The obvious possible landing spots for Freeman are Oakland, Jacksonville, and now Cleveland & Buffalo after the injuries in TNF; all have struggled to find their QB of the present, let alone the future (minus Buffalo). While I agree that we could see Free in any of those cities very soon, I’ll throw four other possible senarios your way. Chew on these:
- Houston. The Matt Schaub era is definitely coming to an end. The guy is playing pretty subpar football with pro bowlers around him on both sides of the ball (sound familiar?). While Texans backup QB T.J. Yates has shown he can lead this team–in the playoffs at that–he doesn’t match Freeman in terms of skill set or experience. Josh Freeman would be a more than serviceable backup in Houston and could take over in no time
- Green Bay. No shot that he threatens All-Everything quarterback Aaron Rodgers for his spot, but the Packers were obviously looking for an upgrade at the #2 QB slot on their depth chart this preseason when they brought in Vince Young. Free hasn’t played great football as of late, but you can’t tell me that he isn’t better than Seneca Wallace. If you’ve been a Bucs fan since before the conference realignment, you remember Tampa playing in the old NFC Central division with the members of the current NFC North. It would be our nightmare to see Josh in green & yellow during the next Battle of the Bay, but it could happen people.
- Kansas City. More shots at second-string quarterbacks: Chase Daniel sat behind Drew Brees for a number of years in New Orleans, and is about just as short, but that’s where the similarities end. Freeman would be an absolute upgrade. I’d love to say that he could push Alex Smith for the starting job too, but it looks like Andy Reid’s West Coast Offense is a great fit for the former #1 overall pick, and KC has found their guy. Though Free throws a decent long ball, he could excel in this offensive attack of short and intermediate routes (especially since it seemed like the only good ball the guy could throw this season was a slant pattern to Vincent Jackson). This is more of an emotional pick, because Josh Freeman is from Kansas City and I’d love to see the guy go back home for a fresh start. At this point, I can’t see him sustaining a 10-15 year career in the league, so if this is the last leg, he might as well finish in front of friends and family.
- Minnesota. Think about it. This is a talented team with question marks as to who’s going to hand off the ball to reigning league MVP, Adrian Peterson. In the words of Chavo from Friday Night Lights, "All you gotta do is exist in those two seconds between snap and you givin’ Boobie the ball." Obviously you can’t run the ball every down, but Christian Ponder is looking quite underwhelming and the players aren't behind him. Here’s what I’ve been saying for about a week now:
- Josh Freeman is a Viking next season
- He leads Minnesota to the playoffs
- I cry
As a Josh Freeman supporter, I know he’s in desperate need of a change of scenery. The dagger jabbed into my stomach after news of his release will rotate upon seeing Free in anything other than pewter and red, but I know it’s for the best. This move doesn’t make the team better right now so it’s hard to stand behind. The best QB on the roster was just cut amidst a smear campaign for the ages and fans are supposed to take comfort in the rookie that just threw two 4th quarter interceptions in the third Bucs meltdown in four games. There’s a lot more questions than answers right now.
Coach Schiano, hop out of the hot seat for a second–the floor is yours.