Jason Licht keeps clapping back at critics who think the Bucs didn't do enough in free agency

It sounds like Jason Licht is once again keeping receipts.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

If there's one thing we've learned about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the course of Jason Licht's tenure as general manager, it's that the team won't do things in a conventional way.

Part of what has made his run successful is his willingness and eagerness to go against the grain. He did this masterfully last season when so many experts expected him to take a step back and rebuild after Tom Brady retired, only to watch him reload the Bucs for a run to the NFC Divisional Round.

Licht's draft class last year was another perfect example of him zigging when everyone predicts a zag. Rather than trading up for a quarterback or drafting an offensive lineman, Licht went heavy on defense and landed potential studs like Calijah Kancey and Yaya Diaby.

He did it again this offseason, opting to use most of the Bucs cap space to re-sign players rather than add outside talent. It's a testament to not only the team he's built but how much he believes in the guys who are already inside the building.

Jason Licht boldly defends Buccaneers against offseason criticism

Not adding players in free agency is something the Bucs are sort of getting dinged for when being compared to the rest of the league. Pundits are already predicting the Falcons to win the NFC South after spending $180 million on Kirk Cousins, while the New Orleans Saints are slowly starting to pass the Bucs by in the eyes of others.

Jason Licht does not care.

While making an appearance WDAE, Licht boldly proclaimed to host Tom Krasniqi that the Buccaneers are even better than they were last season.

“Of course, there are some positions that may be a little bit more higher priority, and I think everybody kind of knows what those are,” Licht said “We could line up and play right now. And I think we’d be better than what we were last year already. But you don’t want to handicap yourself knowing that you are going to force yourself to take a certain position, so I don’t think we’re going to do that.”

Licht went to work bringing back Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans on combined deals worth around $150 million. It doesn't take a math major to see that the Bucs paid $30 million less than the Falcons did for Cousins and added back two key playmakers.

Both Baker and Evans were going to be top players on the free agent market, so technically the Bucs landed marquee players even if they did it without going the traditional route. That's been somewhat of a theme for Licht during hs tenure, and while it might have drawn some criticism from talking heads it's resulted in three straigh NFC South titles, four straight trips to the playoffs, and a Super Bowl trophy.

He's doing more than gassing up his own team when defending the Bucs offseason against criticism; it's what a GM who confidently knows what he's doing sounds like.

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