The Buccaneers opened their offseason program on Monday. General Manager Jason Licht met with the media in conjunction with the launch of the offseason program. And he understandably was asked plenty of questions about the team’s plans for the first overall pick in the 2015 draft.
Licht’s comments continue to point to Jameis Winston being the first overall pick.
“Going back all the way to [the Scouting Combine], we said we had a leader in the clubhouse, we still do,” Licht said, via a transcript prepared by the team. “If we had to pick today, we would feel very comfortable making the pick. With that said, we’ll wait. We’ll use the majority of our allotted time. There is always something that could pop up that you wish you would’ve waited, talking about a scenario where somebody offers you something you can’t refuse. We’ll use the allotted time, but everyone in the organization feels very comfortable right now with where we are at.”
What would it take to get the top pick?
“It’s fair to assume someone is going to have to make a really good offer, yeah,” Licht said. “And this time of year you get a lot of calls every day. Not making offers, but just throwing, gauging your interest of if you would be open to it or not. And that will continue. But it would have to be an offer that makes this franchise, that sets this franchise even further ahead than what you thought you were going to with the decision you made.”
So the Buccaneers are keeping the door open for a possible trade down, and if no one makes them an offer they can’t refuse, they’ll take the guy they’ve been planning to take all along. And the widespread belief continues to be that Winston will be the pick.
Not surprisingly, Licht also was asked about the research the team has done regarding Winston’s off-field issued, specifically relating to the sexual-assault lawsuit filed against him last week by Erica Kinsman.
“It didn’t surprise us,” Licht said regarding the civil complaint. “The information that came out with it was not a surprise to us. We’re very confident in the amount of work we have done. Maybe 25 years from now I’ll write a book, but we feel very confident in the amount of work we’ve done internally. We have had work done externally, third parties, on and on and on. So there have been no surprises.”
Licht sidestepped the question of whether he has spoken to prosecutors or to Kinsman’s lawyers.
“Well, I’ll answer that this way: We’ve talked to a lot of people,” Licht said. “‘A lot’ is probably not a big enough word. But, we’re not going to publicly talk about who we talked to. That’s just what we decided internally. We are not going to talk about the process. All I’ll tell you is that the Glazer family, the head coach, the General Manager, our staffs, we all couldn’t feel more confident about the process we have gone through so far.”
There’s no reason to think the Buccaneers haven’t done everything they need to do, given the stakes of the decision they’ll be making. It’s the fifth time in franchise history that they’ve been in this spot, and the goal will be to get another Lee Roy Selmon, who made it to the Hall of Fame — and not another Bo Jackson, who never played for the team.