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NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Become Tantalizing NFC South Pick If Josh Freeman Progresses

Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sure are getting tantalizing odds in a division that’s never featured a repeat champ. While the reigning NFC South champion Atlanta Falcons and perennial contender New Orleans Saints can be found getting less than 2-to-1 odds for winning the division in 2013, the Bucs are sitting back with the Carolina Panthers around 5-to-1 and, as piqued my interest today, 6-to-1 odds.

Gambling destroys wallets, families and all that good stuff — so don’t do it — but it’s hard not to appreciate how much both the Bucs and historical NFC South parity is being slept on.

After all, since its inception in 2002, the division has produced a new winner ever year. Perhaps this is part of the reason why the Saints’ odds are so close to Atlanta’s despite the fact that they missed the postseason; the public is aware of this fact and could be laying jellybeans on Drew Brees and Co. as the next king.

Brees actually provides an interesting parallel for what quarterback Josh Freeman probably hopes for as a best-cased scenario. After the San Diego Chargers spent an early draft pick on Brees in the early aughts, they soon moved forward by drafting Philip Rivers after Brees’ third season disappointed. Brees would respond with two stellar years before leaving for New Orleans.

The Darrelle Revis trade and big free-agent spending are all well and good, but won’t win them a division title unless Freeman responds to the third-round selection of Mike Glennon with a huge jump of his own in year four.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google