We’ve seen theories and analysis on how the Bucs were able to acquire Giants’ defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on Thursday. From assumptions like New York reaching out to Tampa Bay to the Buccaneers pushing for the deal, several outlets have offered their opinions.
But none of them were accurate.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times was able to get general manager Jason Licht exclusively on the record and asked him how the trade happened.
“I have a good relationship with [New York Giants general manager] Dave Gettleman and you never know until you ask in this business. You just never know,” Licht said. “Obviously defensive end is a position we were trying to get a premiere player so I just started making calls. ‘Is this player available? Is this player available?’ A lot people laugh at you and you never know unless you ask and Pierre-Paul was one guy that was one of those calls Dave said ‘I’d have to think about that.’ We kept the talks going. I know they are switching defenses this year. I don’t know what they think about Jason in their new scheme there but we just kept the conversations going for the last three weeks and finally late [Wednesday night] it came to a head and came to an agreement.”
That’s telling. So many people were up in arms assuming that Licht and Co. were not doing much of anything to help improve the team. This validates that the front office was making attempts and were reaching out to many teams for potential trades.
Licht would later reveal that he gave the respect and courtesy to New York to call Pierre-Paul first to break the news of his trade to the Bucs. He added that he then called the newly acquired defensive end and added that he was very excited to come play in Tampa Bay.
Have a listen to the entire audio below. Stroud also asked him about the other free agent acquisitions so far and Licht tells great stories on how the other signings happened, like how Beau Allen turned down more money to don a pewter helmet.