Josh Freeman Released By Buccaneers

Josh Freeman

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Read more from Dustin here.


Around the Web

  • Me Wise Magic

    ” Freeman would be a clear upgrade over Tebow”……..WHAT? That may be the dumbest line of the century. Freeman since 2009 has been a starter and hasn’t even made the payoffs once. Tebow made the playoffs in the first year he had a chance to and did so down 1-4 for the season (Kyle Orton’s record). What an unbelievably stupid line that Freeman is an upgrade. Sheesh

    These covers sum up how stupid that remark was

    • Dustin Manko

      Thanks for reading. SI covers typically go to a player who is going to sell them magazines; it is not a metric for success. Tebow can certainly sell jerseys and magazines better than Freeman. While Tebow has shown a propensity to win some, he has equally shown that he is not ready to be a full time signal caller.

      Freeman has a career completion percentage of 58.2 to Tebow’s 47.9. Freeman has a career QBR of 78.8 compared to Tebow’s 75.3. Freeman has 80 career passing TD’s to Tebow’s 17. Professionals don’t trust Tebow to even throw the ball, evidenced by his career 361 passing attempts in 35 games, roughly a 10 pass attempt average per game. For comparison sake the Bobby Douglas
      (1969-78), Tommy Maddox (1992-2005) and Ed Brown (1954-1965) are tied for 250th on the NFL career pass attempts per game leader board with a 12.9 average.

      I would love to see Tebow succeed at the NFL level, he seems like a solid guy. However, if he was better than Freeman, it wouldn’t take a pep rally by fans to even get a tryout with the last place team.

      • Me Wise Magic

        Tim was told not to play quarterback in high school. He stuck with it and became the #1 high school quarterback in the country. He was right

        Tim was told he wouldn’t be able to play quarterback in college. He stuck with and became the #1 college quarterback in the country. He and the fans were right again.

        Tim was told he’d never be a quarterback in the NFL. He stuck with it and the fans chanted his name after a 4-12 previous year record (worst in Denver franchise history) and a 1-4 start on the way to the exact same record. He was given the chance and once again he and the fans were correct. He took a failure of a team farther than all AFC quarterbacks except for Joe Flacco and Tom Brady.

        Why all of the Sports Illustrated covers? Because Tim was the fifth greatest football player in college football history (see link below). Some argue that he may have even been the greatest. Why the Sports Illustrated covers in the NFL? Because his story was the biggest story of 2011. His overtime touchdown pass against the Steelers won “best moment in all of sports” at the ESPN awards.

        Mr.Tebow’s unparalleled football accomplishments (see achievements below). How did Josh Freeman stack up when the sample size is increased?

        Tony Romo has one playoff win in 8 starting years (94 total starts) with a team full of talent. Jay Cutler has one playoff win in 7 starting years. Carson Palmer has zero playoff wins in 10 starting seasons. Matt Schaub has one playoff win in 10 seasons. Tim Tebow has one playoff win in one year as a starter on a team that was 5-17 in its previous 22 games before he started.

        Lastly, you perhaps assumed you were dealing with an amateur Dustin when responding to my previous comments; you were mistaken. To use the fact that Josh Freeman has 80 touchdowns vs Tebow’s 17 is an extremely weak argument. Freeman has been the starting quarterback since 2009 for the Bucs; of course he’d have more touchdowns. Based on your metric I suppose you feel Josh Freeman is a better quarterback than…..

        Terry Bradshaw: (1970) TDs (6) Int (24) completion % (38.1%)
        Troy Aikman: (1989) TDs (9) Int (18) Comp% (52.9%) team record (1-15)
        Joe Montana: Told his throwing motion would never work in the NFL
        Steve Young: (85-86) TDs (11) Int (21) team record (3-16)
        John Elway: (1983) TDs (7) Int (14) Comp% (47.5%)
        Joe Namath: Career Comp% (50.1%)
        Peyton Manning: (1998) Ints (28) team record (3-13)
        Brett Favre: (1993) TDs (19) Ints (24)
        Eli Manning: Tds (18) Int (16) Comp% (50.1%)

        Bottom line is Josh Freeman is not a winner. He falls somewhere between Scott Mitchell and Derek Anderson who had similar numbers (one big year and done). So getting back to the original point that Josh Freeman would be an “upgrade” over Tim Tebow, based on where we stand now, is not accurate. If all that matters is winning and leadership, which everyone says is all that matters, than Tebow gives you a better chance at a Superbowl because he’s gone farther in one year than Freeman has in his entire career.

        • Dustin Manko

          Looks like we are going to agree to disagree on this one Magic. Either way I appreciate the spirited debate and hope that you continue to visit the site.

          • Me Wise Magic

            Ditto. Good debate. You’re a good sport.

            I’ll leave you with a few parting thoughts/images.

            Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis calls Tim Tebow one of the best leaders he’s ever seen after his time with him on the Jets.

            Tim Tebow documentary “Everything In Between” (just watch at least the first three minutes)

            Tim Tebow was the #1 high school football player in the country in 2004 & 2005. See his Nease High School documentary below which includes the game he played and won all while having a broken leg – incredible! (broken leg moment at the 31 minute 30 second mark in the documentary)

            We are right in the middle of a modern day “Rudy” type saga and future motion picture. The script is literally writing itself as we speak. You have the naysayers, the supporters, the odds are stacked against an underdog, and the story has everyone captivated. This is the Karate Kid, Rudy, Miracle, Rocky, Over The Top, Chariots of Fire, Invincible, The Natural, Cinderella Man, & Million Dollar Baby all rolled into one. That’s why Tim will get a shot and he’ll end up winning because that is how these type of stories end.

          • Dustin Manko

            Likewise, I’m always interested in what my readers have to say. For the record, I am pulling for Tebow. I think it would be great to see him succeed.