Jason Licht, “Take A Bow”

July 23rd, 2023


One NFL observer thinks everyone is playing UNO for toothpicks while Bucs GM Jason Licht is playing high-limit blackjack at the Aria Resort and Casino.

And winning.

Regular JoeBucsFan readers here know Joe is OK with Baker Mayfield because Licht made a low-cost investment on a quarterback who, if Licht’s gamble plays off, will be the Tampa Bay quarterback for the near future.

If Mayfield stinks, eh, play the next hand and draft a quarterback early in April.

Garrett Podell of CBS seems to agree, but thinks Licht paved a new road to success with a far more insightful vision than just Mayfield. Podell thinks Licht’s offseason moves position the Bucs to set a foundation for a rookie quarterback. He’s impressed Licht did this despite being strangled by the salary cap.

… Licht aught to take a bow for dancing around the $35 million in dead cap space caused by Tom Brady’s second retirement to retain linebacker Lavonte David (one year, $4.5 million), their defensive leader, and cornerback Jamel Dean (four years, $52 million), who in tandem with Carlton Davis forms one of the NFC’s top cornerback duos. Tampa has the defensive horses to challenge the New Orleans Saints for the NFC South throne even without Brady, but relying on Baker Mayfield isn’t a sturdy option. He could be the 2023 Geno Smith veteran breakout quarterback while throwing to four-time Pro Bowl wideout Mike Evans as well as Pro Bowl receiver Chris Godwin. Mayfield could also highlight why he’s played on three different teams in the last two seasons since he has exactly 26 passing touchdowns and 26 turnovers as a starting quarterback across 24 starts spanning the last two years.

However, the Buccaneers should be in a good spot to reset the deck in 2024 once Brady’s dead money is off the books no matter how well or poorly 2023 goes. Just in time for the Caleb Williams and Drake Maye draft.

If you agree with Podell, that’s how you “reload” while you “rebuild.”

33 Responses to “Jason Licht, “Take A Bow””

  1. Trask To The Future Says:

    It’s going to be really funny if Trask gets a chance and shines. So many “pundits” and others will look like fools.

  2. ATLBuc Says:

    It’s going to be real funny WHEN Trask starts and shines.

  3. Rand Says:

    I just wish he would stick more to his original plan. With Arians retiring early and Brady talking retirement really threw a monkey wrench into his plan.

  4. Lt. Dan Says:

    Podell’s post is spot on. I love how the Joe’s compare the Baker Mayfield signing with “playing the stock market” and now “playing black jack in Vegas”.

    With the financial constraints on the Bucs, combined with the available FA quarterbacks earlier this year, JL made what could turn out to be a genius move. If Mayfield is a flop, then hopefully the Bucs will pick high enough to grab a high end rookie QB. Yep – take a bow Mr. Licht!

  5. Fansince76 Says:

    We all have no idea what the offense will really do until the season gets started.
    New OC, New QB and completely revamped O line?
    Lets pray this all works out!

  6. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    I see a different possibility.

  7. stpetebucfan Says:

    Just 35 different coaches have won Super Bowls. I tried to get that information about how many different GM’s have won but couldn’t find it.

    But let’s round up to three dozen! WTF ever happened to scoreboard? Licht is one of those few dozen who has done what some franchises have never accomplished…create a Super Bowl winner.

    He’s done it once and can do it again with some luck. Some of you guys remind me of that lyric from Prince’s classic “When Doves Cry”.

    “Maybe you’re just like my mother
    She’s never satisfied”

    Some here are real “mothers”.

  8. Tim Says:

    Totally agree with this assessment. Licht over the years has, with Mike Greenberg, done a great job with bringing in new talent along with maintaining the salary cap such that they can continue to resign their core guys. Nothing is ever perfect but considering going “all in” with Brady and considering the cap implications of that course of action, they’ve set themselves up for more future success.

  9. Smashsquatch Says:

    Licht has done a great job building and mainting a SB wimning roster. He kept the window open long and is now poised to retool quicky. Win or lose in 2023, the future is bright with so many young core players. Oddly, I’m more excited to see this year’s team than last. Top story lines to watch unfold: 1. Canales’ offense 2. D-line pressure 3. O-line run blocking. The QB position will work itself out if these come together.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘If you agree with Podell, that’s how you “reload” while you “rebuild.”

    I’m glad you couched that statement with ‘IF” Joe because we’ll find out after this season that it’s all built on smoke & mirrors. We’ll be just as bad off salary-CAP-wise next year as we were this year. What we’ve managed to do is kick the can down the street yet again by restructuring a bunch of contracts that we’ll have to honor in 2024 & beyond OR take massive dead CAP hits.

    And speaking of Dead CAP, THAT isn’t included right now in next year’s CAP projection for the Bucs because no one has a good idea what it’ll be. But rest assured, it’ll be a bunch.

  11. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    I like Licht but this year’s draft class must be better than the last two. Since Wirfs and Winfield his best draft pick has been a Punter.

