It’s going to be very interesting in the next few weeks as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers try and offload Josh Freeman, who is asking to be released right now, while the team is still looking for trading partners, with teams in need of a backup, like the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons,Buffalo Bills or Oakland Raiders being the most likely of destinations.
The problem for Freeman is his salary, which is just over $6.2 million due for the rest of this season, entering the final year of his contract, and his value, which has dropped to the level of a fifth round draft pick. The Bucs are unlikely to take something on worth so low, considering Freeman is a former first round pick, no matter how bad the situation is between the quarterback and the organization, which is actually keeping him away from all team events.
Whether Freeman is that bad or this is simply an attempt to demonize him as an act of standing up for their head coach doesn’t really matter. The Bucs have decided to move on, and it’s only a question of whether Freeman will be traded, released, or kept inactive until the end of the season, hitting free agency once it’s over.
Freeman started in three games for the Bucs this year, completing only 45.7% of his passes, throwing two touchdowns and three interceptions, accumulating a passer rating of only 59.3, almost 20 points lower than his career numbers (78.8). Is it enough to get him a starting job right now? Probably not.
More than half the league can’t even trade for Freeman because of his salary. The teams who can and actually have a serious quarterback situation that needs responding to – the Cleveland Browns (although Hoyer might be a nice short-term solution) and the Jacksonville Jaguars seems content on rolling with their current guys and addressing this need in the draft.
So a starting job is out of the question, making the chance for Freeman to simply become a backup for one of the above-mentioned teams, like the Packers, Ravens, Falcons and Bills, who don’t have someone of Freeman’s quality sitting behind their starter. However, knowing that the Bucs simply might release him, teams might prefer to wait for Freeman to continue being aggressive with the front office until he gets released, picks up his money from Tampa and gets signed on a minimum contract.