Josh Freeman

No Extension For Freeman

January 07, 2013 at 10:56am by Scott   •  10 Comments »

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As we all suspected and Rick Stroud has confirmed, the Bucs will not extend Josh Freeman‘s contract this offseason.

In many ways, it’s the Bucs’ only play. They don’t want a situation like the Jets have with QB Mark Sanchez; they’d like to cut ties but have guaranteed him $8.25 million next season.

Stroud is right in that it was the only thing they could do. They can’t give him a franchise quarterback-type extension since that would completely undermine any “competition” Greg Schiano would want to bring in. Schiano has a better chance of convincing potential quarterbacks that they will have a chance to start if they don’t have another guy locked up for five years at some ungodly number. And, quite frankly, Freeman hasn’t earned a big extension. You’ve got to be able to count on the guy you’re paying the big bucks to. Earlier in the season and last year, Freeman would start hot, play mediocre for a couple quarters and then finish huge. It isn’t ideal, but at least he did it on a regular basis. But after midseason this year, we couldn’t even count on that consistent inconsistency.

With Ron Turner leaving to coach DeVry or wherever the hell he’s going, the Bucs have a chance to get the best quarterback mind available and have two guys learn under him. Freeman will likely be more physically talented than anyone else the Bucs can bring in, so he’ll already have an advantage. All he has to do is be the player we all know he can be, but MORE often. Hey, maybe I should apply for the QB coach job. “Just be good ALL THE TIME, Josh!” How hard can it be?

10 Comments to “No Extension For Freeman”

HAGEN205

HAGEN205 (January 07, 2013 at 12:12pm:

this is a tough one i still love freeman but he had some terrable throws-games last year

Matt Price

Matt Price (January 07, 2013 at 06:09pm:

You know, what I never understand is why these guys need great coaches. Wouldn’t you think that by the time they reach this level, that they should have it all nailed down? And once you had a good coach, shouldn’t his lessons stick with you? People always make it sound like quarterbacks are just lumps of clay who start fresh each season with a blank slate. I don’t understand that?

worker b

worker b (January 07, 2013 at 08:38pm:

The odds of finding a better QB in the next five years at less than “franchise quarterback numbers” are pretty low, unless the bottom falls out and the Bucs wind up with one of the first few picks in a draft. In that case, Schiano and Dominik would likely lose their jobs, anyway. Might as well roll the dice and go all-in.

Maybe they think this will make Freeman bear down harder, but I’m not sure that that’s what he needs–he gets stiff and tentative when he’s trying to be too perfect, and denying him the extension might be a good recipe for that. Pay him, run the ball and throw long!

Louie

Louie (January 07, 2013 at 09:10pm:

If what they say about Freeman is true, I don’t think bringing in competition is going to make a damn bit of difference. Freeman isn’t a slacker and playing for a contract extension is already a pretty big incentive.

If they bring in a QB, it’s to ultimately replace Freeman. Freeman isn’t Schiano’s guy and watching him turn the ball over repeatedly at the end of the season can’t sit well with the coach.

Finding a QB to be your starter via FA/trade is a pipe dream. So, that leaves the draft. The way these young QBs (3 yesterday!!!) are playing gives me hope. Although there aren’t any can’t-miss prospects in this draft, I’m sure one or two guys will be capable of starting. The Bucs must find one of them.

If the Bucs do draft who they think can be “the guy”, they need to get as much as they can for Freeman. I wonder what a guy like Andy Reid thinks about Freeman. Would he trade KC’s 1st round pick for Freeman? Would the Bucs give up Freeman for that pick?

Meatmaster

Meatmaster (January 07, 2013 at 10:33pm:

Clicky gave a free extension.

J. Martin

J. Martin (January 08, 2013 at 12:14am:

I don’t think it’s close to time for Freeman to be out of here. I’d be happy to give him three more seasons (draft someone to learn in the meantime, by all means!) because I really think he can be great, but most people aren’t quite that patient. He’s had changing coaches and schemes, and young players around him. He hasn’t had a very consistent environment so I don’t think we should be shocked that he’s not always consistent. If he has a couple more years with Schiano I think he’ll become consistent, though. As long as he gets support, that is.