  12. DailyRich Says:

    I always chafe a little when the “three teams in two seasons” thing gets trotted out about Mayfield. He and Cleveland were clearly over, and he was never meant to be a long-term solution on either Carolina or Los Angeles. Carolina ditched him once it was clear they were in tank mode, and he was a band-aid for the Rams in a lost season. Harp on the 26 TD/26 INT number, but the number of teams he played for isn’t some indictment of his ability.

  13. garro Says:

    Brady caused a 35 million dolar cap deficit? When you state it that way it makes it sound like Brady should have stayed retired. Or the Bucs should have passed. LOL

    Go Bucs

  14. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    All be it, a very very good punter!

  15. garro Says:

    Is he the first one of the talking heads to realize this was an amazing job by Licht, Spytek, and Greenburg?

    The draft picks this year were great as well but also a gamble. I think we drafted more for need than BPA. If most pan out as contributors this year Licht will indeed look like the best GM ever.

    Go Bucs!

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    My suspicion is a borderline 8-9…7-10 season putting us in a bad position for a QB…..we’ll have to cough up some draft capital like many others have had to do……
    Bite the bullet.

  17. Beej Says:

    I believe O-line is going to be one of the better in the league, can’t say about QB’s. Baker sucked in 21 because he should have been on IR with his injury, then thrown into very poor situation in Carolina right as training camp started. In LA, he proved capable at the very least. Trask, we have no real way of knowing until preseason games start if he’s improved beyond rookie status. All I remember was his throwing motion hat to be completely changed for the pros. Admittedly hard to gauge when he’s usually practicing with scout team

  18. Jack Clark Says:

    Licht’s career as a Bucs GM gets an A rating in my book

  19. PewterStiffArm Says:

    Or, Mayfield plays lousy and in comes Trask and he plays good. Wow, scenarios scenarios.

  20. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Joe you say if baker does terrible then we are looking at drafting a QB pretty high in the next draft. You must be sippin to many big storms and forget that there’s a 50/50 shot trask can step in and do well or he could do terrible but the fact is that’s still a option and more likely to happen if baker does terrible

  21. Destinjohnny Says:

    We aren’t going to get free agents on the cheap anymore
    We are going to have to draft our way our of this.
    If you want to look at your future look at your past.

  22. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    This year’s dead cap space was @ $75M… Our dead cap space for 2024 will be nowhere near that number.

    Mike Evans and Shaq Barrett (if we decide to cut him) will be our two biggest hits.

    – Evans = $12.2M
    – Shaq = $7.5M
    – Winfield = $1.6M
    – LVD = $2.7M
    – Gains = $1.9M
    – Felier = $1.030M
    – Mayfield = $2.3M

    Total dead cap for 2024 = $29.23M

    If we don’t cut Shaq Barrett it will be @ $22M…

    Like I said – this is way less than we were stuck paying in 2023 ($75.4M).

    Plus the cap will increase by $25-$30M.

  23. Marine Buc Says:


    These numbers came from Over the Cap…

  24. Mike Johnson Says:

    Nope. No bow for you yet Jason. You were doing good until you failed to bring us in a winning vet QB. You go absolutely nowhere in this NFL without a QB who is consistently above 600 or so. And Baker has yet to prove this despite being in the league for a while. Long season guys.

  25. Allbuccedup Says:

    Back to the old bucs guys. Brady and Arians were the difference makers and they are gone with the wind.

  26. Destinjohnny Says:

    Thanks for giving us the building blocks
    Of jTS our best pass rusher
    Logan hall
    Luke and hainsey
    And Britt

  27. stpetebucfan Says:

    @Marine Buc

    Thanks for that tidbit of research.

  28. Marine Buc Says:

    All good stpetebucfan.

    Bored on a hot summer Sunday… lol.

  29. Fred McNeil Says:

    Jason Licht is a very good GM. If either Traskfield works out we can still take a QB, but if lots of QBs go early we can get a much shot at a better than otherwise expected player at some other premium position due to more being passed over.

  30. Infomeplease Says:

    As far as taking bow goes, let’s see the results first. After 4 or 5 games we’ll have a better idea how good his off season moves were. I’m not saying JL wasn’t forced to play Houdini submerged in an underwater tank wrapped in chains ect. Because he was!! I’m saying judging him before results is f’d.

  31. Power Of Pewter Says:

    What genius drafted a kicker in the 2nd round after trading up, only to have him flame out? Licht hit gold every now and then, but most of his draft picks and FAcy signings have been so-so or busts. 2 years after a SB win the Bucs were sub-.500 and unceremoniously bounced out of the playoffs, on home fiend no less. This year, they’re a long shot to make the playoffs. While fingers can be pointed in many directions, all paths lead to the GM.

  32. deuceswild78 Says:

    we may be well positioned for next year but without a competent HC and winning QB, its like starting over. we need to get younger and more dynamic fast instead of hanging onto the past

  33. Janet Silva Says:

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