Buccaneers GM on going all-in with Tom Brady: ‘Look at our rings’

buccaneers gm on tom brady look rings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has zero regrets about going all-in with quarterback Tom Brady for the past three NFL seasons. 

“If I go back in time I would do it all again,” Licht said Thursday, per the Buccaneers’ website. “We pushed. We borrowed about $100 million dollars against this year’s cap and future cap to do what we did. Came close a second time [to a championship]. If anybody wants to criticize what we did, they can come to any of our three homes and look at our rings.”

The Brady-less Buccaneers went 7-9 in 2019 before they signed TB12 as a free agent in the spring of 2020. Brady guided the club to a title the subsequent January, and Tampa Bay responded by returning all 22 starters that appeared in the Super Bowl LV victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Brady then played like a Most Valuable Player candidate throughout the 2021 regular season, but the Buccaneers fell to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs. Off-the-field distractions such as questions regarding Brady’s playing future and his divorce from Gisele Bündchen hovered over the Buccaneers the entire 2022 campaign, but they nevertheless won the division title before they were thrashed by the Dallas Cowboys in the postseason tournament. 

For a piece published on Feb. 21, ESPN’s Jenna Laine noted that Brady’s second and “for good” retirement played a significant factor in the Buccaneers dealing with massive salary-cap woes. Licht insisted Thursday the team was ready for this inevitability. 

“We’ve been working on this plan for a long time, and there were really tough decisions,” Licht said. “But I had a lot of confidence in these people. It was a lot of challenges and we were able to get through it. [We’re] kinda, sort of coming through the back end of it now, but never once did we ever think that we were not going to be a good team this year. We have a lot of good players, players entering their prime, players in their prime, players who haven’t even scratched the surface of their prime. It’s the same situation that drew Tom Brady to want to come sign here. It’s a very similar team.”

Three years ago, the Buccaneers signed the greatest quarterback in NFL history. This time around, they settled for grabbing Baker Mayfield via a relatively inexpensive contract. 

Even if individuals such as Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio are right and the Buccaneers have to embrace a “soft tank” post-Brady, Licht would like everyone to know that what is to come was worth enjoying a highlight-reel Super Bowl parade in February 2021.  

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Publish Date:2023-03-17 06:25:39

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