Bucs Prepping For “Soft Tank” With Jason Licht On A Hot Seat?

February 17th, 2023

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Joe would have ignored this gem except it comes from a major outlet, one scrutinized at One Buc Palace.

It seems the curator, curator and guru of ProFootballTalk.com, Mike Florio, thinks the Bucs are riding a straight path to a top 2024 draft pick and general manager Jason Licht might be tossed aside after this season along with many coaches and players.

Florio used a term new to Joe, “soft tank,” that evoked a laugh and a raised eyebrow at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters.

Then again, does anyone really expect the Bucs to be competitive in 2023? They were barely competitive in 2022. The coming season likely will be a soft tank, with a new coach, possibly a new G.M., and plenty of new players when 2024 comes around.

Regardless, like the 2021 Rams, the Bucs got a Super Bowl trophy in 2020. Unlike the 2019 and 2022 Chiefs, the Buccaneers definitely were not built to last.

Surely, they knew that when they signed a 42-year-old starting quarterback nearly three years ago — and when they loaded his pockets with money that would clobber the cap once he finally left.

Yes, the Bucs already are over next year’s salary cap and likely have to get rid of at least two expensive players, restructure contracts, and wave goodbye to costly pending free agents like Jamel Dean and Logan Ryan. And that’s without signing a quality veteran quarterback.

But why would that reality put Licht in jeopardy? The Bucs loaded the roster over the past three seasons and it worked. That’s not Licht’s fault. And it’s surely not his fault Bucs coaches failed the team last season.

Joe doubts there is such a thing as a “soft tank.” Either you’re tanking or you’re not. And tanking doesn’t always work. See the 2019 Dolphins, the 2022 Panthers and the 2022 Falcons, among others.

Regarding Licht, unless the Bucs completely bomb April’s draft in a hurry, Joe can’t imagine Team Glazer launching Licht as part of a house-cleaning in 11 months. Through nine years, Licht has grown in his job, delivered and built a respected front office.

Under Florio’s “soft-tank” theory, Joe believes having Licht in power to hire the next new head coach would help — not hinder — the process.

104 Responses to “Bucs Prepping For “Soft Tank” With Jason Licht On A Hot Seat?”

  1. dls5492 Says:

    I have a hard time believing anything Florio says.

  2. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The Chiefs got lucky with Mahomes- once in a generation pick.

  3. Buc50 Says:

    What factors could contribute to Licht being on the hot seat? Despite having no input in Arians’ retirement or being unable to change Todd Bowles’ status, Licht successfully secured a Superbowl win through effective personnel management and valuable contacts.

  4. Bill in Seminole Says:

    Licht got us a roster that produced 3 straight playoff teams and one Super Bowl win, during the past 3 years. If we need to tank for a year to re-build, so be it. I waited out the lost decade; I can wait one year.

    P.S. I’m seeing reports that Evans might be on the trading block. Don’t do it, Licht, don’t even think about it. If we have to go a year without a top-flight QB, okay, just don’t destroy the receiving corps.

  5. Oxycondoms Says:

    Bucs pissed away bradys last season i could see how licht is on the hot seat

  6. Steven007 Says:

    Alan, correct. And sometimes luck is all you need. Less we forget, mahomes wasn’t even the first quarterback chosen that year. Of course the league is also littered with starting quarterbacks who were never drafted in the first round. But even though it’s 50/50 on most first round quarterbacks, they do tend to be the best ones. Any kind of tank is anathema to the general philosophy of owners and GMs. The fact that our current head coach is clearly on a warm seat already means he will try as best to win this year. There will be no “soft tanking”.

  7. MadMax Says:

    When Jason listens to me, we draft good….when he doesnt, you get JTS as a first….we’ll see, but trust me, he’s not going anywhere…. unless theres something going on in the ranks we dont know about.

  8. Oxycondoms Says:

    Didnt chiefs trade up to get mahomes, how is that luck? They drafted tyreke hill won a super bowl let him resign somewhere else and properly replaced him to win another super bowl.

  9. catcard202 Says:

    If Glazer’s are on board for the retooling roster reshuffle to pay for the SB Licht delivered…Sure. But could see it go differently if 2023 doesn’t deliver something to sell 2024 season tickets…So, vitally important to get the nxt face of the franchise in place before they lose faith & are not somewhat distracted by the on-going Man U sale.

