NBC Lukewarm On Jason Licht

May 23rd, 2023

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Man, we sure live in a what-have-you-done-lately world.

The Bucs have one of the best records in the NFL the past three seasons, three straight playoff appearances including a Super Bowl win and two consecutive division titles.

But Patrick Daugherty of NBC Sports Edge (nee: Rotoworld) isn’t impressed. In his annual ranking of NFL general managers, Daugherty has Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht right smack in the middle of the pack at No. 16.

16. Jason Licht, Bucs

Jason Licht was 34-62 without so much as a playoff appearance in six years before he stumbled upon his One Weird Trick for relevance: signing the greatest player in league history. Tom Brady produced the requisite Super Bowl, but the bill ended up coming due before the meal was even finished. After a strong but Lombardi-less 2021, the Bucs became one of the worst division winners of all time in 2022 as an aging roster with a recycled coach did the same thing over but got a far different result. It wasn’t the definition of insanity considering the previous two years, but it was a collapse easy to see coming in hindsight. The offensive line got worse as the skill corps got older. Lacking premium draft picks or bountiful cap space, the defense was allowed to stagnate. None of this is exactly Licht’s fault. It is now his very large problem with Brady in retirement. Licht’s pre-TB12 track record does not inspire confidence, while his 2023 plan is one of surrender. His Baker Mayfield/Kyle Trask QB combo is passing the buck to the 2024 draft class. Perhaps Licht will get the No. 1 pick and USC’s Caleb Williams. The last time he built around a No. 1 overall quarterback, he went 34-62. What Licht learned during his Brady interregnum will define the next five years of Bucs football.

Well, Daugherty needs to calm down. That “One Weird Thing” never would have happened if Licht hadn’t filled the roster cupboard with quality players from the draft and trades.

And yeah, “this Joe” is suspicious of Kyler Traskfield — most reasonable people are — but Joe admits it’s a low-risk/high-reward wager. If Baker Mayfield has a decent year and the Bucs make the playoffs, he’s your Bucs quarterback for the next few years.

If Mayfield fails, “this Joe” believes Licht has set himself up to be able to draft a quality quarterback in the first round next spring. And that was shrewd.

Joe does agree with Daugherty that how Licht navigates this season and next may determine how long he stays with the Bucs.

This is Licht’s 10th season with Tampa Bay. In the world of general managers, that’s a very long tenure.

32 Responses to “NBC Lukewarm On Jason Licht”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Licht has done a good job bringing in the players & managing the cap…..it’s been the coaches under him that have mostly failed…….
    I don’t blame him for the America’s Quarterback pick…….it was between Winston & Mariotta and both failed.

  2. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    THta article is spot on Lict is a below .500 GM and if TB12 didnt land in Tampa, Licht and his bad drafts would have been on the street as he should have been. Now there will be another year or 2 of drafting kickers and OL from the martian football league and put the bucs squarely back in that 1pm den of depression

  3. For the People Says:

    Wow, jealous much Mr Daugherty?

  4. Craig Says:

    He has come around some since the Jameis experiment, but 16 is about right.

    His best scores in the draft have come from those players falling into his lap, rather than any kind of plan he made.

    He has also missed quite a few compensatory picks over the years, so it is almost a wash, if anything can wash away the stink of the Jameis experiment.

  5. Mort Says:

    That’s possibly the most ill-informed analysis I’ve ever read about the Bucs.

  6. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Licht had a plan for Cappa leaving in free agency.
    Marpet retiring and Jensen’s and Stinnie’s injuries were wild cards he had to deal with- devastated the interior Oline last year. – which partially led to a devasted Offensive running game..
    Signing Gage and letting Whitehead leave in Free Agency was arguably a debatable decision that hurt the run defense more than it helped the offense.
    So far, this year JL has managed roster as well as could be expected- good draft, FA signings
    The Bucs will surprise alot of pundits if the Bucs can stay relatively healthy.

  7. miken Says:

    Jason’s biggest asset was where he came from. His patriot and Cardinal connection gave us a shot at BA and TB and we got them. His drafting has been average at best.

  8. Buc4evr Says:

    Really bad and superficial analysis by a third rate hack as part of a third rate news organization. What more can you expect. Pure garbage.

