Josh Freeman Contract Watch: So far, results are negative

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Will Josh Freeman get a new contract from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Signs point to no.

Josh Freeman is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he's going to remain the team's starter for the next couple of games -- unless someone can find a convincing reason to think that Mike Glennon is going to do a better job. Freeman struggled against the New York Jets, but so did Tom Brady, and Freeman certainly wasn't disastrously bad given the failure of a gameplan Tampa Bay had cooked up.

But the question of handing Josh Freeman a new contract after the season is a different one entirely. "I don't think Josh Freeman has really improved," said Greg Cosell on the Fantasy Guru podcast, "but they're making it harder for him, not easier."

That encapsulates my views on Josh Freeman, too. The Bucs are making it hard for him by not getting a tight end, and with vanilla gameplans. But I have to see improvement from Josh Freeman to really believe in him as a franchise quarterback, and so far that improvement has not shown up - not against the Jets, and not in preseason.

Freeman's footwork is still a mess. His accuracy was a little better (there were just a few "where was that going" throws), but still subpar. He still seemed to be either slow to get through his progressions, or focusing entirely on one player throughout the play. The latter is very tough to determine accurately, though.

Now, we do have to keep in mind one thing: the New York Jets have a good and pretty tough defense, in general. They have a lot of front-line talent, and they did a very good job against Tom Brady, too. Josh Freeman isn't alone in his struggles against Rex Ryan. So, there's still plenty of time for Freeman to improve. Unfortunately for him, he faces another Ryan defense on Sunday when the Buccaneers face off against the Saints -- although that defense at least doesn't have that much talent.

If Josh Freeman plays well enough to get a new contract from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he's going to cost them at least $15 million per year. That's the absolute minimum rate for franchise quarterbacks -- you're not getting him any cheaper than that, unless he has a really bad season. In which case, why would you want to re-sign him? Keep that in mind: re-signing Freeman will be expensive, and he had better be worth it.

So here's my question: would you give Josh Freeman a new contract at this point?

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