Immense Pressure On Josh FreemanAugust 24th, 2012
The Bucs have built themselves a win-now offense.
The bulk of their huge 2012 payroll is tied up on offense, with a ton of cash and talent tied up in the offensive line. Plus the Bucs have a win-now receiver in Vincent Jackson and his eight-figure annual salary, and a strong No. 2 in Mike Williams.
The Bucs also have win-now talent in the backfield with LeGarrette Blount and Doug Martin. And Dallas Clark was a win-now aquisition.
But do the Bucs have a win-now quarterback?
That’s the key question for the 2012 season. From 2010 to 2011, Josh Freeman’s performance went from great to bad. He needs to be at least good this season to keep Bucs fans from calling for his head.
ESPN blogger Pat Yasinskas believes Freeman’s job security is likely on the line come September, so Yasinskas wrote in a live chat today.
RedZoneJones: If Freeman plays sub-par do the Bucs cut bait?
Pat Yasinskas (1:31 PM): Obviously, a very critical year for him. If he has a good year, then he probably gets a nice contract extension. If not, they probably start considering alternatives.
The pressure on Freeman surely is magnified by being in the NFC South with Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. If Freeman is better yet not great this season and remains a lesser quarterback than his division peers, then where do the Bucs go from there?
Though the abilities of Mike Sullivan are a mystery, Freeman has everything in place for him to have a successful season. The Bucs’ running game should set him up in deep passing game and keep him in 3rd-and-manageable situations often.
It’s not a true “make-or-break” season for Freeman, but it’s damn close to it.