Posted October 03, 2013

What’s next for Josh Freeman?

AFC North, AFC South, AFC West, NFC North, NFC South, NFC West, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Brian Blanco/AP)

Josh Freeman passed for 571 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in three games this season. (Brian Blanco/AP)

The Buccaneers finally released Josh Freeman on Wednesday, putting the finishing touch on what’s been a total debacle over the past few weeks.

Freeman is now free to sign with any other team (he does not have to clear waivers first). The Bucs still have to pay him more than $6 million for the remainder of 2013, too, so the 25-year-old QB should be willing to accept a cheap offer in an attempt to prove he’s still got what it takes to stick in the NFL.

Tampa Bay had no luck trying to trade Freeman, with his previous contract no doubt standing as a major obstacle there. That does not mean, however, that the 31 other teams are ready to deem Freeman a complete failure.

Here’s a quick look at a few franchises that might consider giving Freeman a call:

Atlanta: The Falcons (like at least a couple other teams on this list) probably would be dead and buried if their starter, Matt Ryan, suffered some sort of serious injury. If that were to happen, though, would they feel more confident with their current backup, Dominique Davis, who knows the system but has never thrown a regular-season NFL pass; or with Freeman, who has 59 NFL starts under his belt?

Cleveland: Brian Hoyer has come to the rescue in Cleveland (and might have the Browns above .500 and all alone in first place by late Thursday night). But is he the quarterback of the future there? Is Brandon Weeden? The Browns seem more or less ready to cut the cord on Weeden. And Freeman, as opposed to say Jason Campbell, at least might have a little potential left untapped.

Green Bay: Another of the longshot candidates on this list, the Packers played musical chairs behind Aaron Rodgers during training camp. They settled on Seneca Wallace, a safe, veteran presence in the No. 2 QB role. Could Freeman’s availability cause them to reconsider? Again, like Atlanta, an injury up top here would be devastating, so Green Bay might be better off choosing a backup capable of learning something.

Houston: Don’t count on this one, either. The Texans are not nearly as ready to bail on Matt Schaub as some of the Houston fans, plus playoff fill-in T.J. Yates and intriguing rookie Case Keenum already dot the depth chart. Still, if Houston grows increasingly unsettled with its QB situation …

Jacksonville: Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union already squashed this notion on Twitter: “Don’t look for #jaguars to bring in QB Josh Freeman.”

Jacksonville’s clearly playing for the 2014 draft at this point, so adding Freeman might only add to the Blaine Gabbert-Chad Henne mess. But wouldn’t Freeman be the best of that group?

Minnesota: The Vikings likely are in no rush to turn a two-man QB controversy into a three-headed monster. Signing Freeman would further indicate that Christian Ponder has minimal future in Minnesota — and coach Leslie Frazier does not seem ready to make that leap yet.

Oakland: With Matt Flynn bombing in his Week 4 start (and then dropping behind undrafted rookie Matt McGloin on the depth chart), there might be a spot here for Freeman to step in and compete as Terrelle Pryor’s backup. The rebuilding Raiders may not want to deal with the Freeman storyline, but they’re also in a position where they ought to take advantage when talented players become available.

St. Louis: The Rams really have not put any pressure on Sam Bradford, in terms of in-house competition. Kellen Clemens, the Rams’ second-stringer, is a 30-year-old career backup. Though Freeman will need a significant amount of time to get up to speed wherever he lands, he could change a little of the dynamic on St. Louis’ depth chart.

Plus, head coach Jeff Fisher has not hesitated to add players with questionable off-field histories. Freeman might benefit greatly from being in a more stable environment.

Tennessee: With Jake Locker on the shelf for at least a month, the Titans are pulling Rusty Smith up from the practice squad to serve as Ryan Fitzpatrick’s backup. Trading for Freeman was not a realistic option, but signing him — now that he’s almost certain to come at a bare-bones price — has to at least come up as a topic of discussion.

39 comments
oldman
oldman

Boy the Buffalo Bills are so bad they don't even get mentioned. ,  Just as well, the Bills are looking to improve their position in next years draft.

beldene47
beldene47

$300,000 test drive on QB could get Freeman a next team...

sirpoopsalot
sirpoopsalot

Buffalo's QB is banged up and their back up is a UDFA who went 8 for 20

Charles38
Charles38

Cleveland ....now that Hoyer is done for the season   

Ciscos
Ciscos

Meh... more realistic landing spots... well, smart landing spots, QB controversy or not, is Oakland, Vikings and as much as the jags say no, the Jaguars.

PatMcCauley
PatMcCauley

Looks like half the NFL is a potential landing spot.  I could have wrote that.

dukegfsl
dukegfsl

Next step for Freeman? Sounds like rehab to me...

j7apple
j7apple

To much baggage  already for his short tenure in the NFL ..Some desperate team may pickup for a viable backup.

gary41
gary41

Under the right situation only, he has a window as a back up, but serious teams are looking to 2014.  

GatorGhost
GatorGhost

The Freeman free agency sure puts a nail in the NFL coffin for Tim Tebow as a QB.  I was hoping Tebow could find a way back to the NFL in some capacity.  Freeman and Tebow are fine young men and I hope the best for both!

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Teams always need quarterbacks. He will actually have a choice, I think. 

eddp37
eddp37

He should land with GIANTS.  He could start there giving Eli a rest while the offensive line is being developed.

pl123
pl123

Why not the Jets?