  10. RustyRhinos Says:

    We should all ask ourselves where would we be if we had won the Super Bowl. In the same ship, we find ourselves today? With a team full of kick-the-salary cap costs down the road players, it is now time to pay those bills. Would we be all talking about how our team sucks and our players are old and overrated and who we should now trade away? Or how we have so many contracts we need to rework now to save some cash? Because who will our QB be next season? We have to accept the facts. It is time to pay the cost of having the chance to have the GOAT play and win for our team. That guy has now retired from playing. Put your backs into those oars, we have no winds (money) to push our ship back to the ultimate port (Super Bowl). Those who are all in let us get to it, those of us who are not all in, walk the plank.
    Go!!!!! Bucs!!!!!

  11. zzbucs Says:

    SOft tanking?? I don´t even know what the hell that means!!!

    If you beleive in reincarantion (I Don´t) Florio in past lifes was a Parrot!!!

  12. Guzzie Says:

    9 teams passed on Mahomes and Chiefs moved up 17 spots to get him

  13. Andrew Fish Says:

    this is crazy Licht is one of the best GM’s in the game.

  14. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Brady made Jason Licht look good for two years. With Licht the Bucs have only one winning season without Brady. Brady recruited the players and Licht signed them. As far as last season he deserves some blame because hes the one that gave Bowles the job a proven disaster as a head coach.

  15. rriddler Says:

    Florio has a bad habit of writing things that are only conjecture in his mind, then subsequently treating that conjecture as fact in his future articles.

  16. BucsfanFred Says:

    A lot of teams bet their future for success today. Sometimes it works, but usually it doesn’t. Then they have a rebuild.

    Other teams are mediocre every year.
    Rare is the dynasty, though they happen with great coaches.

  17. Cho Says:

    It would be a near tragedy if the Bucs were to let Licht go. He’s shown drastic improvement. He’s good with FA, strong with numbers (has an amazing staff working on the cap) and, most importantly, he’s got clear-cut and proven philosophies. Remember when Dominik made decisions that blew your mind? Like letting Michael Bennet walk for nothing? Licht may make some bets based on hope, and sometimes they don’t work out. But that’s life in the NFL.

    He has built his team through the trenches, probably one of the few strategies in team building that have proved infallible (Dominik used to neglect the OL). He’s gotten stronger and stronger in the draft. And continuity is one of the main keys of success in professional sports.

    He’s drafted players that are undeniably good (I’ll probably miss a few):
    -Mike Evans
    -Chris Godwin
    -Tristan Wirfs
    -Ali Marpet
    -Vita Vea
    -Carlton Davis
    -Jamel Dean
    -Antoine Winfield Jr.
    -Mike Edwards
    -Jordan Whitehead
    -Devin White
    -Jake Camarda

    And signed Fournette, Jensen, Gronk, Brady, Shaq Barrett and Logan Ryan.

    Want to go back to the frustrating, erratic ways of a Dimink type where decisions are made and you as a fan cannot understand what was the reasoning behind them? Not me. May not pan out, but you always get what Licht is trying to do, and 90% of the time it seems like a good strategy.

    The man brought us a Super Bowl.

  18. Redeemer Says:

    Brady had quite a hand in the finishing pieces of that run. I like Licht, but let’s not pretend it’s hard to draft with a bunch of high picks. His last two drafts have been problematic at best. 10 years is a long run for any GM. Not advocating his fire, but the league runs on new blood and fresh ideas.

  19. Joe Swanson Says:

    Bucs 32-17 with Brady and 34-63 without Brady. Jason Licht record with the Bucs 66-80.

  20. matthew veal Says:

    Jason may have other opportunities.

    Hot seat makes no sense. Did he screw up somewhere. Maybe 6 or 7 years ago.

    Hlazers not dumb. I don’t see the argument I do see places he could go

  21. HC Grover Says:

    It will be a septic tank and Bowlzo is the perfect one to lead it.

  22. Duane Says:

    Florio would love to write the Bucs off. Soft tanking is just a buzz word for low expectations. In a perfect world, Brady would have ridden off in the sunset, and there was a clear successor at QB. It doesnt sound like Trask is that player. Would have expected a cleaner transition as the Leftwich issue should have been identified earlier in the season. Not ruling out the possibility that Licht was instructed to wait and see because of all the moving parts. Ultimately, it should fall to Bowles to succeed with the team assembled, and the cupboards are not bare. Licht also easily has more sway with ownership, and can pin another poor performance on Bowles.

  23. Stebobucsfan Says:

    What I don’t understand is, so many are staying the Bucs are gonna stink next with out knowing who the QB is going to be what kind of offense that’s gonna be ran what players that’s gonna stay and go. I want to see what the team is gonna look like before I make my judgment. Even if Trask is the starting QB I want to see how he plays after 4 games in a row not after clean up play or preseason with back OL men in the game

  24. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Cho and don’t forget the 2nd best trade in franchise history. JPP.

