Jason Licht: Gronk & Suh Decisions Won’t Have Major Impact On Draft

April 19th, 2022

Future Hall of Famers Rob Gronkowski and Ndamukong Suh are in the balance, old free agents contemplating their futures.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht was asked today about how their statuses might affect the 2022 NFL Draft. Licht danced around the question but made it clear that their decisions won’t move the needle much.

It’s a slippery slope to even go there, Licht explained. “You never really want to push a need or a perceived need too high up. That’s when you make mistakes,” Licht said.

The GM emphasized that again later in his annual pre-draft news conference. Need cannot take over on draft day and respect for the team’s draft board has to remain a driving force, Licht said. However, Licht said he has a “need” board and an overall board.

Licht did not reference the fact the Bucs only have $4 million remaining under the 2022 salary cap, and they’ll need about $7 million for their draft class plus reserve cash for emergency signings prompted by injuries.

So signing Suh and Gronk would require work on the accounting side and other players to redo contracts.

If Joe had to pick, Joe would take Gronk over Suh in a heartbeat.

20 Responses to “Jason Licht: Gronk & Suh Decisions Won’t Have Major Impact On Draft”

  1. Bucsfan13 Says:

    I really didn’t feel good about Light’s press conference today. I also don’t know how much I want BA involved in the draft process. He reached on Darden and Vaughn last year. This roster as currently constructed is not better than the Rams who are a biggest challenge in the NFC. I would also add the Saints and Packers will be tough. We have the toughest schedule in the league! Where is the urgency. Our defense needs HELP like right now. Sure we picked up some spare parts with Neal and Ryan, but we need to get quicker and faster, especially on the DL. We are in desperate need of an interior pass rusher. We need to limit blitzes and get pressure with 4, so we can play coverage. We also need another CB, preferably one who can actually pick the ball off. We need depth at CB. The Dee Delaney games were a disaster.

    There will be times when our offense can’t get us 30 points a game. We need to able to win some games with our D. If the Rams offense isn’t clicking, their D is good enough to win them some games. I’m just not seeing the aggressiveness this off season. You should never go into the draft with multiple needs and right now that’s our situation. I would also add that we need to draft a receiver. We have no idea how long Godwin will be out. If he misses multiple games, Gage would move to WR2. The current options we have for WR3 aren’t good enough because this is such a receiver-driven offense. I’m hoping we can do more on the ground. Brady has hinted that’s what he wants for the offense. The schedule hasn’t been released, but what happens if we have a tough stretch in the beginning. Missing Godwin will be huge. Last thought: Improve this damn defense! End rant

  2. Letsbuccinggo Says:

    Gronk is going to the WWE this year and rest up for the Dolphins in 2023 with Tom. Super Bowl champion 2024 Miami Dolphins.

  3. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    I would think the Suh decision would rank pretty high up on the list of who the bucs might go with in round 1 and thus make the drafting of one of the UGA DT’s a a bigger priority; anyways did the one espn reporter find out if Gronk would be at kenny chesney this weekend?

  4. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    I would rather Suh than Gronk.
    Both are important, but Suh is good for 17+ games.
    Gronk? You might get 12.

  5. Ash Says:

    They will handle the cap just like every other front office not worried about it. The bucs do it as needed and won’t make moves until they need to just like they always do and if they want both Suh and gronk they will make it happen.

  6. Dano Says:

    The defense is concerning.

  7. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree with Licht. It seems likely that we’ll first take a DL then a TE. Regardless of Gronk and Suh status. Those two position areas are the Bucs thinnest groups. We’ll see – but that’s my take.

  8. sasquatch Says:

    If Joe had to pick, Joe would take Gronk over Suh in a heartbeat.

    Would Joe finally admit that DT is a major need then?

  9. ben Says:

    I don’t believe the Bucs can beat the Rams without adding talent upgrade to the roster

  10. Bucs Guy Says:

    Be careful about believing anything a GM or coach says until the draft is completed.

  11. Steven M. Says:

    Bucs Fan13 is right, rush 4, then cover the pass.
    The Bucs did this successfully in the SB against Mahomes.

  12. Coburn Says:

    So we are going bpa but we currently are short a starter on dline and no depth/rotation for the most part. If Gronk doesn’t come back we have Brate, McElroy and….?

  13. steele Says:

    It shouldn’t be a “Suh decision”. The defense needs upgrades, including Suh and JPP spots, and those must be addressed aggressively. Pursue better/healthier/younger impact players. Go back to same old only if unable to get better.

    I don’t think they win a SB without these upgrades.

  14. steele Says:

    On the other hand, the “Gronk decision” actually is a “Gronk” problem. No one else can do what he does. No Gronk forces a top TE in the draft and/or a trade for a top starter.

    Gronk’s indecision essentially has them in a bind.

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    The need board says


    6 areas of legit “need” for the Buccaneers at this point. Mostly to shore up needed depth for this year and have somewhat talented young players ready to step in and start when Suh, SMB, JPP, Gronk, LVD, etc are no longer here.

    I fully expect both Gronk and Suh will be signed prior to the start of training camp (which is still more than 3 months from now…). JPP is probably a 50/50 situation. I actually think there’s a decent chance Pierre-Paul will be back for 1 more year at a big discount. Doesn’t matter – the Bucs still have to draft for those positions this year so as not to get stuck trying to fill major holes with wide eyed rookies….

  16. Goatfarmer Says:

    “This” Joe would take Suh over Gronk in a heartbeat.

  17. sasquatch Says:

    Right now, you’ve got to draft as if they’re not coming back. So, both positions are high need even if both players come back. Without them, arguably you need to consider drafting 2 DTs and 2 TEs… They’ve got alternate plans, I’m sure… It’s hard to swallow drafting 2 TEs with limited picks… so maybe the 2nd tight end is the best pure blocking TE left over as a UDFA… Drop a bigger bonus on him and get him in.

  18. Hawaii's Finest Says:

    I don’t see why we had to sign 2 quarterback that ain’t squad when we have Brady and Trask. Waste of money for sure.

  19. ThatAintRight! Says:

    Gronk will be back , like everyone has said it’s gonna take some restructuring and accounting to fix the problem and only the GM can that problem out. They should just turn Brady’s contract into cash bonus and get his BFF in TB and another ring on his finger. Nothing special at TE in this draft. Nothing special in free agency. Brate is aging faster then Gronk.
    Realistic possibilities while staying @ 27 are
    1. DL – Suh is not coming back. He’s too old.
    Need help even if he did come back.
    2. Cb – outside Cb help is a weakness after cd3 & Dean
    SMB isn’t really helpful unless at safety / ST unit
    3. OL – G is a weakness. Mason is only one starter. Gotta replace Cappa also.
    4. WR – need a true possession WR2 while Godwin is recovering. Evans and Russ as the 1/2 idk? I feel like Russ is best in the slot. Everyone else good is just deep threats & home run hitters. Not built for every down.

  20. AA3755 Says:

    We need the band back together on defense,JPP AND SUE .Last two years the front office has worked miracles,they need to do it again if we want another SUPER BOWL………