The Buccaneers have selected a new general manager to guide Tampa Bay out of the dark.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the organization has struck a four-year deal with a fifth-year option to make Jason Licht the successor to the fired Mark Dominik, according to two sources informed of the negotiations. The team later confirmed the news.
Licht comes to Tampa after spending last season as the vice president of player personnel for the Cardinals. He previously served as Arizona's director of player personnel in 2012.
He also spent 2009 to 2011 under Bill Belichick as New England's director of pro personnel after a variety of front-office roles with the Andy Reid-led Eagles from 2003 to 2007. Before that, Licht toiled as a scout for the Patriots, Panthers and Dolphins.
Bears fans might recall that he was among the two finalists for the general manager gig in Chicago that ultimately went to Phil Emery. In Tampa, he'll work closely with former Bears coach Lovie Smith, where they'll nurture a roster packed with talent on both sides of the ball.
On defense, tackle Gerald McCoy graded out as the NFL's top pass rusher at his position, per Pro Football Focus, while linebacker Lavonte David is a star in the making. Darrelle Revis, meanwhile, remains in the conversation as the league's premier shutdown cornerback.
Mike Williams, Vincent Jackson and Timothy Wright give the Bucs a legitimate group of pass-catchers on offense to complement one of the NFC's deeper collection of backs. Doug Martin and Mike James pack a strong one-two punch behind Mike Glennon, the young signal-caller Licht and Smith have inherited.
Before the last coach, Greg Schiano, was scattered to the wind, he told the locker room: "We have our quarterback."
Whether or not Licht agrees with the last guy looms as this offseason's top storyline in Tampa.
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