Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik appeared on 98.7 The Fan on the Fan Interference show and talked about a lot of different things. One of the things that stood out to me was the discussion of Josh Freeman and how close the Bucs came to extending him.
Mark Dominik focused on the uncertainty surrounding Freeman after the 2012 season. "We still weren't sure who Josh [Freeman] was as a quarterback yet," said Dominik. One of the consequences was that Dominik wasn't interested in signing Freeman to an extension after his 2012 season, even though he met with Freeman's representation.
"I met with his agents at the combine right after the 2012 season. Josh had just come off almost 4,000 yards, he had that great season. But I told them then I wasn't sure who Josh Freeman was as a quarterback yet. And for me, I'd rather pay more at that position and wait a year than see if I can get a discount. Say I can get Josh Freeman for $12 million per year for five years, what a savings at $60 million. But if I'm wrong, what's the impact? But if I wait just even one more season and pay him $18 or $19 million, I'm good."
Turns out that was the right decision.
Mark Dominik repeatedly talked about the 4,000 yards Josh Freeman put up that season, as some kind of evidence that he had a great season. Which is a pretty good indication as to why Dominik is no longer a general manager. Undoubtedly his own thought process was a little more complicated, but passing volume is not the same as quality of play.
Freeman's 2012 season was incredibly inconsistent, with a few very good games,and a few very poor ones. Most advanced statistics painted him as a significantly below-average quarterback. The raw numbers were eye-popping, but the actual statistical efficiency was not. Not signing him to a contract extension after the 2012 season wasn't a very complicated decision, or at least it shouldn't have been.
There's a lot more in that interview -- on Mike Glennon, his contract structure and even Tim Tebow. Make sure to give it a listen.