Did Jason Licht Spook Bill Belichick Into Picking Cole Strange?

May 2nd, 2022

Counter intelligence.

While Bucs fans were fixated on drafting a punter in the fourth round ostensibly to save money, most of the NFL world, and especially those in the greater Boston region, were shook because Bill Belicheat drafted a guard from a small school in the first round.

Belicheat rarely if ever gets outsmarted. Oh, he’s human so it will happen. Maybe once every three years. But if you believe the intel former Patriots beat writer and current NFL columnist Albert Breer disseminated in his weekly MMQB column for SI.com, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht spooked Belicheat into a reach in the first round to select guard Cole Strange from Chattanooga.

Strange was the 29th pick and fills an immediate need at guard for the team. Maybe he’ll wind up being like Logan Mankins. The issue, again, isn’t the player. It’s where he was picked. Most teams (and teams seem to really like him across the board) figured Strange, a guard-center, would go in the third round, with a chance to sneak into the bottom of the second. The Bucs, for example, were one team the Patriots were concerned about. But it turns out Strange would’ve been a consideration at 60, not 33, for them.

If Licht purposely put out feelers, or had his underlings put out counter-intelligence, that he was going to pick Strange at No. 33 and spooked Belicheat into a major reach, that is high-level poker played by Licht. And Joe’s all for it.

If you rewatch NFL Network coverage of the draft — and what real football fan wouldn’t watch NFL Network’s coverage of the draft? — you will see NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout for the Crows who worked for and was hired by Ozzie Newsome, a Belicheat disciple, immediately say of the pick that he had a “mid-round” grade for Strange, as high as the third round.

Even Rams coach Sean McVay laughed at Belicheat picking Strange in the first round.

Well done, Jason Licht. Well done.

Now, Joe wonders if Belicheat is going to sick Homeland Security on Licht?

33 Responses to “Did Jason Licht Spook Bill Belichick Into Picking Cole Strange?”

  1. K2 Says:

    Also, Belichick probably told Jason he was going after a Punter early.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Belichick drafted Strange to plug a hole, a hole that he created by trading away Shaq Mason. While unloading Mason (for remarkably little) and drafting Strange created cap space and youth, it was a real head-scratching move given Strange’s projected draft stock.

    The drafting of Strange illustrates how shallow this draft was for quality, ready-out-the-box OGs. Still, it was a Strange move.

  3. PassingThru Says:

    Belichick drafted Strange to plug a hole, a hole that he created by trading away Shaq Mason. While unloading Mason (for remarkably little) and drafting Strange created cap space and youth, it was a real head-scratching move given Strange’s projected draft stock.

    The drafting of Strange illustrates how shallow this draft was for quality, ready-out-the-box OGs. Still, it was a Strange move.

  4. Dooley Says:

    Imagine Bill in the war room thinking “I can’t lose Shaq Mason and let the same guy I traded him to draft the guy I plan to replace Shaq with” LOL all while the Jets are cashed in 7 picks in the first 4 rounds.

  5. GOB Says:

    It only takes one team to fall in love with a player, and he’s off the board. I doubt the bucs were one of those teams. Bill filled a need, but it was self inflicted with the mason trade. McVay and his GM can’t draft. That’s why they trade all their picks. Go look at the last few first round picks they had, almost all busts.
    Joe your constant referral to belichick as belicheat is disingenuous. I’m sure you called Brady a cheater before the laundry change.

  6. Francisco Guzman Says:

    Saints just picked up mathieu. Tell me again about their salary cap.

  7. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    The Honey Badger to the Saints….uh oh

  8. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @GOB Are you even a Bucs fan? It’s absolutely amazing to me of how many Pat fans are still concerned about their former QB new team. I’m pretty sure Falcons fans don’t give a damn about what’s going on with Matt Ryan and the Colts.

  9. GOB Says:

    Yeah, that salary cap Francisco, it’s as fungible as playdough. When a team uses The cap as an excuse, behind it is usually a cheap owner.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If we weren’t interested in Strange then it doesn’t matter where he was picked or who picked him…

    I like our pick for OG better than theirs……we’ll see.

  11. HC Grover Says:

    Ha Ha Foot Ball gossip is like the Womans Garden Club. LOL. Or worse….Naahhh!

  12. Stanglassman Says:

    And this pick by BB is what left Hall on the board #33. If true, brilliant move.

  13. GOB Says:

    Bucsfan13, I’m a Patriots fan, but also firmly believe Bill made a huge error. The falcons didn’t give away the greatest player ever to play. That’s a little different than Matt freaking Ryan. I’m sure the vast majority of bucs fans hated Brady with a white hot passion, and called him a cheater. Funny what a uniform change can do. Just pointing out the hypocrisy. I cheer for the bucs because I’m cheering for Brady. I really could give two poops about the franchise as a whole, so no I’m not a bucs fan.

