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That includes competing with the Miami Dolphins’ plan to obtain Brady as minority owner and player. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported the Dolphins’ interest, which fell through at the same time former head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the team for discrimination. Licht said the Bucs haven’t made an offer for ownership with Brady, who will also be a free agent in 2023 unless the Bucs can re-sign him.
“No, we haven’t had those discussions,” Licht told the media on Tuesday, April 19. “The only discussions we’ve had with Tom is when he came back. We’re excited about this year and excited to get going.”
Brady retired Feb. 1 and unretired March 13 right before free agency, which altered the trajectory of the Bucs’ offseason. The Bucs reassembled a Super Bowl-contending roster since Brady’s return with free agent signings and a trade. Licht, who wants to further improve the roster through next week’s NFL Draft, considers the Brady-Dolphins outside noise.
“I make of it as chatter” Licht said. “We’re focused on putting our team together here with the draft and we’re all excited. We’re all in lockstep here — Tom, Todd [Bowles], myself, Byron [Leftwich], the entire coaching staff on this season.”
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Licht Not Concerned About Brady’s Absence From OTAs
Brady didn’t participate in the first round of organized team activities on April 11, but that’s been the norm for him since 2018 according to CBS Boston. Licht noted that Brady and Bowles have been in communication about that decision.
“It’s voluntary right now. He’s going into his 23rd season – he obviously knows how to take care of himself,” Licht said about Brady. “During this voluntary portion, I just know he and Todd have had several conversations about that. So, no worries whatsoever.”
Brady’s Impact on Bucs Draft Plans
As for the draft, Licht maintains that Brady doesn’t play a big role in that process. Brady has a history of making roster input such as recruiting players.
“No, he stays away. He trusts us. That’s just not in his nature, anyway,” Licht said.
Having Brady back also doesn’t, drastically alter the Bucs’ plans with the draft, Licht indicated. The general manager emphasized the need “to trust your [draft] board” when picking players.
“There are no guarantees on any of these players,” Licht told the media. There’s no guarantee — it’s 50 percent.”
“You want to make sure that you’re doing all the work that you can,” Licht added. “Managing risk — I think you and I talked about that in the past — and bringing in a player that you have as much confidence as possible in. There’s no guarantee that a player is going to come in and win Defensive Rookie of the Year or Offensive Rookie of the Year.”
Bucs needs in the draft include offensive linemen due to the departure of Alex Cappa and retirement on Ali Marpet. The Bucs could also go after depth at multiple positions, including tight end and defensive end since Rob Gronkowski and Ndamukong Suh remained unsigned.