On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released former starting quarterback Josh Freeman.
The release comes one week after Freeman was benched in favor of rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. The Buccaneers benching of Freeman was believed to be because of performance reasons, though, the young quarterback was often at odds with head coach Greg Schiano.
Freeman struggled this season with the Buccaneers as the quarterback currently has a completion percentage on the season below 50 percent to go along with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. After the benching, Freeman made it clear that he wanted out of Tampa Bay and the team was believed to be shopping the quarterback earlier this week.
After not being able to find a trade partner, the Buccaneers released Freeman on Thursday.
Freeman was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. After a 2010 season that saw the sophomore quarterback throw for nearly 3,500 yards with 22 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions, Freeman and the Buccaneers were trending in the right direction. However in 2011 and 2012, Freeman struggled with interceptions as the quarterback had 22 interceptions in 2011 and 17 interceptions in 2012. Freeman’s struggles continued into the 2013 season and that is one of the reasons why the Buccaneers opted to release the quarterback.
Freeman is now a free agent and able to sign with any team in the NFL.
Chicago Bears fans are always interested in quarterbacks other than their own and have suggested that the Bears take a chance on Freeman as a backup quarterback. On the surface, Freeman would appear to be a fit with head coach Marc Trestman. Freeman is in need of a quarterback-oriented coach that can coach him back up. Trestman would be the perfect candidate for that.
But, the Chicago Bears will undoubtedly stay away from Freeman.
Signing Freeman would set a dangerous precedent for the Bears and cause more problems than resolutions. The main reason why signing Freeman would be an issue is because the team has taken a stance that they are not going to sign quarterback Jay Cutler to a contract extension during the season. The Bears are presumably putting money aside this season to sign Cutler and any other unrestricted free agents they wish to retain at the end of the season. Signing Freeman would only go against that presumption while also creating controversy with Cutler and his future with the team.
In addition, one of the reasons why Freeman wanted out of Tampa Bay was because he wants to be a starting quarterback. Meaning Freeman is not going to come to Chicago knowing that he will be the backup to Cutler.
Freeman will find a destination but it won’t be in Chicago.