  25. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Regardless of what I said earlier Licht job more than likely won’t be endangered until we have at least two more bad seasons in a row. In other words a top five pick in 2024 and 2025 that would probably do it.

  26. Mike Says:

    More like tanking in a manner that is not very obvious, like secretly tanking… just run the ball and start a QB with zero NFL experience. That’s a good recipe for a tank season right there.

  27. Power of Pewter Says:

    You get a roster built to last by having consistently good drafts, and knowing when to trade players nearing free agency for future draft picks. Bucs have not consistently drafted well, and have built the roster with a good number of expensive free agent signings (many of which haven’t panned out), which puts the Bucs in a situation where they can’t re-sign those draft picks who are performing well and becoming free agents. So I entirely disagree with the notion that Licht has made good personnel decisions. He paid top dollar for short term fixes to many historical mistakes.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Mike Florio is not a major outlet nor a credible one. The dude is a grade A CLOWN.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    Hope y’all realize the entire purpose of taking the big cap hit now is that the Bucs do have the money necessary to sign Wirfs, Winfield, and White to new contracts.They’re not gonna be like the Saints who just kick the can down the road to stay mediocre.

  30. BucsfanFred Says:

    Hey Joe, I think I figured out what “soft tank” means.
    I think he means they’ll try as hard as possible to win every game, but they’ll have a bargain basement roster.

    We’re gonna be dumping a ton of older players, so there’s the tank part.

    We’re not gonna deliberately try to lose so there’s the soft.

  31. D-Rok Says:

    According to Dan Akroyd in the movie, “Doctor Detroit,” he’d say “Let’s chew the fat, shall we?”

  32. sasquatch Says:

    Florio talks out of his ass half the time and has a well-known anti-Buc bias.

    Everything Licht has done has been with Glazer buy-in. The move for Brady and the cap busting accounting games surely were approved by the Glazers with the idea of winning another championship. If Licht is responsible, the Glazers are too. Now, they could pick at some of his draft picks, or at not advising against hiring Todd Bowles… I suppose we don’t really know what’s going on behind the scenes, but if the Glazers aren’t aware that 5-12 is a very real possibility even with a good draft, then they might be delusional. Is it possible they might want to clean house? Maybe. This regime (Licht) has again failed to develop a franchise QB, something the Glazers have always wanted, and something that led to Jon Gruden’s dismissal. Maybe they’ve had enough. If they blew up everything, I’d hope they’d do it with a GM already in mind, one who would be an actual upgrade and not just organizational churn.

  33. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Expensive FAs like Logan Ryan…..his 22 salary was $1,120,000…….I’d say LVD & Hicks are expensive along with Will Gholston at $4.5 m…..Succop at $4m……you can kiss these old dudes goodbye.

    As far as Licht…..he will orchestrate the “soft tank” and will be rewarded by the Glazers for it…..not fired.

  34. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    Soft Tank = 4-12-1

  35. cmurda Says:

    Florio is usually wrong. He lives his life as a soft tank. With that said, Licht’s seat should be scalding.

  36. #99 the Big fella Says:

    Getting put in time out again by Joe I see

  37. robert Says:

    lol at blamin brady being 42. maybe a 10% blame….50% on toilet bowel and 40% on lefty.

    lefty should have been given the boot early and bowl by mid season. team would have been better with no coaches

  38. sasquatch Says:

    Tanking a game at the end of a season to get a better draft pick, I can understand. It happens.

    Players don’t want to tank. They want to win every time they’re on the field. A front office that doesn’t do its best to put a winning product out on the field for an entire season ought to be fired. That is, within the constraints of responsible cap management. Some years, like this one, your team has to reign in spending, lose some players to cut the budget, and renegotiate to get the financial house in better order to compete in future years. I don’t consider that a tank or a soft tank or whatever anyone wants to call it. With the players you’re able to assemble, you better set the standards high, coach them well, and expect to win. You may still end up 5-12.

    The whole “tank” concept should be banished from sports vernacular except as it applies to teams deliberately throwing games away.

