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Buccaneers GM Jason Licht Garners Praise For Day 1 of Free Agency

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht is getting his flowers from NFL media after the Bucs' big first day of the legal tampering period.
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a lot of great players set to hit free agency coming into March, and now, a lot of them will stay in Tampa Bay — and that's majorly thanks to their general manager.

Jason Licht and his staff have been hard at work attempting to secure the team's big free agents, and he was able to do that with two of them before free agency even began. Both wide receiver Mike Evans and quarterback Baker Mayfield signed their new extensions before free agency began, securing Evans for the next two years and Mayfield for the next three. Once that happened, he got to work securing some other pieces once free agency began.

A big one was the return of Chase McLaughlin, who had Tampa Bay's best kicking season ever in 2023. He also made sure to secure some depth on the roster, bringing back defensive lineman Greg Gaines and running back Chase Edmonds to the fold, ensuring that the team can retain some pieces from last year.

Additionally, Licht also made a trade. He sent cornerback Carlton Davis and two sixth-round picks to the Detroit Lions for a third-round pick, gaining a high draft pick in this upcoming NFL draft while also freeing up some cap space that Davis held from his contract. published a piece on their Day 1 winners for free agency and writer Jeffri Chadiha had a lot of great things to say about Licht's work so far. Here's a little bit of what the article had to say about the Bucs general manager:

"Licht has been on quite a run over the last four years, as Tampa Bay has won a Super Bowl and three NFC South titles during that time. The Bucs are back in position to compete for another division crown because of all the heavy lifting Licht has done over the last two weeks... This offseason could've been rough for Licht — who also agreed to acquire a third-round pick in this year's draft in a trade that will send cornerback Carlton Davis III to Detroit along with a couple sixth-round picks — if Evans and Mayfield walked. Instead, the Bucs have a great shot at returning to the playoffs for a fifth straight season."

Licht has received good reviews from Bucs fans and pundits alike in recent years. Not only did his work in free agency help bring Tampa Bay their second championship after his free agent signing of Tom Brady, but he's managed to keep multiple pieces on the team through his use of the salary cap and he currently pilots a squad that has the longest active playoff streak in the NFC.

That all being said, Licht isn't done. It will be curious to see what else he does in free agency, especially given that he seems more focused on retaining his own players than he is in signing new additions to the squad.

You can follow River Wells on Twitter @riverhwells.

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