Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a the ball during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs GM: No contract talks with Tom Brady amid Dolphins report

Following a report that the Miami Dolphins had concocted a plan to make Tom Brady both their quarterback and a minority owner, Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said the Bucs have not engaged with Brady about his future beyond 2022.

In a pre-draft press conference with reporters Tuesday, Licht was asked if Tampa Bay had spoken with Brady about working out a new contract or even a deal with an ownership stake.

“No, we haven’t had those discussions,” Licht said. “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 announced his retirement from football Feb. 1 before un-retiring March 13 and returning for a third season with the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have one more season of contractual control with the seven-time Super Bowl winner.

The Boston Globe reported this month that the Dolphins planned to announce Brady as a minority owner and then bring him on as their starting quarterback in 2023 after a year of “retirement.” The plan also called for Sean Payton, who recently retired from the New Orleans Saints, to take over as their head coach.

The Dolphins pulled the plug on the plan, the report said, following former coach Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL, Miami and other teams.

Licht dismissed the Boston Globe report as “chatter.”

“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.”

Last month, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians stepped down and moved into a front-office role a few weeks after Brady’s unretirement. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was promoted to head coach. Licht denied rumors then that Arians leaving his post was a condition of Brady’s return.

“You can’t believe everything you hear and see and read,” Licht said. “There’s always going to be some friction between people on a staff and players and a coach. It’s just normal. And like you said, it can be healthy. We didn’t really think much about it.”

–Field Level Media

Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs GM: We’ll ‘leave the light on’ for Tom Brady

Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht says the Buccaneers will “leave the light on” for Tom Brady in case the quarterback decides to unretire.

“We’ll see what the future holds,” Licht said during an NFL Network appearance Tuesday. “We’ll leave the light on. You always leave the light on for a guy like Tom Brady.”

Licht is in Indianapolis to attend this week’s scouting combine, where he said the team is “trying to make our plans to move forward” without the seven-time Super Bowl winner. “If that’s the case that we need to move forward,” Licht then added with a giant “if.”

Brady, 44, announced his retirement on Feb. 1 after leading the NFL in passing attempts (719), completions (485), yards (5,316) and touchdown passes (43) in his 22nd season in 2021.

Barely a week later, he fueled speculation about his future plans by telling host Jim Gray “never say never” when asked about playing in 2022 on the “Let’s Go!” podcast.

Licht’s comments sound more optimistic than those of Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, who has said he would be “shocked” if Brady returns.

A 15-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time NFL MVP, Brady is the league’s all-time leader with 84,520 passing yards and 624 touchdown passes.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians pose for a photo at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bucs revising contracts for Bruce Arians, Jason Licht

The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed on revised contracts for coach Bruce Arians and general manager Jason Licht, NFL Network reported Monday.

Arians’ new deal includes a pay raise and Licht’s contract “ensures he’ll be in Tampa Bay for multiple years,” according to the report.

Arians, 68, is entering his third season with the Bucs. After going 7-9 in 2019, he led Tampa Bay to an 11-5 record in the regular season and a 31-9 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

Licht, 50, has been with the Buccaneers since 2014. Under his watch, the franchise signed longtime New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in free agency in March 2020.

Brady promptly led Tampa Bay to the franchise’s second Super Bowl title — his seventh — and broke the club’s single-season records for pass completions (401) and touchdown passes (40).

The Buccaneers enter the 2021 season having retained all of their starters. They kick off the season on Thursday, Sept. 9, against the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium.

–Field Level Media