  39. Yucs2Bucs Says:

    Time to trade Mike Evans, Godwin, Lenny, and DT who sometime plays, Jensen, and D White strictly for draft picks because they aren’t going to give White a $100 next year. 2 WRs that take up 40 plus million and Mike has maybe 2 more solid years and give them the choice of team and even though I like Godwin, but WRs aren’t hard to draft or fine. Release Gholston, Nacho, Brate, and many others !!! IMO and don’t care about being a Buc for life and retiring because this team needs to rebuild ASAP and Mike will be a HOF and in the ring of honor. The OC they signed in my opinion was embarrassing and I guess Bienemy from the Chiefs wanted nothing to do with the Bucs. I’m just thankful for the 2 super bowls and after 22 years of being a season ticket holder got out of my contract. I will check back in 3 years from now, but ITS TIME to TRADE our Valuable assets ASAP !!! Thank God for the Bolts and hopefully the Rays can make some noise

  40. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    He’s just making stuff up hoping that this time he will be a blind clock.

  41. Yucs2Bucs Says:

    And Jason only lasted because of the Super Bowl, but will bet the house he, Todd, and his staff will be gone after next season. Then will bring in a Solid HC, GM, and staff because if they are tanking for Caleb then he needs winners as leaders !!! Love to see them move up and grab Bryce Young

  42. Yucs2Bucs Says:

    but not happening with this regime at the helm

  43. Chris Adams Says:

    Agree, when Licht didn’t get super high picks, his results were mediocre. Evans has to go because he is slowing down and never was that fast and will be washed up in 2 or 3 more years. White has to go because he mentally can’t handle the game. Jensen has to go because we can’t afford him and its not a premium position and he may not come back fully from injury. Fournette will not be re-signed because a fourth rounder will replace him. Hicks, bye bye.

  44. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Mike Says:
    February 17th, 2023 at 2:32 pm
    More like tanking in a manner that is not very obvious, like secretly tanking… just run the ball and start a QB with zero NFL experience. That’s a good recipe for a tank season right there.

    I can see that.

  45. ocala Says:

    I don’t think Jason Licht should be fired after the upcoming 3-14 season.

    No matter how well the Bucs draft this year the team will still be awful in 2023. None of us fans want our team to stink, but the reality is the Bucs need to take a step back to move forward.

    I’m hoping the Bucs strengthen both lines in this draft and put their 2024 QB Drake Maye or Caleb Williams into a position to have a strong rookie year.

  46. Redeemer Says:

    Ownership gives the GM his marching orders. Like Joe said, those home playoff games are extremely valuable and achievable, even 50 something mill over the cap. They could easily move enough money around to be competitive in the south. It’s hard to talk owners out of money. The league is essentially a licence to steal for these guys, and home playoffs are the holy grail.

  47. geno711 Says:

    1st round QBs:

    2022: Pickett 20
    8 other QBs taken in later rounds. No hits.
    2021: Lawrence 1, Wilson 2, Lance 3, Fields 11, Jones 15
    5 other QBs taken in later rounds. No hits.
    2020: Burrow 1, Tua 5, Herbert 6, Love 26
    8 other QBs taken in later rounds. No hits.
    2019: Murray 1, Jones 6, Haskins 15
    8 other QBs taken in later rounds. No hits.
    2018: Mayfield 1, Darnold 3, Allen 7, Rosen 10, Jackson 32
    8 other QBs taken in later rounds. No hits.
    2017: Trubisky 2, Mahomes 10, Watson 12
    7 other QBs taken in later rounds. No hits.
    2016: Goff 1, Wentz 2, Lynch 26
    12 other QBs taken in later rounds. 1 hit with Dak.
    2015: Winston 1, Mariota 2
    6 other QBs taken in later rounds none hit.

    26 1st round QBs. About 8-11 hits.
    62 other QBs. 1 hit.

    If you tank, then tank because you are going for the 1/3 shot of investing a 1st round pick to get a stud QB.

  48. SOEbuc Says:

    Florio is a joke. Licht was voted best GM in 2020.

  49. Dave Gover Says:

    Bowles has to go. Hes proven on 2 different teams,AFC ,& NFC, He is not
    head coach material. Not then, not now,
    not in the future, He doesnt have what it takes

  50. Christos Says:

    To Tank or not to Tank, that is the question.
    Restructure contracts, cut some, take care of the cap space.
    Start Trask.
    Start building the new team
    Work the draft, make some good picks, trade for a couple of picks for next year if you can so you can have some ammo and go for Caleb Williams next year.
    We have seen in todays NFL the QB is more important than ever.
    If you tank then tank at full speed.
    We make a deal with the devil, we knew with Brady we will have a 3 year window. We got a Superbowl and memories. Now we need to built a team for the next 15 years. KC, CIN, BUF will content for years to come because of the QB. We need one that will do that for us.
    Go Bucs

  51. Red86 Says:

    Wow. Licht is the best gm we’ve had since I’ve been a fan. It would be foolish to get rid of him now or next year. He have proven that he can built a winning team. Why change that?

