PewterReport.com can confirm that Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht did sign a five-year deal with a 2023 club option back in January, the same time they signed head coach Bruce Arians, first reported by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
As a general manager in the NFL, when you get the chance to draft a quarterback No. 1 overall, you’re usually married to them — you’ll stick around as long as they do. We thought that was the case with Licht and quarterback Jameis Winston.
As time has passed, and things haven’t exactly gone according to plan, Winston’s security with the team has become not so secure. We thought that might be the same for Licht.
But it turns out Licht found a different asset to latch on to, one with even more security: Arians.
Though he did want to come back to football, getting Arians to Tampa Bay wasn’t “easy.” They had the pieces to make it happen, but things still needed to fall in place. Arians wanted Winston as his quarterback. He wanted to have the freedom to assemble his master coaching staff. And he wanted Licht as his general manager.
We thought that last part could have come with the phrase “to start,” at the end of it. But it turns out Arians may have told the Glazers that Licht has to be in Tampa as long as he is.
This five year deal runs parallel to the one Arians signed, four year base with a fifth year option.
Licht as been responsible for drafting some of Tampa Bay’s top young players, such as Mike Evans, O.J. Howard, Ali Marpet and Chris Godwin. But he’s also been held responsible for things like poor free agent signings and drafting kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round.
Licht has had his ups and down as a first-time general manager in Tampa Bay. Some fans have been harder on him than others. But wherever you fall on the Licht spectrum, it sounds like he’ll be in Tampa Bay as long as Arians is.