed with the coaching job Billichick did this year. Love him or hate him, he is one of the best ever.

    The goal is to build a Super Bowl ready group every year for all thirty-two teams in theory. We have the chance for that to become realistic again this season. I remain optimistic.

    Deshaun Watson is my fantasy pick for our next starting QB. Kyler Murray, Kirk Cousins, and Derek Carr seem to represent a bit more realistic options out there. The odds favor Blaine Gabbert or Kyle Trask as being our starter come September if you are content with being a hard-nosed realist.

  46. Anonymous Says:

    While any player would prefer to play for a stacked contender, the number one motivator for most professional athletes is not who their teammates are but rather how much money they can make and the quality of life for them and their family in a given city. A great example is Green Bay, they have a great QB and are always in contention but money being equal it’s not a place a younger player coming from an urban or cosmopolitan area will want to play. They will have to overpay to persuade a free agent like that. California, Florida, New York and large media market teams don’t have that issue. The Bucs will be attractive to free agents no matter who the QB is if they offer the most money, or because the weather is great, taxes low and nightlife available

  47. stpetebucsfan Says:

    gotbbucs and D.R. are correct.

    There is only one QB who really fills the bill of “win now” IMHO. And we’re not getting him without giving up a TON! MONEY AND DRAFT PICKS. Russell Wilson has the best shot at getting us back to the SB next year…BUT..BUT..

    Wilson has a full no-trade clause in his contract, which has two years remaining.” As previously reported by Mike Garafalo of, the Seattle Seahawks have stated that they have no intention of trading Russell Wilson this offseason.

    I have total respect for Wilson but he’s not coming here.