July 19th, 2022


Now this is funny.

Patrick Daugherty of NBC Sports Edge is one to believe all the rumored backchannel dealings, drama and negotiations between the Bucs and Tom Brady to lure Brady out of retirement.

And Daugherty believes Jason Licht groveled in a feat of career desperation to reel in Brady for the second time.

That is what Daugherty implied while typing a ranking of NFL general managers — that the Bucs’ AC/DC-loving general manager, in a move of kneeling submission, offered Brady a form of Bucco Bruce Arians’ head on a silver platter. And that was necessary for the Bucs to remain relevant in the NFL world and beyond, and to spare the franchise Blaine Gabbert starting.

Daugherty gives Licht a back-handed compliment listing him as the No. 6 NFL general manager while strongly believing Brady is calling the shots behind the scenes.

In short, Dougherty suggests Licht owes his career to Brady.

6. Jason Licht, Bucs

How do you replace Tom Brady? With Tom Brady. Bill Belichick wishes he had been so bold. It has been that kind of half decade for Jason Licht, who went from hanging on as Bucs general manager by a thread to building a plug-and-play roster for the greatest player of all time. After that stroke of good fortune, Licht knew better than to look his gift horse in the mouth, not standing in the way of what seemed to be a quid pro quo for Brady’s return: He plays, coach Bruce Arians “retires.” That’s the cost of doing business when you are in Brady’s rarefied air. Not all of Brady’s demands have worked out. Signing Antonio Brown comes to mind. Thankfully Licht’s pre-Brady core has been strong enough to endure such hiccups, while he made deft use of the open market to fill 2022 holes. Licht paid a trade penny for Shaq Mason so he could pay a premium for Russell Gage, the kind of middle-of-the-field threat who so often gels with TB12. Post-Brady reality will eventually bite this aging roster hard, but Licht is acing the assignment of maximizing his Super Bowl odds in the present.

Joe thinks it is a little much to claim Licht owes his career to Brady. This is a helluva roster Licht built. And no, signing furniture-tossing, bicycle-throwing, V-card-forging, quitting Antonio Brown was not a mistake.

Joe seems to recall Brown catching a touchdown pass from Brady in a Bucs Super Bowl win. Tell any general manager a free agent who made a key Super Bowl play for his team was “not working out” and you’ll be thrown out of the bar.

If anything, Licht owes a great deal of gratitude to Arians, who Licht personally resurrected.

The math here is easy. Without Licht there is no Arians. Without Arians there is no Brady. Without Brady there is no foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski, no Playoff Lenny and no Brown. Without those players, there is no Super Bowl.

You can (and should) thank Licht for all of that.

And let’s be real: The major draw wooing Brady to Tampa was the excellent stable of receivers and strong offensive line that Licht constructed almost exclusively through the draft.

So this notion Licht should thank Brady for his career is a little over the top. No matter how you spin it, the success of the Bucs the past two seasons all traces back to Licht.

Think about it.

34 Responses to “Capitulation”

  1. ClwJB Says:

    We have witnessed his growth as a GM

    No one has drafted better for the OL than him, and he’s had quite the nice run on WR as well

    And who’s to say Lovie or Dirk did t force his hand on some of those early ugly picks

    He does struggle with special teams still – can we ever get a returner again? Is Spurlock avail?

  2. westernbuc Says:

    This is the kind of analysis my drunk friends would make: Brady setting the roster, AB “not working out.” How tf do these morons get paid to talk football?

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘No matter how you spin it, the success of the Bucs the past two seasons all traces back to Licht. Think about it.’

    No question that JL was a major factor in turning the Bucs around, but IMO there are 2 other factors that are equally as significant: (1) Bruce Arians; and (2) Lady Luck.

    Dougherty’s conclusion that ‘Licht owes his career to Brady’ is BS. JL owes his career to Bruce Arians. The notion that ‘without Licht there is no Arians’ has merit, but the reverse is equally true … ‘Without BA there is no JL’. Prior to 2019 the Bucs were floundering & going nowhere. Jason was on the hot seat as a GM, and I’m not convinced he would’ve survived here if BA hadn’t come onboard.

