When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought Bruce Arians on board as the team’s next head coach, one of the biggest reasons for considering the organization was his relationship with general manager Jason Licht.
Now Arians and Licht will be tied together throughout their time in Tampa Bay, as the Buccaneers have signed the latter to a new 5-year deal, per a report by Tampa Bay Times’ reporter Rick Stroud.
The new deal per Stroud, will mirror that of Arians’ contract and Licht will have a club-option for 2023. Both Arians and Licht worked together during their time with the Arizona Cardinals and oversaw the turnaround of the team. Now the pair will look to do the same in Tampa Bay.
Licht has had mixed review in terms of his tenure in Tampa Bay, as the Buccaneers have only had one winning season under his watch (9-7, 2016) and the organization is on its third head coach since he’s arrived from Arizona. The former Cardinals’ front office member was brought on with former Chicago Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith, whom was a fan favorite as a former linebackers coach Under Tony Dungy.
After just two seasons, Licht dismisses Smith and promoted offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to the head coaching position. Koetter was the lead man for Tampa Bay for three seasons and after a hot start in 2016, the Buccaneers went 5-11 in 2017 and 2018.
Licht has also been up and down in regards to drafting players, as Jameis Winston was the team’s No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. First round picks like Mike Evans, Vernon Hargreaves, OJ Howard and Devin White have all remained on the roster but it’s yet to be seen if Winston will end up panning up long term.
Arians and Licht hope to make Winston the first quarterback in franchise history that they offer a second long-term contract to, making the 2019 season a big one for the former Florida State signal caller.
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