Josh Freeman No. 23June 23rd, 2013
It’s a no-brainer that this season is a big season for Josh Freeman in so many ways. Does he come back to the Bucs or does he leave? Does he sign a megamoney, Powerball-like contract, or is he franchised?
Not only do the Bucs’ playoff hopes rest on Freeman’s shoulders in a big way this season, so does his NFL future, as well as his financial future.
This doesn’t mean Freeman is not one of the better players in the NFC South. The sophists at BSPN sat down for a countdown of the top-25 players in the NFC South and Freeman clocked in at No. 23.
What he did in 2012: He completed 306 of 558 passes (54.8 percent) for a 4,065 yards with 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The passing yards and touchdown passes established new franchise records. That might sound like a pretty solid season. But you have to take into account the fact Freeman slumped mightily during a five-game losing streak that took the Bucs out of playoff contention.
Why he’s No. 23 in 2013: This clearly is a make-or-break season for Freeman as he heads into a contract year. Is he truly the kind of franchise quarterback that can take a team deep into the playoffs? Or do the Bucs need to go in another direction? We’ll find out this season and the outcome is up to Freeman. The Bucs have surrounded him with good talent on offense and defense. I think this will be the year that Freeman takes a big step forward.
All true. Few quarterbacks are surrounded with as much talent as Freeman. He is in the second year of an offense that, based on what Freeman and Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan have said, he has a much better grasp on.
The speedbumps for Freeman having a productive season have all but been eliminated.