  52. Oneilbuc Says:

    If the bucs tank I can promise you that the bucs will suck for the next 10 or 15 years watch and see!! Every time they have tank it set the franchise back for 10 years are more.

  53. Goatfarmer Says:

    Fiorio is like a weather forecaster. Gets paid to be wrong 75% of the time. He’s. A mouth breather.

    What a stupid take.

  54. Infomeplease Says:

    Licht may very well survive after all he was responsible for selling a whole bunch of seats including another sellout this coming season!! Of course you say it was TB12s doing, yes and Licht brought him in!! Money talks!!

  55. Doolnutts Says:

    There is ZERO chance Lichts fired we could go 0-16. Only one in the hot seat is Bowles. There is no one I trust more to right the ship than JL. The roster still has a ton of talent the issue isn’t with the talent it’s with the coaching. We’ll see how the new OC does but Bowles better get it together quickly or this will be his last shot as a HC.

  56. Todd Says:

    Florio rightly self-identifies as a putz!

  57. Destinjohnny Says:

    We should be picking on the top 3 the next 5 years
    So me be a draft guy will be entertained

  58. Redeemer Says:

    Florio is what he is. He gets paid to bloviate. Don’t get upset about it. I personally find him repugnant, but his job is to get under people’s skin. That dope beside him is worse by ten fold. Collar boy has been wrong more times than a fish jumping for a hook.

  59. Cobraboy Says:

    I do not blame Licht at all.

  60. Go Bucs Says:

    My biggest question is what would have happened if Byron was the HC instead. Would he have just left the defense for Bowles and he would keep the offense the same?

  61. Bubby Says:

    Todd and Jason will be clearing the table for the next GM and coach.

  62. mark2001 Says:

    Joe…I said this weeks ago, so if I might paraphrase again.

    Licht was on the hot seat when Koetter and Jameis basically flamed out. Getting Arians gave him a lease on life, and Brady and a SB a huge boost. But it wasn’t like he had a four year record and last year was the first below expectation season. He also put the stamp of approval on Bowles promotion, keeping Arians on staff, and signing a bunch of FA’s that weren’t worth a spit.

    So yes…he is on the hot seat to a degree. I don’t think this next season will be a make it or break it. But if he doesn’t get it turned around by 2024, I think his job is in trouble.

  63. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    There’s no doubt that the Glazers signed off on the plan to bring back all the players after winning a Super Bowl in an attempt to go back-to-back.

    Neither is there any doubt that they understood well the future consequences of doing that. No one in the front office or owner’s office is at all surprised by the circumstances the team is in at present.

    There is not a snowball’s chance in hell that they’re going to launch Licht 3 years after he helped recruit the greatest QB to ever play the game leading to a Championship season.

  64. unbelievable Says:

    ^ Exactly.

    Everyone knew this was coming sooner or later. We mortgaged our future for a ~2 year window with Brady… and it worked. We won a Super Bowl. And were damn close the next year, if not for some terrible defensive playcalling (and some help from the refs to throw the game early). Unfortunately, that terrible defensive play calling is now the head coach.

    That said, I don’t think Licht is on the hot seat. But- he’s definitely better at drafting certain positions than others.

    He’s good at finding o-lineman, linebackers and defensive backs (in more recent years).

    He’s mediocre at finding wide receivers.

    But he’s not good at finding pass rushers, tight ends or running backs.

    That needs to change, quickly.

  65. Marine Buc Says:

    Jason Licht has been the best GM in Buc history…

    Before he arrived we were the Cleveland Browns of the South.

    For over a dozen years we averaged 5.5 wins per season.

    I will always dump on his head for using a second round pick on a worthless kicker – HOWEVER – he built the team that attracted Bruce Arians, Tom Brady, Gronk, A.B., Fournette and a Super Bowl title.

    I like our GM. He isn’t perfect. But he is above the NFL average for sure.

  66. Ate One Tree Says:

    The one Coach Jason got to hire was Bruce arians , that turned out pretty well I would say . Once we tank this season and fire Bowles, Licht can go ahead and get us another Savy veteran coach hungry for a title. With the pieces in place and a top pick to get a top QB we will be a desirable franchise again . BUT we have to take our lumps this upcoming year

  67. Fansince76 Says:

    Licht is and excellent GM and shouldn’t be going anywhere!

