NFL Nation: Mike Greenberg

New Bucs GM will focus on scouting

January, 24, 2014
Jan 24
TAMPA, Fla. -- I wasn't able to attend Jason Licht's introductory press conference as general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a family emergency. But I'm catching up now on what Licht had to say, and I'm liking what I've heard.

The first thing that jumped out at me was Licht saying he'll be more focused on scouting than he will on salary cap matters.

"During the interview I made sure when it came up for me to ask questions I made sure that I can focus on football," Licht said. "Yeah, I'll be advised on [the salary cap], but I'm a meathead that likes to watch football. I'm not going to try to be something I'm not. If you call me a scout, I won't be upset."

There's nothing wrong with being a meathead who likes to watch football and there's nothing wrong with being called a scout. I think Licht's scouting background will only be a plus for the Buccaneers. That's not a knock on former general manager Mark Dominik, who also paid his dues as a scout. As general manager, Dominik spent plenty of time evaluating personnel, but he also spent a lot of time managing the salary cap (and doing a good job of that).

But I see nothing wrong with Licht focusing mostly on personnel. The Bucs have director of football administration Mike Greenberg, who helped Dominik with salary cap matters. The Bucs could expand Greenberg's role or they could bring a cap expert from elsewhere.

"We'll figure that out in the short term," Licht said. "I have a plan in place already, but I just want to think about it a little bit. I just walked in the door."

In this audio clip with Herm Edwards filling in for Mike Golic, he and Mike Greenberg talk about the Drew Brees contract situation.

Like just about everyone else, Edwards and Greenberg are stunned that Brees and the New Orleans Saints don’t have a deal already. They reportedly remain far apart and the Saints are prepared to use the franchise tag on Brees if a deal isn’t reached by Monday.

If it comes to the franchise tag on Brees, that’s pretty much a disaster for the Saints. Brees isn’t going to be happy if he doesn’t have a long-term deal and the last thing the Saints want is an unhappy Brees.

On top of that, franchising Brees means the Saints won’t have the tag available to use on guard Carl Nicks and receiver Marques Colston. Without the tag available and with Brees taking up more than $14 million in cap space, it will be pretty much impossible for the Saints to keep Nicks and Colston.

This is approaching crisis stage. The Saints are on the verge of losing Colston and Nicks and they’ll probably need to cut several other prominent players to stay under the salary cap. The Saints will be able to keep Brees, one way or another, but it’s looking like their roster won’t be nearly the same.

Those changes won’t be for the better.