“They’ll Never Franchise Him”

January 16th, 2013

Former Bucs defesnsive tackle Booger McFarland was absolutely adamant yesterday that Team Glazer and the Bucs would balk at slapping a franchise-player tag on Josh Freeman after the 2013 season because it would cost too much money, in the neighborhood of a $17 million and $20 million guaranteed salary for 2014.

“They’ll never franchise him,” Booger said of Freeman on the “Booger and Rich” show on 98.7 FM.

Joe’s heard this take from others, as well, and Joe couldn’t disagree more, especially given that rockstar general manager Mark Dominik just said he and Team Freeman are in no hurry to negotiate a contract extension for No. 5.

Look, Joe thinks there are many potential scenarios under which the Bucs offer Freeman the franchise tag.

Here’s one: Imagine if Freeman has a similar season in 2013 as he had in 2012, and the Bucs finish 9-7 and miss the playoffs. Well, under that scenario, why would the Bucs want to lock up an inconsistent sixth-year quarterback for the long term and tremendous money when they can shell out less guaranteed money for a one-year, franchise-tag deal in 2014?

Here’s another: Freeman improves a bit in 2013, but the Bucs’ record does not. That puts Greg Schiano on a hot seat entering 2014, and it makes no sense to lock up your quarterback unnecessarily when a coaching change could be forthcoming in 2015. So you franchise him.

Here’s another: Freeman lights it up in 2013 and makes the Pro Bowl, but Mike Sullivan, buoyed by the success of Freeman and the Bucs, gets a head coaching job. Freeman wants elite-quarterback money and a long extension, but the Bucs would rather make him prove it one more year and see how he adjusts to a new offense and coordinator. So the Bucs franchise Freeman at no financial concern because they would have had to pay Freeman that kind of money to re-sign him.

There are other scenarios, as well.

Again, Joe would have liked to see the Bucs sign Freeman to a team-friendly extension, which would give Freeman some trade value in future years. But the Bucs want to wait and so does Freeman (no surprise).

Joe hopes Freeman delivers a monster 2013 season, but Joe doesn’t want anyone to think that the franchise tag is off the table.

18 Responses to ““They’ll Never Franchise Him””

  1. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Well said, keep up the great work.

  2. RachelWatson'sthong Says:

    Love Booger the Radio host. Hated Booger the Defensive Tackle. Geraldine is Booger 2.0. If we need to franchise the Fro who cares what he wants. It’s what is good for the “Franchise”. Hence the name.

  3. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    What a terrible picture haha.

    I agree Joe, several scenarios to tag him. He would have to hit 2011 status or maybe even worse to just not get resigned/tagged.

  4. Ian's Gay Lisp & Ron's Drinking Problem Says:

    Booget also said Freeman’s new contract will be 8 to 10 Million per year (Feeman makes 9 million next season….so according to Booger…Josh is taking a PAY CUT on his next contract???????lol)

  5. Sneedy16 Says:


    How did GMC even come up? Gerald McCoy is way better than Booger or did you forget that Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice made Booger look better than he than he supposed to be. As soon as Sapp left Booger disappeared as well. At least under a full healthy year GMC has done more with less talent around him.

  6. loweredexpectations Says:

    no, no, no.

    option 3 is the only realistic one. no way we keep free if he displays any of the mental lapses of 2011 and 2012.

    you don’t tag players that are questionable in skill for an extra 20 mil a year! that’s ludicrous. (i don’t care about the his personal records, i care about W’s).

    re-structuring his contract is whats going to happen here. no tags.

  7. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Nice take Joe. You really seem to like that picture of Freeman. It makes me laugh everytime I see it!

  8. toneman850 Says:

    I hear a lot of get rid of Freeman talk from Booger, but no solutions on who to replace him with. Sometimes this whole anyone is better than Freeman talk is pretty much nonsense. Get him on a good affordable contract, that way if we do have to trade him he not a head scratcher to think about like Mark Sanchez.

  9. Sneedy16 Says:


    His contract is up after this season coming up, so those are the only options. How can they re-structure his contract without ending up with a Mark Sanchez contract? Stuck with a QB who you thought would improve but just got worst, and you guaranteed his final year so you can’t cut him.

  10. RachelWatson'sthong Says:

    Sneedy, just making conversation. Booger never looked good in my opinion. I am also not a Geraldine fan. We will see how he looks if our d-line is healthy this year.

  11. BrianW Says:

    Who on EARTH can we get to replace him? If we have to overpay him we will, it’s just the how the NFL works. Last realistic scenario is: Franchising him after next year keeping him off the FA market. He doesn’t even have to sign the franchise tender right away, so that will give them time to work out a long term deal before 2014 starts. Breathing room tag!

  12. PRBucFan Says:

    I agree with lowered expectations,

    They wont tag him unless it’s an option three like scenario. By the end of next year it will be 5 years and you don’t tag a player “just to see” if the first 5 years was a fluke all the while waste a load of money we could use for the teams benefit.

    There will be no more “excuse” scenarios for Free.

  13. thegregwitul Says:

    Let’s wait and see what happens with Joe Flacco if he doesn’t work out a new contract before free agency. If Baltimore is letting Flacco, a QB with a similar skill set who also helped lead the Ravens to four consecutive playoff appearances (and perhaps a Super Bowl appearance) hit the open market, then I agree with Booger regarding Freeman.

    If Josh lights it up next season and leads the team to the postseason, I can’t see the Bucs letting Freeman test the open market. It’s too risky a move to make. Now, if we see the same Josh (up and down, rough end of season finish) and the Bucs miss the playoffs again, I see Tampa Bay letting Freeman test the open market and he probably doesn’t return and Schiano goes in another direction and obtains his own guy at QB.

    I hope Josh puts it together next year and leads the team to the post season. I don’t want to have to rebuild at the QB spot unless the Bucs have the chance to grab an elite prospect. I don’t see any elite prospects in this draft, but I guess one way to look at things from a worst case perspective would be if Freeman has a down year, the team likely has a down year and misses the postseason (again, ugh) and might be in a position to draft a difference maker at QB. Again, I hope Josh is that guy, and he has one more season to show the team that he is the present and future at QB, but if it doesn’t work out, I hope the Bucs do whatever it takes to find that difference maker at QB.

  14. JonBuc Says:

    Booger knows all about being an underperforming 1st round pick of The Bucs…

  15. raphael Says:

    LOL advantage freeman….

    ……and there goes the franchise.

  16. Gusjackson Says:

    I think he gets the franchise tag unless one of two things happen. Either he is worse than his 2011 season and completely bombs the season, or he takes the team to the NFC championship game(then he would be one of 4 quarterbacks to take his team to the NFC championship game). Anything in between and I think Freeman will get the franchise tag.

  17. MTM Says:

    The Rock Star is already starting negotiations. Unfortunately the QB’s are at a premium. Flaccos situation is not the same as Freeman. Flacco has a better resume. Freeman has 4yrs of inconsistency. If the Bucs pick up a QB in the draft or free agency that has a better upside Freeman may be out the door. That is highly unlikely though. It is QB limbo.

  18. marknlutz Says:

    “improve a little” Joe? Improving a little would not make me want to keep Josh, Franchise tag or not.