HawkHarrelson
HawkHarrelson

green bay will sign him and trade him for a  first round pick to OAK

modsuperstar
modsuperstar

If he's willing to go for a backup gig the 49ers are just as likely as Atlanta, GB or Houston. Like Green Bay they've been playing musical chairs a lot with the QB2 position. So far this year they've went from Alex Smith to Scott Tolzien, Colt McCoy, BJ Daniels, Seneca Wallace and this week John Skelton. The Niners clearly are in win now mode and by their actions have clearly not been happy with their QB depth chart.

localidiot
localidiot

@PatMcCauley No, you could not have written that. You don't know the past participle of 'write'.

leon1376
leon1376

@GatorGhost That would be nice Gator, but Tim Tebow has been blackballed by the NFL. Once ESPN lined up against him, no team was going to to take the chance. The pressure even got to Darth Belichick. The Patriots had designed a package to emphasize his strengths, like Denver had done, but then the word came down, "Get rid of Tebow". That's the only reason I can come up with because there are a number of quarterbacks in the league who are way worse than Tebow and they have contracts. . 

Whatever
Whatever

@eddp37 Seriously?!? That's the dumbest thing I've heard in a long, long time.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@pl123   Why not the Jets?  Because Freeman's career numbers are just a shade, a tad better than Sanchez's.  Freeman's QB rating and completion percentage is better than Mark's, but no where near enough to go after.

Let me be clear, Sanchez is NOT the answer, but Freeman is below 60% for his career in completion percentage and below 80% in QB rating.  He is only marginally better than Sanchez.  They need MUCH better, not marginally better.

Freeman's career number in QB rating and completion percentage only place him around 22nd or 23rd in any given yr based on the percentage/ratings of QB's in any given yr.

Why would a team want a QB is who is below average as a starer?  Freeman is a back up at best.

And while coach Schiano isn't very good, he hasn't been Freeman's  coach for his entire career.

Both Schiano and Freeman aren't good enough.

Whatever
Whatever

@pl123 Sure, just what Rex Ryan wants -- more QB drama.

TheHip1
TheHip1

@HawkHarrelson Nice try at humor but epic fail.  Cross Oakland off this list, their time for grasping at straws is done. 

Azeron
Azeron

@modsuperstar Unless you mean this calendar year strike Alex Smith from that list.  Smith was traded to the Chiefs during the off season and I am sure he and Reid couldn't be happier.  He's not flashy but he gets the job done.

PatMcCauley
PatMcCauley

@Mikey A @PatMcCauley Uh, did you ever learn about sarcasm?  I guess not.  I suppose you live in a world where every word spoken or written is literal.  So, I guess I should have written "Looks like 28.125% of the NFL is a potential landing spot because I can't sarcastically say half because Mikey A has an abacus crammed up his butt and expects perfection in any post written on the internet because his life is so pathetic that he can't take any posting with a grain of salt and enjoy someone insinuating that the article was a lazily done."

Azeron
Azeron

@leon1376 @GatorGhost There is no quarterback in the league who is as bad at PASSING the ball as Tim Tebow.  Get over yourself.  The Broncos had to release or trade their top two receivers because it was apparent that Tebow was simply incapable of getting them the ball on a regular basis.  No one wants to deal with that mess.  If Josh Freeman couldn't convince Bellicek to keep a roster spot for Tim then he is done as a quarterback.  When his pride is lessened and he is ready to play a new position...get back to the NFL...maybe.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@leon1376 Heckuva tale.  If you could back it up.  Which I am guessing that you cannot.

morejunk
morejunk

@Whatever @eddp37

It's the 0-4 going to their heads.  Besides there's a certain logic to it.  The Giants season is done mainly because they are fielding an O-line of teenage girls, so it won't be long before either Eli gets his knee blown out or goes all "Chris Everett" and has  a phantom sack.  Either way, save the talent and let  Freeman get brutalized while the Giants figure out their O-line.

eddp37
eddp37

@Whatever @eddp37 Yeah seriously. Giant's season is almost over and you want Manning behind that offensive line? And those inept running backs. Manning career will be over before you know it. Do count how times he gets sack each game?

gymviking
gymviking

@TheHip1 @HawkHarrelsonYes, with an injured Terrrelle Pryor and Matt Flynn in house, the Raiders wouldn't want to waste their time with somebody who has actually started more than 5 games in the NFL.

theboneman21
theboneman21

bevause he is a stubborn, spoiled brat with stunded social development who cannot play at the big league level

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@MidwestGolfFan @JoeCabot @leon1376 

I think Parcells once said that once a coach/GM starts thinking like the media or fans, they will be fans VERY SOON. No coach who wants to win, let alone keep their job is going to take personnel advice from fans and ESPN. 

Look at Tebow's stats and actually watch more than his highlights and you'll figure out quickly why he's out of the league...nothing to do with ESPN

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@JoeCabot @leon1376  

Media types never missed a chance to bash him with snarky insults and gratuitous swipes.  They only do that when they have an agenda.

Tebow may not have been much of a pocket qb, but by all accounts was a good team guy and a strong special teams player.  Why not keep him around as a Special Teams/3rd QB?  The media would be saying the same thing, if they didn't hate him.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@eddp37 Just sit the starting QB after four games?   Where do you people come up with this stuff?