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Josh Freeman Trade: Buccaneers likely to get conditional late-round pick

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are likely to trade Josh Freeman for relative peanuts.

Rich Schultz

Kevin O'Donnell of Fox 13 and Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times both report that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will seek to trade Freeman, with Stroud noting that they would likely accept a conditional late-round pick. With Freeman under contract for just 13 more games with a cap hit of some $6.9 million, his trade value is minimal right now.

Any team trading for Freeman would have to introduce the quarterback to a new system with no time to acclimate, while also taking on the massive cap hit. The Buccaneers could take part of that cap hit on themselves by converting some of his salary into a bonus, but they would only do that if they could get a significant draft pick for the quarterback. The team benefits most from getting Freeman's cap hit off the roster. The Bucs are expected to be close to the salary cap next season, and any cap room carries over from year to year.

Only a handful of teams could afford Freeman's cap hit and would likely be interested in the quarterback. The Cleveland Browns could afford Freeman, but they don't appear to be in the business of giving away draft picks right now. The Jacksonville Jaguars have the cap space -- but Alfie over at Big Cat Country doesn't seem to think they're likely to trade for him.

The Minnesota Vikings could use Freeman, but don't have any cap space. The Oakland Raiders don't have enough cap space, although they're somewhat close, and they do have former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Greg Olson on their staff. There is no ideal fit for the quarterback out there, and the Bucs may do better to wait for him to leave in free agency and hope for a modest compensatory pick in 2015.

If the Buccaneers do find a trade partner for Freeman, they'll have to act fast. The NFL trade deadline is October 29, 2013.

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