Is Josh Freeman About To Be Shanghaied?
By Christopher Scali
Is the cat out of the bag for veteran QB Josh Freeman? Rumors have being sailing around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers locker room that Freeman wants out. Is Freeman playing his way out? Does he no longer care about his team or the Buccaneers franchise? These questions make every Tampa Bay fan wonder. At one time, I thought Freeman would become the face of Tampa Bay and a big part in the team's future. During his rookie year, most NFL experts believed that Freeman was the trophy quarterback for the Bucs as he passed for 3,451 yards with 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions. But unfortunately, fans have seen those cannons backfire the past few seasons.
I think every Tampa Bay fan is pointing the finger at Freeman right now because he is not executing his plays and he is not showing any sort of leadership while on the field. When you look at franchise QBs like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, what do you see? They show leadership, pride in their team and most of all, their hunger to win. It looks like Freeman has lost all of that - not good when your team is about to face the unbeaten New England Patriots in Foxborough. The panic button must be pressed!
According to Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, “Freeman was not named a team captain for 2013 - a move that his peers in the locker room may have made, in part, because of his absence for the team photo last week."
Knox also mentioned that Bucs coach Greg Schiano called into questions Freeman's leadership earlier this week while speaking to the media. Who wants a leader like that in the locker room? No one!
In past interviews, Freeman has denied all trade rumors, saying that he will always be a Buccaneer and bleed pewter and red. As is the case with all professional sports, fans will never know all that happens behind closed doors. The NFL trade deadline is October 29 and from what fans have been hearing, the relationship between Freeman and Schiano may have gone sour. But doesn't that happen to every quarterback and their head coach from time to time?
As I am sure we are all aware of by know, there have been a few unsettled quarterback situations around the NFL. In my opinion, if Freeman was surprisingly sent packing before the trade deadline, the teams that may want him are the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals and the Minnesota Vikings. These teams have the tools for a successful offense but need a new face under center. Maybe Freeman can help out these teams with a new coach and a fresh start to get him fired up again.
Out of the four teams listed, I believe the Jaguars would be the best fit for Freeman. Ever since QB Blaine Gabbert hit the field in Jacksonville, they have steadily fallen to the NFL basement. Gabbert suffered a severe laceration to his hand and could miss a few weeks of play. I have a strong feeling that Freeman will be strongly looked at by the Jaguars from here on out.
But if Tampa Bay wants to take down the Patriots, they have to grab this game by the horns and execute. As a matter of fact, the Bucs and Freeman must have a flawless game for any chance of beating Tom Terrific at home. With an 0-3 start looming dangerously on the horizon, this may be Freeman's one last shot to shine under center before the Buccaneers make him walk the plank.