  9. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If people remember, Licht was in serious trouble here in Tampa, until he pulled Bruce Arians out of his Hat. Then he got another break when the 49ers did not want Brady, who had already decided to leave New England, so Brady came here.
    The arrival of Bruce Arians and his gang really improved Licht’s drafts.
    He still sometime reaches, or overdrafts players. Luke Goedeke is a prime example. Luke could have been had in the 3rd round, but Licht spent a second round pick on him.
    I agree with @Craig who posted above me that Licht;s best scores are players that have fallen into his lap, like Tristan Wirfs did.

    Overall, I would rate Licht as an upper middle of the pack General manager.

  10. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    “…Joe admits it’s a low-risk/high-reward wager…”

    I agree that Licht filled the cupboard and is a good GM. However, in my opinion, going straight up with Trask would have been better and yielded more of the “low risk/high-reward you refer to. Licht can argue that was always the plan since he spent a 2nd Rd pick on Trask. Trask would likely have struggled in the beginning, but might have found eventual success; then we have our QB of the future.

    Mayfield might be good enough to mess up the Bucs draft selection by getting just enough wins for the Bucs to be drafting between 15 to 19, and NOT having a QB of the future in Caleb or whoever.

  11. Dooley Says:

    Lichts’ done a good job cleaning up Mark Dominiks’ mess and eventually adding a bunch of contributors to an SB win in the draft, has he missed? sure but he’s also hit on some very important pieces that are either still on the team or somewhere else in the league still playing pro football. Lichts’ overall win-loss less to me because since he’s been a GM going back to 2014, there have only been 7 different SB winners teams and we’re one of them. You can nit pick about this player or that particular draft pick, but consider the entire body of work. Are you still bellyaching over a failed pick he made 5-6 years ago? lol have fun with that

  12. #99 the big fella Says:

    Chris with Apple cleaning I don’t buy your analysis.. With Jason bringing in Bruce Arians, and Tom Brady. Makes him a really good general manager. Those moves got us a Super Bowl, and I believe there was quite a few other general managers that would’ve loved to have Bruce and Tom.

  13. PSL Bob Says:

    TBBF is right one. The GM’s job is to bring in talent. It’s the coaches responsibility to train his players and put that talent to best use. Good coaches do that. Before Arians we had garbage for coaches. Too early to tell what transpires after Arians. Just the other day you were talking about how solid the 2019 draft class was. Well, Licht did that. A team’s performance is not just about what the GM does!

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    I think in 2020 when Licht was number one, Brady decided to come to the Bucs because of all the offensive weapons Licht has collected through his drafting. He gets guys to free up space on contracts to help out. Can make a real good deal with people and has an eye for guys on the street (is Nassib still free out there?). He’s had his dumps of crap in the draft, but he’s also landed some FHOF and the GOAT.

    Everyone hates the Bucs and Baker and thinks they will be dead last. I’m Waiting till week one

  15. Brandon Says:

    Licht is still top five, no doubt. That 2020 team was absolutely LOADED. Brady was the cherry on top. As Arians said, he could win with Winston, but he could also win with other guys too. Signing an aging great usually ends in disaster but when the cupboard is full, it sometimes works out… it almost worked out twice. Last year, Brady’s decline was too much to overcome. He was underprepared and gun shy. His dink and dunk checkdown screen heavy offense was exactly what he wanted to do. Maybe if Arians was still in charge he would have called Brady out on it… but Leftwich let Brady run the show into the ground. This is still a very good roster. If Mayfield plays like he did in 2020, this team will win 10+ games.

  16. ben Says:

    Licht is NOT a good gm.. He hired the Bucs last head coach !!

  17. sasquatch Says:

    As always, I say I don’t care about media rankings or ratings. This crap is just produced to fill space during the offseason. It’s not interesting or entertaining. It’s all just empty opinionating.

  18. SlyPirate Says:


    Licht pulls off maybe the greatest signing in NFL history … EXACTLY WHAT GMs ARE SUPPOSED TO DO … and he gets penalized for it.

    Do you know why TB12 came to Tampa? Because we had the most talent amongst the other 21 starters.

  19. BillyBucco Says:

    Why is Wirfs “Falling into his lap” not part of a good draft?
    IMO 4 other GMs screwed up.

    You can’t say Wirfs wasn’t his top guy!!!

    Hind Sight is 20-20

  20. Dooley Says:

    “Licht is NOT a good gm.. He hired the Bucs last head coach !!”

    GMs don’t hire coaches by themselves, but the Owners can and at times do.

