5. Jacquizz Rodgers
It’s not always the big move that does the job. Sometimes, it’s the timely one.
Heading into the 2016 season the Bucs felt their running game was a position of strength. Doug Martin had just finished second in the league in rushing, and Charles Sims was the perfect number two man. Admittedly, the depth chart wasn’t large behind them, but up front, the duo was slated to be one of the NFL’s best.
But as we all know, the games are not played on paper, they are played on the field. The top guys had injury problems and frankly, didn’t perform well when they weren’t injured. The Bucs needed help. On September 13th, Licht signed Jacquizz Rodgers, who was a free agent at the time. He wasn’t in anyone’s camp at the time, he was simply a player Licht was familiar with, assisted by Mike Smith who employed Rodgers with the Falcons.
All Rodgers did was come in and lead the team in rushing with 560 yards on just 129 carries. His back to back 100 yard performances were the best the Bucs had to offer on the ground all year long, and were welcome relief to Jameis Winston. Finally he had something going on with the ground game that would take the pressure off of him.
It wouldn’t have happened without a timely signing by Jason Licht.