The New York Giants will sign quarterback Josh Freeman, as first reported by Adam Caplan, and confirmed by Mike Garafolo. The Bucs won't face Josh Freeman in the regular season this year, as the New York Giants won't be one of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2014 opponents. Of course, they may face their former franchise hopeful in the playoffs -- though that seems unlikely given his recent performance.
Freeman's fall from grace was not all that swift in Tampa, but it was decidedly odd. A promising rookie campaign was followed by a terrific 2010 performance which led many to believe he'd finally be that franchise passer the Bucs have never had. A disappointing 2011 season was waived away as a consequence of offensive injuries, and a total team collapse. Then 2012 came, and Freeman was inconsistent at best, despite terrific performances by Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams and Doug Martin.
2013 turned out to be a disaster. Greg Schiano continually fueled offseason speculation that he wanted to move on from Freeman. The team drafted Mike Glennon in the third round. Josh Freeman turned in three horrendous performances in a very strange and limited offense, and eventually forced his way out of Tampa amid a slew of ugly incidents between the team and quarterback. He got a chance to start one more game in Minnesota, but unsurprisingly failed to put in a quality performance after spending all of one week with the team. He hasn't returned to the field since.
I'm not sure we'll ever know why Freeman crashed so spectacularly. Was his 2010 season just a mirage? Did off-field issues lead to a drop in performance? Did he lose focus or lose his interest in football? Did he fail to put in the work necessary to develop as an NFL passer?
All Bucs fans are left with is a bitter taste in their mouths, and the vague hope that Josh McCown, Mike Glennon or yet another draft pick can be the guy Freeman never developed into.