Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman is Playing For His Career in 2013

By Ryan Heckman


Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the teams to watch closely this season as their quarterback situation will be under a constant spotlight. Josh Freeman is entering into the final year of his contract and could wind up playing his last season as a Buccaneer in 2013.

The 25 year-old quarterback out of Kansas State has had an up and down career so far, going from ratings of 59.8, to 95.9, to 74.6 to 81.6 in his first four years. With a career rating of 79.8, Freeman hasn’t exactly shown the ability to be a franchise quarterback and the Buccaneers are expecting him to have a consistent year in 2013 otherwise he likely won’t return to Tampa Bay.

In 2012, Freeman posted career highs in several categories throwing for 4,065 yards, 27 touchdowns and a 7.29 yards per pass average while also attempting the most passes out of his four years.

The problem for Freeman last year was both his completion percentage — 54.8 — and turnovers, in which he finished with 25. This season, Freeman will need to both limit his turnovers and get that completion percentage up near or over that 60 percent mark to show he can be more efficient with the ball in his hands.

Having a year under his belt with wide receiver Vincent Jackson will surely help that cause, as Jackson and Freeman were one of the top duos in the NFL over the second half of the season.

The pressure should be decreased a bit, also, because of the emerging presence of running back Doug Martin coming off of a phenomenal rookie season. Handing the ball off to Martin and establishing a solid running game would give Freeman the ability to have a little more flexibility with what he does.

If Tampa Bay doesn’t see what they would like out of Freeman in 2013, you may be looking at a team that addresses that need in the 2014 NFL Draft and Freeman will wind up in another uniform as a backup.

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

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