TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs hire Cardinals' Licht as general manager

By
Published:   |   Updated: January 22, 2014 at 09:28 AM

View allPage 1 of 2

Page 2 of 2 | View all Previous page

TAMPA — Since the turn of the century, Jason Licht has had a hand in building four Super Bowl teams in three cities, including the Super Bowl XXXVI champion Patriots in New England in 2001.

Now, the Buccaneers are hoping he can do the same for them here in Tampa.

A nearly three-week search for the fifth general manager in franchise history ended Tuesday when the Bucs named the former Arizona Cardinals director of player personnel to that post.

“Jason is a seasoned NFL personnel veteran who has worked with some of the most accomplished individuals in professional football while contributing to success in New England, Philadelphia and Arizona,'' Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement.

“His strong player personnel background provides the ideal complement to Lovie Smith's philosophy as our head coach. We look forward to working with Jason and Lovie as we set the foundation and chart the course for the future of Buccaneers football.''

Licht (pronounced Light) replaces Mark Dominik, who was fired after a five-year run in the job following the 2013 season. He signed a contract similar in length to the five-year deal the Bucs gave coach Lovie Smith.

Licht is expected to have a slightly different role than general managers traditionally have, as the Bucs have given final say over the makeup of their 53-man roster to Smith.

He is expected to have control over the draft, and he will oversee most other personnel matters, including free agency and trades, as well as contract negotiations.

Licht, who was interviewed three times by the Bucs before finally being hired for the post while scouting at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., brings nearly two decades of scouting and player personnel experience to the Bucs.

In an 18-year NFL career that includes one season as an assistant coach, Licht's teams have amassed a 164-124 (.569) record that includes nine playoff appearances, eight division championships, four conference championships and one Super Bowl title.

Licht, 42, comes to the Bucs from Arizona, where he spent two years serving the Cardinals, first as director of player personnel in 2012 and then as vice president of player personnel in 2013.

A former linebacker and offensive lineman at the University of Nebraska, Licht first broke into the NFL as a scouting assistant to scout Tom Heckert with the Miami Dolphins in 1995.

Licht moved to the Dolphins coaching staff a year later but returned to scouting with the National Football Scouting agency in 1997 before joining the Carolina Panthers' scouting staff in 1998.

Licht spent the next three years as a scout for the Patriots, including serving as a national scout during the 2001 season, when they wound up beating the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

Licht was promoted to assistant director of player personnel for the 2002 season, but he re-joined Heckert, then the Philadelphia Eagles' vice president of player personnel, in the same capacity a year later.

With Licht and Heckert at the top of their personnel department, the Eagles reached the Super Bowl following the 2004 season, losing to the Patriots in Jacksonville in Super Bowl XXXIX.

That Super Bowl appearance by the Eagles helped earn Heckert a promotion to general manager and Licht a promotion to vice president of player personnel in 2006, but both were fired following the 2008 season.

Licht then joined the Cardinals for the first time, helping build their 2008 team into the NFC champion that lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa.

Licht re-joined the Patriots a year later as director of pro personnel, then re-joined the Cardinals as director of player personnel in 2012. He was promoted to vice president of player personnel in 2013.

rcummings@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7979

Twitter: @RcummingsTBO

View allPage 1 of 2

Page 2 of 2 | View all Previous page

Subscribe to The Tampa Tribune

Comments