    2019 was a monstrous turning point for this franchise, even though we had a losing record. On defense, signing Shaq & Suh was monstrous, but neither would’ve happened without BA & Todd Bowles (especially Bowles). Our offense, with Jameis at the helm, kicked ass & ranked #3 in Points Scored, but had one major flaw: TURNOVERS. We gave it away 41 times, despite our defense taking it away from our opponents 28 times (MINUS 13 Turnover Differentials are the kiss of death). We proved we could score A BUNCH, but we also found out that Jameis wasn’t a good fit for BA’s bombs-away offense.

    Enter Lady Luck, on so many levels. Patriots not re-signing Brady that year? San Fran (and purportedly several others) not jumping on the chance to sign TB12? Brady signing with us for next to nothing? Gronk un-retiring to play once again with TB12? Jaguars cutting Fournette loose for free? And oh ya,
    COVID probably hurt the Bucs less than it did any other team in 2020. The list goes on & on though.

    Jason Licht has done an excellent job as GM since BA arrived, but I hope folks don’t downplay what Bruce Arians did for this team in just 3 years. His legacy IMO lives on in this coaching staff. Without that, we would’ve won nothing.

  4. August 1976 Buc Says:

    And all this means, the roster is a legitimate contender that J Licht assembled, is about to start another run for a Lombardi.

    And yes it all goes back to J Licht, Roster, BA, Brady = 2020 Super Bowl
    And hopefully Feb 2023 the Bucs will be having another Boat parade, with Brady and others tossing Lombardi from Boat to Boat to Boat this time and it ends up with J Licht catching the Lombardi.

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  5. FrontFour Says:

    Give JL is due. The man has put together a great roster, managed the cap deftly and massaged major egos of players and coaches to win one Lombardi and put us in the position for runs last year and this year.

  6. 1sparkybuc Says:

    I believe the base of coaches and players that remain, when Brady leaves, will be enough to win the division with Trask at QB. This team has quality at every level on offense and defense under contract for 2023 and beyond. They have had great position coaches to learn from, and I doubt Brady’s departure will cause a mass exodus of the staff. Licht will still be here, leading a franchise that has pride and confidence. The Bucs are a winning organization. I believe the transition to Trask will be a smooth one. Ira can shove his abyss nonsense. It’s a team game, and Brady wins because of the team and organization he has around him. The Bucs will win the division without him, and Gronk.

  7. Buczilla Says:

    Dougherty sounds like a typical, backward a$$, holier than thou, d-bag from the sports media up north that feels like our team can’t succeed without getting lucky or being aided by some form of divne intervention. It’s group think, groupy, weirdos like this that keep our guys out of Canton in favor of lesser players and make up nonsense in order to appease their fellows in the “good ole boy” network to which they belong.

    Licht has grown up and become one hell of a gm right before our eyes and no one is doing it better than him right now. Having the best player in the history of football on your team is an obvious advantage, but Licht had proven himself Brady got here. It’s best to ignore all of the jobbers or simply whisper the word “scoreboard b!tch” in their ears. 😜

  8. 1#bucsfan Says:

    And I remember fans calling for his head. So glad he is out GM. LETS GOO BUCS

  9. stpetebucsfan Says:

    To those buying into this “conspiracy” think about what you are saying.

    In deriding BA and the “need” or “desire” for Brady to run him from his position you are not just slamming BA but also TB12.

    What kind of ungrateful prik turns on the guy who provided two of the best freaking seasons of his career? The guy who gave Brady his chance to bomb away after years of laboring under the tedious Belicheat who preferred to win with defense not offense.

    Yes TB12 gave BA the shot at winning his SB at last, but BA gave Brady the chance to rid himself of the dink and dunk ‘smart” QB who could run BB’s offense while BB’s defense dominated. How quickly we forget all the questions about whether Brady could survive in BA’s “no risk it” offense. Did he have the arm strength? Could he throw deep routinely? Do we believe TB12 enjoyed that rep. Did he feel exhilaration at having the constraints removed and showing what he could really do?

    So people buying into this “conspiracy” are being just as negative about TB12’s personality as they are BA’s!

    Again…I’m the cockeyed optimist. In his recent Variety article Brady himself said he’s not one to turn on people or trash them…responding to a question about Trump. Could have been a question about BA.

    So yes cynics…it’s certainly possible that TB12 is an unappreciative control freak who let BA get under his skin. As D.R. continually points out there is NO REAL EVIDENCE and we may NEVER find out.

