Jason Licht's return to the Arizona Cardinals as player personnel director should be good for the team and for the man he's replacing.
Licht, last with Arizona as a personnel assistant in 2008, has worked extensively for the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, two of the more successful organizations during his years with those teams. He was a finalist to become the Chicago Bears' general manager, a job that went to Phil Emery.
The Cardinals made room for Licht by promoting Steve Keim from player personnel director to vice president of player personnel. Keim has been with Arizona since 1999. He remains second in command to general manager Rod Graves, but we probably shouldn't get too caught up in the titles. Graves has never thrown around his power. The Cardinals seem to work collaboratively, with input from coach Ken Whisenhunt, president Michael Bidwill, Graves and Keim, primarily.
Licht is rejoining the team in a role more significant than the one he held in New England (director of pro personnel). He sought advancement with Chicago and found it with Arizona.
Licht has worked for the Miami Dolphins (1995-1996), National Football Scouting (1997), the Carolina Panthers (1998), the Patriots (1999-2003), the Eagles (2003-2007), the Cardinals (2008) and again for the Patriots (2009-2011).
"NFL scouts who worked with Licht in Philadelphia say his personnel reports are 'concise' and convincing," Jeff Dickerson wrote for ESPNChicago. "He was considered one of the rising stars in the Eagles organization before being pushed out in 2008."
With Licht, the Cardinals should have a good feel for New England's personnel when the teams play in Week 2. That won't necessarily make stopping Tom Brady much easier, of course. But any edge is welcome.