The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally pulled the trigger on the move that I suggested this past week, just release QB Josh Freeman. Multiple media outlets reported that the Buccaneers front office was contacting all 31 other franchises in order to orchestrate a trade for the player once thought of as the franchise quarterback the team has been searching for years. No team was interested in inking him to a deal and accepting his remaining 2013 salary. Freeman is now a free agent, and it still seems as if any team around the league isn’t anxious to ink a deal for Freeman.
The Freeman apologists will continue to suggest that the reason Freeman is unemployed is because of Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano and the Buccaneers front office. I totally disagree. As convoluted as the situation surrounding Freeman was prior to his release, if he was the talent that his supporters suggest, he would have been snapped up as soon as he became a free agent.
Freeman is drawing another $6 million plus for the remainder of the 2013 NFL season, so he could sign on with another club for a small amount. Freeman’s agent, who was very vocal during his time in Tampa, has gone underground, maintaining radio, Twitter and media silence.
60 career starts in the league, and as many will point out, 4,000 passing yards last season, but no one has snapped him up. Cleveland? Buffalo? Oakland? No one?
I never bought into the Freeman to Jaguars stories, they are playing to win the first overall draft pick in 2014.
What I will address is the move that Schiano pulled in order to bench Freeman, which was met with so much public outcry. I read all the comments about how Freeman was given a raw deal, he’s got all the physical tools, he was raked over the coals by Schiano. Schiano should be fired.
Okay. Maybe Schiano does end up getting fired at the end of the regular season. Quarterbacks in this league are a precious commodity. I understand Freeman is heading into a free agent season after this year, but as a free agent right now, for the rest of this season, no team decides that his talents are better than any second string quarterback on their current roster? Tennessee? Minnesota? New York Jets?
I always thought he was a stretch be be chosen in the first round by Raheem Morris, in fact, the Buccaneers surrendered picks to move up and grab him. But for those Freeman supporters that think he’s been totally mistreated, why haven’t any of the other 31 teams around the league brought him in for even an interview?
The reason is, Freeman is just going to be a journeyman quarterback for the rest of his career.
Most people that comment now on blog sites and message boards have not watched as much football as I have. In 1979, Steve DeBerg was the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, he was in his second year while playing under head coach Bill Walsh. He shattered NFL records while completing 347 of 578 pass attempts for 3,652 yards. In 1979, throwing for nearly 3,700 yards was very impressive given the differences in the game then. His performance transformed into a 2-14 season for the Niners while Walsh continued to develop the West Coast offense he’s known for now.
DeBerg’s second season success would never be duplicated again over his longstanding career. He did throw for 3,444 yards and 23 touchdowns for the 1990 Kansas City Chiefs, but for his lengthy career, he finished 53-86-1 as a starter. Only three years in his career, did DeBerg finish the season on a team with a winning record.
There is just too much emphasis being put on stats these days. What Peyton Manning is doing in Denver, that’s impressive. Josh Freeman throwing for 4,000 yards last year, not so much while throwing the ball against prevent defensive situations while playing from behind.
Given the amount of money pumped into NFL teams and their front office for scouting, if Josh Freeman was the real deal, he would have been snapped up at this point by another team having no obligation for this year’s salary. Freeman will drift around the league for the remainder of his career.