“Genius” Move By Jason Licht

June 7th, 2022

Played cards perfectly.

As we all know, in the 40 days between Tom Brady announcing his retirement and then having his rapture, the Bucs kept in contact with Brady. Just in case.

But rather than hound him, the Bucs, in particular, AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht had to have just the right touch and timing. Licht knew that Brady knew he couldn’t just roll up in August. With the free agency dinner bell soon to ring and the Bucs making it perfectly clear they were not interested in trading Brady’s rights, Brady didn’t want to return to a shell of a team he left.

If Brady was going to have his rapture it had to be quick. And Albert Breer of SI.com thinks the way Licht played his cards was no less than “genius.”

To me, this was the genius in how the Buccaneers handled the situation. Where Brady was wavering on playing in Tampa, and thinking of San Francisco or Miami, the Bucs were firm in their messaging that if Brady would play, it’d be in Tampa. You heard it repeatedly at the combine. Brady’s rights weren’t going to be traded. And Jason Licht and Bruce Arians knew then that free agency provided a real deadline—because if Brady didn’t make a decision by the start of it, there could be a mass exodus of veteran players, given the team’s uncertainty at the most important position on the field. So for Brady that meant either make a decision, or risk coming back and playing on a depleted roster. He made his choice. The Bucs got their quarterback.

And as it later became known, Brady saved center Ryan Jensen from bolting for the Bengals and stud corner Carlton Davis was jumping the pirate ship as well.

And then Brady went to work recruiting, most notably receiver Russell Gage.

Joe has written often how when NFL shot-callers stand behind a podium or speak with various media outlets, it’s about hidden messages if not agendas. And at the combine before the entire #NFLMedia, both former Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians and Licht made it crystal clear to Brady: he had one playing option for 2022. And that was with the Bucs.

33 Responses to ““Genius” Move By Jason Licht”

  1. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Brady made sure that he is free to play elsewhere in 2023. Obviously he wants out. I believe Trask wants to be a Buccaneer. I support guys that want to play here. Brady is planning his next move.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    1SparkyBuc … Brady might be ‘planning his next move’, but more than likely he really doesn’t know what’s coming next & just wants to keep his options open. That’s just being a good businessman. Personal opinion is that this’ll be his last year, but hey, your guess is as good as mine.

  3. Kalind Says:

    Trask is garbage. Y’all need to let it go. Dude can’t beat Ryan Griffin out for a job. What are we even talking about.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Kalind … None of us fans have any idea at this point what we have in Kyle Trask. But given our likely roster changes & salary CAP situation once Tom Brady does in fact retire, we’d all better hope & pray that Trask turns out to be that proverbial diamond in the rough.

    And Breer’s comment that it was ‘genius’ on JL’s part as to how we held on to Tom Brady’s rights after he ‘retired’ is laughable. Well, unless ‘we had absolutely no choice’ equates to ‘genius’. JL’s hands were tied until at least the start of training camp.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We had the hammer with Brady…..but I actually don’t think it made any sense for him to play elsewhere…..why?

    As for Trask……I’m still banking on the collective wisdom of BA, BL, Licht, Christensen, Moore & Brady…..they all green-lignted him for the draft.

  6. Irishmist Says:

    I’m hoping Brady does play somewhere else next year. That would get us off the hook for at least some of his cap hit.

  7. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree that Brady is just keeping his options open, but he will probably retire, after this year.
    Can you blame him, with 375 million dollars waiting for him ?

  8. Scott Says:

    Trask will be fine compare his college numbers to Burrows college numbers? you will see 👀 i would give all the second team reps to Trask no matter what you know Gabbert is Not the future….

  9. Allbuccedup Says:

    Trask is the best option the 2023 free agency pool of Quarterbacks are at best glorified backups.

  10. Allbuccedup Says:

    Forget about drafting another quarterback the Bucs have a history of not developing qbs. That doesn’t hold well for Trask but lets hope the trend of not developing qbs changes.