  14. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @GOB Appreciate your honestly. I’m a lifelong Bucs fan and Michigan alum, so I’ve followed Tom’s career since his college days. I was thrilled when he signed with TB because I’m a big Brady fan, but not once have a been on a Patriots’ fan board discussing their draft. You just seem to have a hate for this organization.

  15. Morgus the Magnificent Says:


  16. Smashsquatch Says:

    This was the first thought that crossed my mind when Belichick reached for Strange in round one. Licht’s prowess spooked Bill for sure.

  17. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    GOB – then how about not posting comments about a Team you are not a fan of. Go Bucs!

  18. SlyPirate Says:


    What’s the advantage of another team drafting a player you want?

    The result is you’re not getting a player you want. The other team gets the player they want but they allowed a higher caliber player to drop to another team. Based on where we were in the draft, the team that benefited most was a Super Bowl contender.

    How is any of this good for the Bucs?

  19. geno711 Says:

    Let’s hope that Tryann Mathieu is the player he was on KC the last three years and not the player he was on Arizona or Houston!

  20. geno711 Says:


    For me always liked Brady. Never liked the Patriots.
    But it could also be that I rooted for Brady at Michigan.

  21. Ontario Mike Says:

    What most Bucs fans want to hear is any news on Gronk and when will Godwin be healthy enough to play!!

  22. GOB Says:

    Bucsfan13, I don’t hate the bucs. What I have a problem with is BA sycophants, who think he had anything to do with the superbowl win. I like this site, and the variety of options. I think you’re the outlier when it comes to bucs fans that hated Brady. There’s actually a growing opinion here, that actually wants Brady gone. That I find completely asinine.
    As for my resume, I played SS for a division 2 school. I never made a 53. I did play on two NFL practice squads. I would never use my experience to justify an option, unlike some here. But, I think I’m more than qualified to express opinions.

  23. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    “I’d never use my experience to justify an ‘option’ (?)…….then why offer it?

  24. GOB Says:

    Morgus, I’m speaking as a fan, not a player. The game has changed so much, my experience is nearly irrelevant. If you wanna talk 90s NFL football, I’m your man. These guys barley hit anymore. One padded practice per week, for the first 11 weeks. I’m in no position to say anything other than “back in my day”. I’d never do that. I respect most of the opinions here, regardless of my resume, which wasn’t that impressive. I offered it because my general football knowledge was questioned.

  25. GOB Says:

    Morgus, if you’re going to call him belicheat, then you must believe Brady benefited from that cheating. If you’d like to get into the weeds of spygate, fine. I can tell you with absolute certainty that every single team taped signals
    The Patriots got in trouble because they continued to do it. That doesn’t mean other teams weren’t still doing it. Personally, I think pumping in crowd noise, and cranking up dome temperatures, are just as egregious. I suspect you are one of those fake bucs fans that hated Brady, before he wore the pewter. That makes you a hypocritical jackass, in my humble opinion

  26. GOB Says:

    I also believe a tampering investigation should be launched by the league in regards to Brady/Miami. Then you’ll have a three time cheat throwing passes. I get it, it doesn’t matter because of the color of his uniform

  27. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    GOB (goofy old broad?), you sure assume a LOT of sh!t, of which you certainly don’t know, and then profess with “absolute certainty” things which you cannot prove. And just because one professes “absolute certainty”, it is absolute conjecture without proof. Of that, I AM absolutely certain.

  28. lambchop Says:

    The Steelers declined the 5th year option on Devin Bush. Good thing we picked the right Devin.

  29. GOB Says:

    One thing I’m absolutely convinced of Morgus the malcontent, is that you hated Tom Brady before he joined your laundry. That my friend is the definition of hypocrisy. Deny it, Joe does. Anyone who calls the greatest coach in NFL history a cheater, when most of the league engaged in the same behavior, is a football FRAUD.

  30. Esteban85 Says:

    Sly, maybe BELICHEAT didn’t pick the G Jason wanted. Obviously they were pretty high on the Glasseater moving up to ensure his presence in Tampa.

  31. Esteban85 Says:

    Seems smart to me to pile on the hype about players other teams think are studs but your scouts maybe aren’t as high on. Blow smoke up some of our enemies rear.

    I like the idea of this 32 team chess match going on during the draft which is why I love this off-season and love this Bucs team. If you don’t, your opinion means less to me than my horses manure.

  32. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    GOB, you just proved 100% that you don’t know squat about me, which suggests, quite simply, that you just don’t know squat. Speaking of, reading your post makes me wanna take a squat. But I gotta say, to see a new england turd crying on a BUCS fan page is priceless. And just for fun….BELICHEAT

  33. westernbuc Says:

    They said the same stuff about Travis Frederick and he’s a borderline hall of fame center.

    I don’t care what perception is. That’s why I wanted us to trade past Indy and grab Quinton Nelson a few years back. People (morons) were decrying the choice of a guard in the top ten picks, as if solidifying your offensive line is a waste of time.

    Draft the guy you want, not who BSPN tells you who you should want.