  68. McBucky Says:

    Seems like the Bucs have a coaching issue… but who knows.

  69. The Anomaly Says:

    Jason Licht has just 3 winning seasons in nine

    ANother losing season and that is 7/10 seasons

    He’s just a loser at this point without Brady

  70. Destinjohnny Says:

    He missed on Luke and Robert
    He missed on JTS and the Houston kid
    We hit those pics, we would have prob won the super bowl
    And TB would be prob coming back.
    We have the worst o line in the nfl
    We don’t have a legit pass rusher
    54 is on the backside
    Secondary is below average.

  71. SOEbuc Says:

    Soooooo pathetic that you fake azz, bandwagon Bucs prove yourselves to so many other franchises say the fans are.

    B!tch, b!tch, b!tch all day about Bowles all day. First year won the division and that was a sh!t OC.

    You have no clue about next season, and ALL YOU NEGATIVE NANCIES make this blog that much worse than how you think your football team is going to be.

  72. Destinjohnny Says:

    Even though we had the worst run offense in the last 40 years
    It wasn’t really that bad
    Even though TB had the least amount of time to throw it in the NFL this year.
    Not really that bad
    Donovan Smith is a stud
    Secondary has 3 guys better than Prime
    Trask is the next Montana

  73. JSmalls Says:

    Every team without a top 10 QB is rebuilding…

  74. Defense Rules Says:

    This is getting more & more humorous. Joe chummed the water with Florio & his (yet-to-be-defined) ‘soft tank’ CONJECTURE on Licht and most JBFers bit (most coming to JL’s defense). Yesterday the phrase of the day was (yet-to-be-defined) ‘ground and pound’ with a periodic (yet-to-be-defined) ‘run first’ thrown in for good measure.

    The only ‘quasi-constants’ I’m reading anymore are that the 45-year-old Brady gets the same pass as the 25-year-old Brady, that Byron Leftwich still can’t call plays without his BA daddy holding his hand, that Todd Bowles will forever be defined by a single play as opposed to a 3-year body of work that resurrected a miserable defense, and that Jason Licht has become the 2nd coming of Houdini.

    I’ll say it again: ‘You are where you are’. We can’t wish our problems away. Bucs are now $55.6 mil OVER our 2023 adjusted salary CAP of $227.5 mil based on our Top-51 contracts. THAT’S reality. And oh BTW, as of today we’re officially in LAST PLACE, not the Saints.

    Our coaches didn’t get us there; MANAGEMENT did. Bucs used a MERCENARY APPROACH to team-building for these past several years. We brought in a BUNCH of free agent ‘mercenaries’ to fill holes in our roster, and it worked. We won a Super Bowl. The problem we now face is that those same FAs have moved on, but the bill for their past services remains. The ‘void year’ $$$ we paid to Suh & Gronk this past year ($11.8 mil) is chicken-feed compared to the $43.5 mil we owe to Brady, Hicks & Julio for 2023. Or to the mega $$$ we’ll owe to those same 3 plus several others in 2024. The bill has come due, and we can’t print our own new money to pay it.

    Oh and something else remains: our ‘core’ is a lot shallower … and more expensive … than most seem to think. Add up the CAP Hits for Evans, Godwin, Gage, D Smith, Jensen, Mason, Wirfs & Fournette … the 8 offensive players with CAP Hits over $5 mil this year … and they total $115.7 mil. Add up the CAP Hits for Davis, Vea, Shaq, White … the 4 defensive players with CAP Hits over $5 mil this year … and they total $67.2 mil. The total for just those 12 players is $182.9 mil in terms of CAP Hits (we’re only allowed $227.5 mil salary CAP to play with for our Top-51 players). Should be obvious, but THOSE are the players we’ll have to restructure … or trade … to save the money that we’ll have to save to get under the 2023 salary CAP. Tough decisions ahead. Very tough decisions.

  75. IE Buc Says:

    The Bucs are a mess right now, while the Panthers just put together an all star coaching staff. Just on offense, they got Thomas Brown as OC with Jim Caldwell, Deuce Staley, and Parks Fraizer assisting. All are legitimate OCs in their own right. You got Ejiro Evero on defense. Frank Reich means business. Hope we can keep the Panthers in check next year because they were a borderline playoff team before their shakeup.

  76. BucaneroJim Says:

    Mr. Licht will be around for at least another 5 years, while he oversees the new stadium deal.
    Strong rumor floating, the Rays will move to a new Tampa stadium and as a result, Mayor Welch offers the Bucs a new stadium in the St Pete Gaslight redevelopment. Bucco Bruce will meet the new Pirate Petey. You did not hear this from Florio, what does he know!

