Licht, most recently the vice president of player personnel for the Arizona Cardinals, becomes the fifth general manager in Buccaneers franchise history. Licht (pronounced LIGHT) joins forces with Lovie Smith, named Tampa Bay's 10th head coach on January 2, as the Buccaneers sought new leadership in 2014 to return them to postseason contention. Tampa Bay's scouting effort in Mobile is just the first of many roster-building exercises that will fall under Licht's purview.
“We are excited to welcome Jason Licht as the new general manager of the Buccaneers,” said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Joel Glazer. “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. 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 will speak at an introductory press conference at One Buccaneer Place on Thursday, January 23, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET. That press conference will be carried live on Buccaneers.com.
In 18 NFL seasons, including one as a coach, the clubs that Licht has worked for have amassed a 164-124 (.569) record, nine playoff appearances, eight division championships, four conference championships and one Super Bowl title. In addition, Licht’s career has intersected with some of the NFL’s greatest head coaches, including Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Bill Belichick and Andy Reid. In all, Licht has worked alongside six head coaches who have led a team to a Super Bowl (Shula, Johnson, Belichick, Reid, Pete Carroll, Ken Whisenhunt) and six who have won AP Coach of the Year honors in their career (Shula, Johnson, Belichick, Reid, Dom Capers, Bruce Arians).
Licht's most recent stint with the Cardinals began in 2012, as he assumed the position of director of player personnel before his promotion last year. In Arizona, he worked directly with the head coach and general manager on player acquisition and contract negotiations, as well as overseeing both the college and pro scouting departments. During the previous three seasons in New England Licht served as the director of pro personnel, where he was responsible for monitoring every NFL team with an emphasis on evaluating upcoming pro free agents and maintaining roster depth.
In Philadelphia Eagles, Licht spent three years as the club’s assistant director of player personnel before being promoted to vice president of player personnel for his final two seasons. He came to Philadelphia after spending four seasons with the Patriots as a scout and assistant director of player personnel.
Licht began his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins in 1995, where he worked as a scouting department assistant before joining the coaching staff in 1996 as an offensive assistant/quality control coach. In 1997, he worked for National Football Scouting, a college football scouting service, before moving to the Carolina Panthers’ scouting staff in 1998.
Licht played linebacker and guard at the University of Nebraska from 1989-91 before transferring to Nebraska-Wesleyan, where he was an all-conference defensive tackle. He and his wife, Blair, have three children: sons Charlie and Theo, and daughter Zoe.