  11. Dooley Says:

    The last two QBs to be drafted nearly as high as Trask w/the expectation to sit behind a starter were Mike Glennon & Josh Freeman. As we all know, both those guys were starting before the end of their rookie seasons respectively and both ended up not having the structure in place Kyle Trask should be benefitting from. They struggled, which doesn’t mean Trask won’t, but boom/bust he’s put through a learning process that regardless of how he takes we know we’re getting a better prepared player when his time comes than what he’d be as a rookie or 2nd year player. Let Kyle cook.

  12. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Gabbert is proven garbage. Not one team desperate for a QB made any attempt to even talk to him. Trask was at least amazing against SEC competition in 2020, yet we have “fans” that go out of their way to denigrate him. I understand doubt. The SEC is a tough league, but it’s not the NFL. Doubt is one thing. The bitterness and hatred I have witnessed here goes far beyond doubt. Trask is not the enemy. If you’re a fan of the team, why attack a member of the team who very likely will lead this offense in less than a year? We should encourage and support his efforts.

  13. D-Rome Says:

    I still don’t understand why Brady and his management team thought for one second the Bucs would let him out of his contract. How did he not know that he had no leverage?

  14. SufferingSince76 Says:

    If this year is going to be Tom’s last with the Bucs, I hope the rest of the team will play like it and take it to the house.

  15. Goatfarmer Says:

    So suddenly it’s accepted that Brady wanted to go to Miami or SF? LOL!

    He is certainly way, way to smart to believe the Bucs would have ever released his rights. He knew that absolutely. So this rumor mill nonsense is a non-starter from day one. It was either the Bucs or Giselle.

  16. D-Rok Says:

    Brady has precedent from NE. He brought himself to TB amidst turmoil in his last few years in NE. Also, in Brady’s inner circle is Gronk. Gronk avoided being traded to Detroit from NE. Then Gronk retired, sat out a year, and came back where he wanted: with Brady. So to say Brady has/had no leverage, maybe he was thinking: If I REALLY wanted to (go somewhere besides TB), I’ve seen it happen before, and it might be possible. Brady decided to return and play for TB this year, so it’s kind of a moot point, but conjecture in hindsight is always entertaining especially during the off-season where there is no football to critique.

    I think the true unknown is just how serious the Bucs were about never trading him. Alas, we’ll never know this year.

  17. Alanbucsfan Says:

    When Licht first became GM, he cut D Revis to placate L Smith, so you never know if Brady thought he could manipulate a similar situation.

  18. SOEbuc Says:

    Defense Rules…Trask is not a diamond in the rough. He was chosen in the second round and looks like a bust at starting QB, but I always keep the faith. Why the hell do people say Brady is a good business man??? Is he his own agent like Suh with a business degree (helps)? Guy is as famous as Jesus Christ himself. Has top shelf agent, business, finance, and marketing people that come up with everything off the field. The ridiculousness rumors he would be a part owner of Miami make him a genius by the thought. All it takes is ink if you wanna retire and do the opposite of being with his family to make a finance move with FOX.

  19. tampabayallday Says:

    TB12 needs to be here until he really retires.

  20. Allbuccedup Says:

    Lets just hope Brady doesn’t get hurt.

  21. Dooley Says:

    @SOE you nobody is a bust after year 1 and barley ever dressing at any point in his rookie season. Some of yall put the “fan” in fantasy football

  22. Craig Says:

    Licht’s genius was in being scared immobile. He didn’t make a move and that left the door open for Brady’s comeback. Maybe it was planned, to give the media something to harp on.

    Maybe Brady wanted another comeback player of the year.

    Maybe Licht has faith in last years second round pick, not to replace Brady, ‘cuz that ain’t happening, but to at least have a 50/50 season, getting better as time and snaps happen.

  23. Tony Says:

    They should see what Glass can do once Brady does decide to retire or go because Gabbert & Griffin aren’t the answer. Besides they’d be like 35 by the time they took over. I guess we’d have a 35 year old franchise QB? Just don’t know about Trask because no QBs seem to make it out of there. Between there, USC, Ohio St & Michigan no QBs really seem to make it out of there. Brady & Palmer were the only two that went there & actually did anything.