  77. brooks Says:

    Does it matter? Need to win the finaly to say it works. Eagles were loaded!! I live in PA they did it all except came up short. Now facing cap issues big time! By the way SUH did not get another ring.. lol. These are all professionals get some good coaching and draft a few young boys for.the long hall and you have a shot. Dungy boys at the start may not have been pretty but boy I miss the days watching #40, #99, #55 and HOF #20 even though we only got one we were a force to recon with.

  78. Oneilbuc Says:

    You guys want to tank ? Lol 😂😂 that is the difference between organizations like the Steelers and bad franchises like the bucs. The Steelers fan base is like we want to win and the bucs fan base wants to tank for 1 player lol 🤣🤣. This is the worst fan base of all sports. Lol 🤣🤣

  79. unbelievable Says:

    @DR – IMO you try to restructure Evans and Godwin, maybe Mason… Extend Wirfs now in a way that makes it cap friendly as well. Not sure what to do with Jensen, D Smith, or Fournette. Probably keep the o-lineman at least for this year. Any idea what the cap hit is from releasing them, or releasing Fournette? Same with Gage?

    As for defense, I dunno if any of those guys are truly worth keeping. Davis is up and down and injured a lot. White is up and down and still sucks in pass coverage. He could probably be traded dor something decent though as his contract isn’t THAT expensive. Vea is only a part time player… SMDH. Shaq was nice when healthy but who knows what we get when he comes back? My understanding is we’d have a huge cap hit if we released him so not sure that’s even an option.

  80. Pickgrin Says:

    In what universe is Logan Ryan “costly”????

    He played here for just over vet minimum last year….

    Stop quoting Florio Joe. No one here cares what that woke azz pansy says or thinks. He’s consistently 100% anti-Buccaneers so why bother?

  81. Cchead Says:

    Florio is a dik hed.

  82. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    Florio hates the Bucs for some reason

  83. mark2001 Says:

    ESPN ranks the Bucs 25th out of 32 in their newest rankings. Panthers ranked 23rd. The others worse. It isn’t pretty, guys.

  84. Defense Rules Says:

    Unbelievable … If it were up to me, I’d try to restructure most of those 12 key players with large (over $5 mil) contracts. The exception MIGHT be Fournette (that contract was much too expensive for what we got & we need to move on from it).

    We can’t really move on from D Smith without taking a sizable CAP Hit so I’d keep him for another year. That’d give us an OLine of D Smith, Hainsey (or Leverett), Jensen, Mason & Wirfs … I’ll take that OLine every day of the year. I have no problem with restructuring both Evans & Godwin such that both could eventually retire as Bucs. Gage, when healthy, will be a helluva #3 WR. Otton & Kieft are fine as TEs, but I’d release Brate to save $$$ (and spend that on a quality FA TE plus draft a TE). Find us a QB who can run this puppy (Trask, Gabbert plus 1 other) and we should be reasonably OK (assuming our new OC has his act together of course).

    Defensively we’re in deep doo-doo. I don’t see anyone … under contract … on our defense, with the exception of Winfield, who I’d say we should build a defense around. BUT at the same time, we can’t start from scratch either; that’s not very realistic. We’ve got certain pieces that we have to work with: Davis, Winfield, White, Vea, Shaq, JTS, Hall & McCollum aren’t going anywhere. (If necessary though, I would try to restructure Vea & Davis, maybe even White, but not Shaq). That leaves a LOT of holes to fill in our defensive roster from FAs & the draft. Personally I’d start by looking at re-signing Hicks, Gholston, RNR, LVD, Nelson, Dean, Edwards, and/or SMB (what they’re willing to play for will be a huge factor). Not expecting any Top-10 finishes for whatever defense we manage to scrape together though.

  85. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    It was fun while it lasted for sure, but the Bucs must go back from whence it came, so sayeth the nfl football gawds.

  86. mark2001 Says:

    May be no need for a “soft tank”. It just might be the way it is.

  87. I’m not tired anymore because we just won the Super Bowl! Says:

    Some people just wanna talk. Licht isn’t going anywhere. Best GM for the Bucs since Rich. Go Bucs! Time to draft a QB….next year that is.

  88. SKBucsFan Says:

    Licht is the leader of this ship. He got us into this mess. If he doesn’t knock it out of the park with his draft choices he should be sent packing.

