It is no secret 2019 is a big year for Bucs general manager Jason Licht. After five seasons in charge of running Tampa Bay’s front office, the Buccaneers have yet to make the playoffs and have a record of 27-53 under Licht’s leadership.
While Bucs’ fans continue to debate Licht’s performance, the Glazer’s have shown faith in Licht and his staff. But how much patience they will continue to have in Licht is unknown. The bottom line is, if the Bucs can turn things around in 2019 and reach, or at least get close to the playoffs Licht, will most likely be rewarded with a multi-year extension.
But a recent article by USAToday.com’s Steven Ruiz doesn’t paint Licht in a very favorable light. Ruiz recently ranked all 32 of the NFL’s general managers, and had Licht 31st out of 32.
“Seriously, how does Jason Licht still have this job? He’s spent a TON of money in free agency and those moves have not paid off. He’s also botched most of his first-round picks, which have been near or in the top-10. And, oh yeah, he’s drafted TWO kickers! He justified this year’s pick by claiming that kicker is one of the most important positions on the roster. Let that sink in.”
While Licht would be the first to tell you he has made some mistakes, to say he has botched most of his first round picks isn’t a fair assessment. Wide receiver Mike Evans is a superstar, quarterback Jameis Winston many feel still has plenty of potential to live up to his first round status but O.J. Howard was on his way to being in the Pro Bowl conversation last year before an ankle injury ended his season prematurely. While cornerback Vernon Hargreaves has been a disappointment, Vita Vea showed flashes of being worthy of his draft status, and many feel this year’s selection of linebacker Devin White could be a home run.
2019 will be a turning point in Licht’s career in Tampa Bay, but with a new staff of proven successful coaches, Licht’s future with the Buccaneers is looking better. Now the team just has to prove it on the field and get back to the playoffs sooner rather than later.
You can see the full GM rankings by clicking here.