The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Josh Johnson in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL draft, just another Jon Gruden prospect, the kind who was likely to get a handful of starts before being discarded for the next mid- to late-round draft pick. But here we are, eight years later, and he just signed with the Baltimore Ravens. The "career backup", as Raheem Morris called him, is still hanging around.
Josh Freeman should have been different. He was the Bucs' first-round pick in 2009, the first one under a new regime, the future franchise quarterback who looked outstanding in 2010 before gradually collapsing and being a part and victim of some of the most embarrassing moments in recent franchise history in 2013. Three games into that season, he was cut. He's started just two NFL games since then, wasn't on an NFL roster in 2014, and has been released by three different teams and spent time with the Brooklyn Bolts of the FXFL.
Somehow, Johnson has outlasted Freeman in the NFL. No team that signs him seems to want to keep Freeman for the long term, but at least Johnson continues to get work as a backup. We'll likely never know why Freeman's career collapsed the way it did, though rumors abound. NFL careers are weird, and nothing is guaranteed. But looking back to 2010, who would have thought that Johnson would outlast Freeman?