  89. Whoolio? Says:

    Florio is an idiot. Him saying Licht will be let go means he will likely be signing a 10 years extension after next season. I believe Florio has zero sources and just sits there and makes stuff up to churn up interest. Licht has the highest approval rating among anyone on the bucs staff and Glaziers would be dumb to let him go after what he was able to do in 2020 and 2021

  90. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Whether we were to do a “soft tank” or a “hard tank it would be a stupid strategy. Tanking is for LOSER organizations. Even if we somehow land the very top QB in the 2024 draft the result will be unpredictable. We coulld land another “Jameis You-know-who”!

  91. unbelievable Says:

    Yeah I agree DR, the defense is in a really bad position. Especially if Shaq doesn’t come back to being anything close to what he was…

    Quite the challenge for our defensive head coach.

  92. BUC IT Says:

    I’m all for tanking…. but if we are going to do it then we need to trade guys for picks right now so we maximize the tanking. And we need to give Licht a free pass. He nailed a lot of picks. Last year was the first year I would consider his draft class a failure. Lets see how he does this year. Everybody deserves a mulligan every now and then.

  93. The Anomaly Says:

    2014 2014 NFL NFC South 4th 2 14 0 .125
    2015 2015 NFL NFC South 4th 6 10 0 .375
    2016 2016 NFL NFC South 2nd 9 7 0 .563
    2017 2017 NFL NFC South 4th 5 11 0 .313
    2018 2018 NFL NFC South 4th 5 11 0 .313
    2019 2019 NFL NFC South 3rd 7 9 0 .438
    2020 2020 NFL† NFC South 2nd# 11 5 0 .688
    2021 2021 NFL NFC South^ 1st^ 13 4 0 .765
    2022 2022 NFL NFC South^ 1st^ 8 9 0 .471

    Jason Licht is a LOSER

  94. mg Says:

    Tanking is for quitters.

  95. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    The Great CornFlorio still has his tighty whiteys in a knot over the whole Bruce Arians was forced to step down fiasco. Surprised he hasn’t written another toilet paper book about it.

  96. BUC IT Says:

    For everyone trashing the idea of tanking….. You need to ask yourself. What do want the Bucs to achieve in the next 10 years? Do you want to consistently win 7-10 games every year and make the playoffs once maybe twice without any real chance of winning the Super Bowl or do you want to be a real contender? A team with a chance to win it all. The days of a defense winning you a title are over. This is an offense driven league. You need a franchise QB. We most likely need a guy who is mobile as well because that is what the league has become. Now if we can find a way to avoid tanking and get that guy. I’m all for it. But until we find that guy I think we need to be taking big swings with our draft picks on QB’s until we find that guy. Personally, I am all for trading Evans and this years 1st and 2nd to trade up in this draft if their is a qb worthy of taking. I’m usually against mortgaging the future but I would even throw in next year’s first for that bears pick. I want a franchise qb. Period.

  97. BUC IT Says:

    Buc fans have been through a lot. We deserve to finally have a franchise qb!

  98. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Florio is a joke, but I’m ok with any variety of tanking.

  99. Coburn Says:

    Man we better not can licht. We all know it’s ok Bowles. It’s hard to find a decent GM. I’d rather have stability at that spot. Could do a lot worse

  100. Rick Brooks Says:

    Mike Evans has made many quarterbacks look a lot better than they were, starting with Johnny Manzel in college, and all the Bucs quarterbacks over his career. He was one of the biggest reasons Brady came to the Bucs. Same with Godwin!

    Who better than those two Bucs greats to catch passes from Trask, if he indeed starts?

    I would argue that had it not been for Evans no one would have ever heard of Manzell! And no matter who was playing QB for the Bucs, he has consistently reached over 1,000 yards receiving and has been a scoring machine.

    How many times has he restructured his contact to help the team bring in better players?

    Yes, he’s played a lot of years, but there’s still a lot of catches in Mike Evans, at a time when there isn’t a Brady under center.

    After all he’s meant to the team, he has earned the right to determine his own future. I hope he retires as a Buc and can’t wait to see his name in the Ring of Honor…and the Gold Jacket. In my humble opinion, he’s earned it!

  101. Pete Says:

    Football season is over so until the draft, there’s not much for these talking heads to report on so they’re reaching for content. There’ll be a few free agency stories along the way but not much else of interest for a while.

  102. DeRobbins Says:

    evans shoudl have been traded at the deadline. waiting till now is wating too long.

    same with fournette

  103. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Well, if Mike Florio says we’ll be bad…

    …we’re going to the Superbowl.

  104. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Also, I do not believe for a second that Jason Licht is on any hot seat