Josh Freeman has been released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in a move that should surprise nobody. The Bucs were obviously unhappy with Freeman and him with them. Freeman was being actively shopped as reports from Tampa Bay indicated that the Bucs were calling any and all NFL teams in an attempt to find a trade partner. It should come as no surprise that Tampa Bay couldn’t find a trade partner after allegedly leaking just about everything that was a negative point about the former first round pick, essentially killing whatever remaining value Freeman had. I wonder if I could get the Tampa Bay management team to join my poker league, I could use a player like that at the table…
For a league full of general managers that often overspend on free agents and make lopsided trades, I have to give credit to everyone who passed on Freeman. When reports surface that a team is calling every other team to move a player, savvy general managers know that if no trade can be agreed upon that a release would be a likely next move. After all, why give up an asset for a player when you can get him for free?
Since Freeman is in his fifth year, he automatically becomes a free agent and will not have to go through waivers.
So where could Freeman wind up? A look at teams with quarterback troubles is the best place to start.
The Tennessee Titans could be a possible destination after news broke that Jake Locker would miss at least the next month. Ryan Fitzpatrick clearly isn’t going to cut it against the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. Freeman could push Locker and the competition could be good for both quarterbacks. For a team that is leading their division, they can hardly afford a slide with the Indianapolis Colts on their heels.
I think that Brian Hoyer has played well enough over his last two starts for the Cleveland Browns to pass on Freeman. The question here is if they view a 27 year old Hoyer as too old (the Browns are the second youngest team in the league). Odds are they are planning for the draft and Freeman doesn’t seem like he would fit into the game plan.
The Jacksonville Jaguars could be in the mix, although if the Tim Tebow tryout could possibly muddle that up for Freeman. Freeman would be a clear upgrade over Tebow. Like the Browns, they appear to be playing for the first overall pick.
Matt Cassel played well for the Minnesota Vikings and should keep the starting spot despite Leslie Frazier stating that Christian Ponder was his starter. The question is if Cassel or Ponder can give a team a better chance than Freeman to win. The Vikings need to take advantage of having Adrian Peterson and that window could be starting to close.
The New York Jets could also be a landing spot. Rex Ryan has to be on the hot seat after taking a team that could compete for AFC supremacy to a team that is one that struggles to find a playoff spot. The question here is if the Jets will stick with Geno Smith through his growing pains or sign Freeman in an attempt to win now.
Some experts are predicting that the Oakland Raiders could be in the mix, but I think they have a starter in Terrelle Pryor. If they do sign Freeman, it should really be as a backup. Like the idea of the Titans signing Freeman, the competition could be good for Pryor.
Despite his poor play of late, Freeman is a clear upgrade over a few starting quarterbacks. He has played well enough over his career to earn a second chance. With the Bucs on the hook for the remainder of his 2013 salary, sooner or later, some team will take a chance on the former first round pick.
As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.
Read more from Dustin here.