Some stat comparisons:
Freeman threw 10 more TDs than picks, 27:17 (+10)
Flacco threw 22:10 (+12), so a bit better but not much.
Luck 23:18 (+5)
Eli Manning 26:15 (+11)
Cutler 19:14 (+5)
Romo 28:19 (+9)
Rivers +11

Freeman is basically firmly in the middle of the pack in TD to INT difference (despite 9/17 INTs coming in the last 3 games), which is alright for now – though we obviously don’t want him to stay there. His QB rating was a touch low but decent (81.6). With the exception of RGIII and maybe Russell Wilson (both addressed below), Freeman’s season was as good or better than anyone drafted with or after him, and on par with many respected and more established veterans. Maybe he won’t ever be the superstar, elite QB we all dream of — though I’m not ruling it out yet — but I think he’ll be the kind of QB who can compete for Superbowls with a decent team around him. I just want to watch a team that competes for the Superbowl year in and year out, and I think Freeman is a big part of that happening over the next few years.

Re: the Rookie QBs
I think, with the possible exception of Luck, the good rookie QBs will have rough years next year and everyone will ask what’s going on with them and if they’re all busts. Sophmore slump hits most good rookie QBs. I think the excessive pressure put on them during this learning process is what wrecks a lot of would-have-been-good QBs. It’s obvious Newton has the ability to be quite good, but how will he bounce back after a slump? If he doesn’t bounce back quickly people will be all over him and it could really hinder his career. That’s happened to a lot of high QB draft picks, anyway.

…sorry about all that! I’m procrastinating on an essay for school by writing one for everyone here.

Scott

Scott (January 08, 2013 at 12:38am:

Matt: All players of any sport at any level need a coach. Even Tiger Woods has a golf coach. As soon as you think you know it all, you’re fucked.

worker: The Mark Sanchez example is a good one. Dominik would have to be REALLY sure that Freeman is going to pick up his game or he could be stuck with a QB dud. And you can’t pay a guy because he gets nervous when you don’t pay him. That’s backwards.

Louie: Freeman already works hard; everyone says that. But competition has a way of bringing out the best in a player (or anyone for that matter). You dig a little deeper than you may think you are capable of if you are being directly compared to someone else, contract year or not.

Martin: I still believe in Freeman, but admittedly not as much as I did earlier in his career. Franchise quarterbacks have a very distinct feel to them. You know them when you see them. If he was just above average, but did it consistently, that would be one thing. Franchise quarterbacks can be somewhat mediocre (see Tony Romo). But Freeman is great, then he’s shit. You can’t build a team around that level of inconsistency.

J. Martin

J. Martin (January 08, 2013 at 01:01am:

Good point about inconsistency. I am at a disadvantage in this whole discussion because I was not able to watch more than a few games this season. I haven’t been able to get a feeling based on watching him play, only from seeing a few highlights and following the coloured lines on NFL.com. So I’ve only heard about the inaccuracy, which is a very different thing than watching it.

avanderlay

avanderlay (January 08, 2013 at 01:28pm:

I’m not ready to give up on Freeman by any means, especially since it will be highly unlikely they are able to draft or sign anyone better.

What worries me is, even when the O looked awesome in October, it was largely against the Chiefs and Saints D – the two worst units in the league at the time, IMO.

I also worry about the possibility of losing Mike Sullivan this offseason. Freeman not having much stability in systems so far is a valid argument in his defense, in my opinion.

I will criticize him though in that he just doesn’t seem to be able to read defenses pre-snap like we should expect by now. If he prepares like everyone says he does, then you have to start thinking it’s an intelligence thing.

I’ll throw out one more nugget that’s crossed my mind recently – to what degree could his slump at the end of the year be attributed to practicing day-in, day-out against one of the worst secondaries in the history of the league???

worker b

worker b (January 08, 2013 at 11:46pm:

Actually, I’d think the better comparison in regard to New York QBs would be Eli Manning, a player who has similar skills, is in a similar system and with very similar coaching. Manning is still about as inconsistent as Freeman, but has won a couple Super Bowls and may make the HOF.

Freeman’s stats in his first three years as a starter look a little better than Manning’s were. Manning never cracked 80 as far as QB rating his first three years, and tossed up 17, 18 and 20 INTs, with a completion percentage in the mid-50s over that span. He was a year or two older than Freeman at that stage in his career, as well. It’s easy to forget that Freeman is 24, a year older than Andrew Luck.

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