  24. Allbuccedup Says:

    Harbaugh Tony!

  25. J Ghotier Says:

    So if Brady knew that we would sign all our big name Free Agents back and load the cupboard up for him if he chose to return, then why even entertain another team and another new system, personnel, playbook, etc. AFTER only TWO years in Tampa and a Super Bowl, in a beautiful city w/ no state income tax and you’re already all set up for success then?!

    That doesn’t make sense to me to even entertain that at this point in one’s Career when the Bucs HAVE and ARE going full in for you and mortgaging the future for another SB run w/ the greatest QB of all time. I don’t get that line of thinking by Brady on this one specific subject and his off-season approach this year.

    I would get it if the Bucs said we aren’t gonna sign everyone back even IF you do unretire, but that wasn’t the case as we see in hindsight 🤔

  26. Allbuccedup Says:

    He didn’t play his cards right he prayed his cards right. Because he knew Gabbert would be a nightmare.

  27. BucDaWorld Says:

    I believe Tom basically wanted to go out on top. Had we won the Superbowl he would be content walking out the door. All this nonsense about he didn’t want to play in Tampa is rubbish. Use common sense people. The issue last year wasn’t talent it was injuries. People are acting like your best offensive lineman, best blocking and most consistent WR, and your could be best, if he kept his head on straight WR being out against a healthy Rams team who added ODB didn’t matter. If we have those 3 I don’t think there is any doubt we win that game. Tom just had a bitter taste in his mouth and probably said a couple of things he shouldn’t have and maybe flirted with the idea of retiring or entertaining offers. Just like when you don’t appreciate your lady friend and you say I’m done, but then you come to your senses and are reminded how much better she is than other women and you say what was I thinking. That is what happened to Tom. He was frustrated, then he came to his senses and unretired. In any event we as fans should care about this as much as people reading my post should…not at all. We have better things to do with our time.

  28. SOEbuc Says:

    Dooly…Put the “a$$” in assume. Lol. I don’t play fantasy! I said I keep the faith, but his ugly ass arm and movement in the pocket seems to be continuing into voluntary underwear pass and catch. Oh my gosh, he’s learning from Brady! Brady’s instagram don’t have time for Trask. Go back to gatorville and I will pray I am wrong about Trask.

  29. AA3755 Says:

    Regardless,We have Brady now and life is good in CHAMPA BAY, enjoy it,we used to be a laughing stock in the NFL,not so long ago so again ENJOY IT GO BUCS

  30. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    The ONLY thing Brady is planning right now about football is winning the Super Bowl this year !! He’s not worried about next year and your a fool if you think so . Who says Brady doesn’t want to stay with the Bucs next year ?? It’s not like he hates the team and organization !! And I still don’t believe the BA talk .. Brady has just put together the best 2 year stretch of his career ( besides when he won back to back Super Bowls) but even then it was more his defense then Brady himself. Let’s just worry about what happens starting September 11th and talk about this when this season is over. If he wins another Super Bowl as a Buc , do you really think he’s going to want to go somewhere else ? No …. Go Bucs

  31. brooks Says:

    Hopefully AB comes.back

  32. Wild Bill Says:

    So Trask has not looked like a starter yet. Hard for a rookie without any preseason play show much either way. Hope he gets some second half preseason play this year and lots of coaching in practices. Really nothing to judge him on so far. And very few rookie qbs play in their first season and some very good qbs spent more than one season on the bench before eventually starting. And more than a few college superstars bombed out quick. Remember it took Brady a few years to get established! Trask still has plenty of time to increase arm strength, learn the game plan, and get game time experience and eventually become a starter or a quality backup. If Brady goes down there is nobody on the roster now who could take us to the Super Bowl. And that includes Gabbert.

  33. Ed Says:

    If Brady wanted to go out on top, he should have retired after the Bucs won the SB. Would have been a classic moment. Just don’t see a SB win this year. The schedule is brutal, the defense seems to have permanently regressed, and Gronk, even if he returns, is a year older. Plus AB is gone and Evans is a giant question mark.