Report: Josh Freeman Is ReleasedOctober 3rd, 2013
The Josh Freeman era is over. Today, the process to release Freeman began, so Twittered Rick Stroud, of The Tampa Bay Times.
Bucs fans spent five seasons living off the hope that the team mantra, “It’s all about No. 5,” would be a blessing and Freeman would return the Bucs to the playoffs as a true franchise quarterback.
It never happened.
It’s unfair to call Freeman a wasted first-round 2009 draft choice. Freeman did shock the NFL with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2010, leading the Bucs to a 10-6 record — one bad call on Kellen Winslow (against the Lions) from an 11-5 record and a playoff berth. Freeman was the real deal, but something went wrong after the Bucs started the 2011 season 4-2.
Freeman joined the Bucs’ freefall and never recovered.
Inconsistency took over his career — and apparently his life. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but the majority of it lands on Freeman’s shoulders. He regressed to a point where he wasn’t good enough, especially not good enough to get a new starting-QB contract.
This was Freeman’s make-or-break year, and he didn’t start sharp and was the first casualty of the Bucs’ 0-3 record. One could argue, however, that Freeman was a casualty before the season. Greg Schiano didn’t trust Freeman on critical offensive plays dating back to 2012. That was a recipe for disaster and all on Schiano. Don’t make Freeman your starter if you don’t think he can play.
Yes, Joe also will comfortably say that if the Bucs won their first two games of this season — games that easily should have been locked up — Freeman would still be the Bucs’ starter. But that’s just the tough business of the NFL. Wins, performance and pressure matter. Just ask Kevin Ogletree.
The real truths surrounding Josh Freeman, on and off the field, might never be revealed. But they’re of lessened importance now. Freeman is gone.
Joe wishes Freeman well.