    IE We have a choice. Believe BOTH BA and TB12 are dicks or NOT. It’s your choice I have no proof. I simply CHOOSE to believe the best about BOTH men.

  10. geno711 Says:

    Licht and BA have been a great match.

    Licht hired BA and boy did he bring in an excellent coaching staff. You saw the changes in their first season here. Both the offensive line and defensive line started winning the line of scrimmage more games than not.

    Not hating on Dougherty but I feel like Dougherty writing about his knowledge of the Bucs is akin to one of the Joe’s writing about his insights of the Seattle Seahawks. What is his real insider information and does he really follow the team?

  11. Hodad Says:

    We’re back to the Brady wanted Arains gone B.S.? Training camp can’t get here fast enough. Such a stretch to think an old coach who retired once, retired again to give his long time friend, and D.C. a H.C. job? Can’t be simple as that could it?

  12. Allbuccedup Says:

    Lichts career after Brady will take a major downturn.

  13. Smashsquatch Says:

    “The math here is easy. Without Licht there is no Arians. Without Arians there is no Brady. Without Brady there is no foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski, no Playoff Lenny and no Brown. Without those players, there is no Super Bowl.”

    Spot on Joe, 100%, well stated. Licht is much better than many want to admit. He’s the catalyst, and his fingers are all over the Lombardi.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree…..bringing in AB was not a mistake……we won a SB when he was on the field…..didn’t turn out well in the end….but worth it while it lasted.

    Licht saved his career by hiring Ba…..BA bolstered his by bringing in Tom Brady…..

  15. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Just face reality-without Brady Bucs have squat-period. So whoever is responsible for Bucs getting the GOAT belongs in the ring of honor.

  16. Oneilbuc Says:

    This is why I believe Trask will be the starter after Brady . So yall might as well stop talking bad about Trask and let’s hope he’s good enough to be our first franchise quarterback in the history of our franchise. I hope we can come together as a fan base and stand behind Trask as our quarterback by giving him a real chance. Go Bucs!!!

  17. Chris K Says:


  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Daugherty … ‘Post-Brady reality will eventually bite this aging roster hard’.

    That’s an interesting perspective on Daugherty’s part, one that’s probably shared by many in the media (and among Bucs’ fans too). Even though we’ll have an ‘aging roster’ next year, me thinks it’ll still be highly capable of battling for a playoff spot. And once in, anything can happen as we’ve seen before.

    Problem is … it’ll (1) probably be without Brady; and (2) we’re way in the hole salary-CAP-wise (as in #32 in the NFL), so ‘buying’ quality replacements (for Brady & others) will be very unlikely. The reverse is more likely true; we’ll end up releasing some vets from their contracts early, not re-signig a few who are up for new contracts (because we couldn’t afford them). and possibly even trading a couple to save money & get more draft picks. As we’re now seeing with our national economy, there are consequences for ‘overspending’ (ie, kicking the can down the street).

    The Bucs (JL in particular) will have many challenges ahead from a personnel perspective, but we’ve got a strong coaching staff (which will help develop our younger guys). IF Kyle Trask can hang tough, we can still be a contender in 2023 I’m convinced. If not, we’ll probably end up using our resulting high #1 pick in 2024 for his successor.

  19. Wild Bill Says:

    To make it to the Super Bowl needs a combination of luck and skill. Building thru the draft, signing talented free agents, and perhaps most important: avoiding injuries! In the Super Bowl year, good drafts, good recruitment of quality vets and the luck of avoiding injuries plus good decisions by owners and coaches all contributed. But Lady Luck and the ball bounced away just enough last year. The loss to the Rams symbolized the whole season. Fall behind early was frequent symptom last season. Terrific second half comebacks were too frequent. Even Brady had too many slow starts all season. Coaching, injuries, personality conflicts. Some of each made too many games, even wins, uncomfortable to watch. Their final game loss to the Rams symbolized the whole season. I hope for the best but remain less than confidant about their Super Bowl chances this year. But win or lose, I am a Bucs fan for life. Who can forget the beginnings of the Creamesicles and the old Sombrero? It’s been a fun ride. Go Bucks!!