  21. Duane Says:

    Time will ultimately tell, but I think Licht has done a great job. This season, he managed a roster turnover with minimal losses and shoehorned a starting qb into the mix for under $2million. If you look at this roster down the road, you can see that there is never a point where there will be a full overhaul. Likely a good time to move on from Donny and Mason, and next season there will be cap space to be more flexible. What the pundits miss is that he has obviously earned the respect and trust of the ownership, and with that trust, more freedom to wheel and deal.

  22. Ed Says:

    Licht is probably best at drafting offensive linemen and WR’s. Godwin was a brilliant draft pick. Not sure if Dominik or Licht drafted Evans.

    Cappa, Wirfs and Marpet were exceptional linemen. Smith was bad, then good, then bad again.

    Defensive lineman have been horrible, there isn’t one good one that he drafted.

    Secondary is much better than average.

    Biggest complaint is not drafting enough speed in skill positions like running back and WR. OJ Howard and Jameis Winston were really bad number one picks as well as Vernon Hargreaves.

  23. Rand Says:

    Drafting Winston was his biggest bungle then drafting Aguayo in the 2nd round and bringing in $1,000,000 a game washed up Darelle Revis but even the best GM’s make mistakes with less scrutiny. Why is it so easy for these people to hate on the Buc’s so much. Can we get some positive stories instead of all the negative stuff?

  24. Woodenman Says:

    Wirfs did not fall into are laps if you remember the bucs traded up one spot with 49ers to make that pick!

  25. 1#bucsfan Says:

    You said it perfectly Joe and I was thinking the same thing. TB12 doesn’t show up if this team wasn’t put together right. In fact it was put together so well TB12 chose the Bucs over every other team. Great job JL now you got a lot of work todo to keep us relevant again. I have confidence he will. Maybe not with bowels as the HC tho.

  26. Fred McNeil Says:

    Where did this Daughtery bozo dig up a little known and rarely used word like”interregnum”?
    Yeah, Daughtery, you’ve got a thesaurus; we get it, and that word technically can be shoehorned in there, but it’s like putting a right shoe on your left foot kind of fit. The Brady Era, however short, was not a bridge period between two regimes. It was a brief but glorious period of great Buccaneers football.
    If you insist on using a thesaurus to make yourself appear semi-intelligent…at least try to comprehend the connotation of that word.

  27. unbelievable Says:

    You’d think people who are paid to write about this stuff for a living would at least get their facts straight:

    Jason Licht was 34-62 without so much as a playoff appearance in six years before he stumbled upon his One Weird Trick for relevance: signing the greatest player in league history.

    The last time he built around a No. 1 overall quarterback, he went 34-62.

    Of course it would literally be impossible for these 2 statements to be true, since Winston was not here during the 2014 season and had not been drafted yet.

    His record with Winston was 32-48, which is obviously still very bad.

    But come on people, get yer dang facts straight!!!

  28. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    @99 The Big Fellow
    Licht was in trouble here in Tampa, and many thought he was on his way out.
    Then he pulled Bruce Arians out of a hat!
    I give him credit for that.
    Bruce greatly improved our team, and especially our Drafts!

    But as far as “landing” Tom Brady goes, not so much. Brady had already made up his mind to leave the Patriots. Being the Bay Area Boy that he is, he wanted to play for his hometown 49ers, but they did not want him!
    Tampa was his second choice, and only because the 49ers did not want him.

    AS far as Tristan Wirfs goes, he kept falling and falling in the draft. Many of us feel that Licht should have just waited for him to fall all the way to us, instead of wasting a pick trading with San Francisco who already had one of the best O Lines in the NFL!

    Licht has a habit of overpaying for players, like he did with Luke Goedeke.
    Luke Godeke’s fellow lineman went in the third round, yet has been a starter on his NFL Team from day one.
    Yet Licht took him in the second round, and we have all seen how that worked out.

    I am not a Jason Licht hater at all, please don’t get that idea. I just do not think he is one of the best General Managers in the NFL.

  29. Bucs2Yucspart2 Says:

    Umm pretty spot on

  30. Buccos Says:

    Top 5 GM

  31. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Meh idk I think Licht is a top ten GM for sure. He has drafted future Hof players built a competitive team now we need bowels to coach up the team if not I can see that pipedream of bill belicheat to come here

  32. garro Says:

    Another expert no one has heard of and I did not read past that.