Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman will not get a contract extension

USA TODAY Sports

An extension isn't in the cards for Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Josh Freeman will not get a contract extension this offseason. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback was one of the hottest passers in football by the middle of the season, but a season-ending slump likely ruined his prospects for an extension. This report comes on the heels of multiple hints that the Buccaneers will look to add competition for Josh Freeman and find another backup quarterback. That may be a kind of insurance for the signal caller, and it looks increasingly likely that the Bucs will look to the middle of the draft for those players, even though mid-round QBs almost never work out.

However, is it possible the Bucs are preparing to move on from Josh Freeman altogether? Certainly, another season of up-and-down play and little progress will prompt the Buccaneers to cut the cord with the talented quarterback. That would be similar to what the franchise did with Steve Young and Vinny Testaverde back in the 1980s, only to see those players have much more success with new teams. At some point, though, a team has to say goodbye -- lest they end up becoming the New York Jets.

Publicly, the Buccaneers still support Freeman. And even departing coaches like Ron Turner have nothing but praise for the 25-year-old quarterback. But how quickly will this change? And if after four years you're still not fully committed, isn't it time to look elsewhere? If the Bucs see a first-round quarterback they like dropping to them, will they really pass up that opportunity? Remember: with Drew Brees as their starting quarterback, the San Diego Chargers did exactly that in 2004 when they selected Eli Manning and then brokered a trade for Philip Rivers.

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