  20. David Says:

    It’s garbage like this that is destroying all journalism, not just sports journalism. This is pure speculation with absolutely no evidence or proof of anything.

  21. ModHairKen Says:

    Anyone with an iPhone is now a journalist. What a joke.

  22. Mr. Editor Says:

    GM Licht built the foundation with the right coach in BA and a solid roster. All the Bucs really needed was a QB who could throw a simple slant pass. With Tom Brady, we got so much more! The roster and the willingness of GM Licht to make bold moves made it attractive enough for BA and TB12 to want to come to the team. Glazer loot didn’t hurt, either, not only a willingness on the owners’ part to hire the right people (free agents, the largest coaching staff in the NFL, etc.) but also to fire coaches, players, and GMs with multiple years remaining on their contracts.

  23. Allbuccedup Says:

    Lets enjoy this year!!!!! Next year post Brady era minus 60 mil in cap space ouch!

  24. Goatfarmer Says:

    Daugherty is a pencil-necked dweeb with no sense. He probably just watches Packers and Rams games. Jason is a bright spot in the NFL.

    He needs to do more to deepen his defense though. ILB depth, another edger, and Suh.

  25. SlyPirate Says:

    What happens after TB12 retires will ultimately define how Licht’s legacy is judged.

  26. Bucsfanman Says:

    The pivot point was BA.
    Licht deserves credit for assembling a good roster and bringing in a culture-changer in Arians.
    The rest, as they say, is history!

  27. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Without our male cheerleader, there is no Carl Nassib.

  28. GOB Says:

    Connecting the dots from Licht to BA, and then Brady is a bit of a stretch. Brady picked the bucs because of the roster and the roster alone. Licht built a very talented roster. He also did it with a bunch of top 15 picks. Something nearly every GM in the league could’ve done. The culture change, and the winning, came because of the goat, not Bruce Arians.

  29. Wade Landry Says:

    JL’srecord b-4 TB and since TB…he is a good guy who knows FB.. draft record decent…hopin for a miracle after Brady leaves. or maybe the defense will carry the day…..maybe by then Spytek will be the GM

  30. geno711 Says:

    It seems odd that some think that Brady would have come to the Bucs because of a good roster and not just as much for good coaching.

    I got to think that others agree and disagree with those NE fans now on this site continuing to take shots at BA.

  31. GOB Says:

    geno, I’m not taking shots at BA. But, to suggest Brady came to Tampa as much for the coach, as he did the roster, is kind of laughable. Wherever he went, it was always going to be a downgrade from the coaches he had in NE. Nobody is as detail oriented as Belichick, and Brady loves him some details.

  32. geno711 Says:


    I disagree. I think what is laughable is your continue belief that the coaching was not a big part of why Brady came here and a big part of our Superbowl championship.

    Please name me a Superbowl Champion that did not have good coaching in place. Pro football is not like NBA basketball where you just give the guys with the most talent the ball and anyone can coach them to a championship.

    Pro football is the sport at a level like no other. A sport where the coaching matters week in and week out. A sport where schemes, gap assignments and blocking assignments make a difference.

    I will never take away from Brady’s huge influence on us winning the Superbowl. I am not sure why you continually take away from this coaching staff influence on our success.

  33. captivajim Says:

    Brady came to Bucs because ;a) he couldn’t go to niners ,, and b) as he said at the time he looked forward to playing with Evans, Godwin, Cam Brate… it was widely known Brady was looking around.. Brady called Bucs -not the other way around..

    In ’21 playoffs , Brady knew it was going to be difficult to get past Rams without Godwin or Brown..With Godwin out with injury by slimys , he needed Brown, who like him or not , was a savy receiver who could get open..The world knew Arians hated Brown & he pushed him to breaking point to get rid of him. Arians got rid of one of Brady’s weapons after Godwin got hurt..

    Brady was pissed, retired . Eventually making a deal with Glazier/ Licht to return after he couldn’t move on to Miami.

  34. Wild Bill Says:

    I’m sorry but the old coach could barely get off his golf cart last year. I think Brady was more of a factor than the head coach. And the fiasco with AB was equally on Arians. That avoidable conflict cost the Bucs big time. Like him or not AB was sorely missed against the Rams. Arians lost his cool and Brady lost a big weapon. The loss of both Godwin and AB likely kept the Bucs out of the Super Bowl.