The ugly mess between the Tampa Bay Bucaneers and Josh Freeman is over, as the quarterback was released and is now a free agent, with plenty of teams, including the Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings showing some sort of interest even for a starting position, while the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills might have a backup spot ready for him.
On the final year of his rookie contract, Freeman had a shot at getting a big, franchise-quarterback type of deal from the Buccaneers, who made it clear that a good and consistent season from Freeman will earn him that kind of money and respect. However, Greg Schiano and him never saw eye to eye, and the early season failures from Freeman and the team cut this relationship even shorter.
Freeman will pick up his right to make $6.2 million, and will sign with a free agent somewhere else, but it remains to be seen who actually is willing to give him a shot at being a starter, or is he looked at as someone who can provide some good backup services, but nothing more than that.
Tampa tried to trade him, but no one was willing to bite on an expensive deal, especially for someone who is very hard to evaluate, and becomes a free agent anyway at the end of this season.
For those who are interested, there are different needs. The Tennessee Titans don’t have to wait too long until Jake Locker comes back from his injury, but they’re not quite sure Ryan Fitzpatrick can hold the fort, meaning Freeman might come in handy.
The Minnesota Vikings are an option for a longer-term deal. It seems that Christian Ponder doesn’t have much of a future, even if they’re still not giving up on him. Matt Cassel did a good job on his first start of the season, but no one will give him a long term deal. Freeman might become an option to demote or dethrone Ponder from the starter sport this and next season.
The New York Jets have Geno Smith, turnover machine, as their starting quarterback, with Matt Simms as his backup. Surely, bringing in Freeman can improve the situation, right?
Last but not least are the Oakland Raiders, who are quite pleased with what they have in Terrelle Pryor at the moment, but their backup situation is quite iffy, as Matt Flynn got demoted to third string quarterback, and McGloin isn’t the most trustworthy backup.
There are teams without a worry in the world, like the Packers, when it comes to their starter, but might be looking for some more quality in their backup situation, which Freeman will surely bring to the table.