Jason Licht Takes New Job With Cardinals, Leaving Void in Patriots Front Office


May 2, 2012

Jason Licht Takes New Job With Cardinals, Leaving Void in Patriots Front OfficeJason Licht took a promotion Wednesday, leaving his perch as the Patriots' director of pro personnel to take over as the Cardinals' director of player personnel.

You're probably staring at each title and wondering how one is better than the other, and that would be a normal reaction. The difference, basically, is Licht's new title mirrors that of Nick Caserio, who was his immediate boss with the Patriots.

Caserio detailed Licht's essential responsibilities with the Patriots in February while they were in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI.

"Really, you're evaluating players," Caserio said. "At different points in the year, it's going to take on — whether it's pro free agents, or whether you're evaluating players on opposing teams or going through evaluating — 'OK, we're going to look at all the rookies that are playing in the league, and looking at their performance relative to what we thought they might be coming out.' I'd say there's a number of things involved on a day-to-day basis. But I'd say a big part of it is just evaluating players and understanding the league."

Basically, Licht evaluated everyone in the NFL to help devise game-day scouting reports, along with reports on each player to see how they'd fit as free agents. Licht also graded each players' development on a year-to-year basis. For example, the Patriots scouted quarterback Andrew Luck as he came out of Stanford — not because they thought Luck would slide to the Pats at the 27th pick, but so they could have a better understanding of how he developed on a yearly basis.

Last week before the draft, Licht compiled a book of every NFL team's needs, which helped Bill Belichick and his staff assess the draft board as it unfolded. There's no doubt Belichick referenced that book while deciding whether or not he should trade up twice in the first round.

In Arizona, Licht will oversee the pro personnel department and the college scouting department.

"Jason is well-respected in the league," Caserio said. "He's got a lot of experience. I think a lot of people that have worked with him have a lot of positive things to say. We're glad we have him. There's no question about it."

Obviously, the Patriots must replace Licht at this point, but they had seen this coming for a while now. Licht was one of the final candidates during the Bears' search for a new general manager in January, so the NFL's interest was clearly widespread.

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