Dec 30, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) warms up before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Freeman 2014 NFL Free Agency Destination: Arizona Cardinals


NFL free agency and the draft have done a great service to Josh Freeman over the past couple seasons.  His offensive line is one of the best in football and he has a pair of talented receivers to throw to in Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.  Toss in Doug Martin at running back and one would think Freeman is in line for a big pay day when his contract expires in 2014.  So why is his job suddenly in jeopardy?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers anxious to see Mike Glennon push Freeman

Two words best answer that question:  Greg Schiano.  While teammates support Freeman who comes off his best statistical season as a pro, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach hasn’t hidden a certain dislike for how he plays.  Freeman threw for over 4,000 yards last season including 27 touchdowns.  Where Schiano may be placing his anger is on the turnovers.  Freeman committed 19 last season.  It was a major contribution to why the Buccaneers fell apart late in the year.  In five-straight losses down the stretch Freeman threw nine interceptions.  A second part of the problem, at least from speculation, is that Schiano doesn’t like how immobile Freeman is.  Indeed he was sacked 12 times through that stretch.  Put simply Schiano isn’t ready to call the 25-year old his answer at quarterback.  People must remember Freeman was drafted by former head coach Raheem Morris.  Schiano inherited him when he took over the job.  No one can blame him for having a different idea about what his quarterback should be.  That could explain why the team drafted N.C.State quarterback Mike Glennon.  His height, arm and better mobility make him just the person to push Freeman for the starting job.

Cardinals need long-term options beyond Carson Palmer

Glennon came out of college with some questions but a lot of NFL scouts and experts saw him having great potential.  If he discovers it early and does claim the top job, where would that leave Freeman?  His contract is up next year and there is a little to no chance he’ll want to stay as a backup.  At age 26 by that point, he should command some interest from around the league.  One team that should take a serious look is the Arizona Cardinals.  Their starting job is solved for the time being after they traded for veteran Carson Palmer.  However, at age 34 he is a temporary solution at best.  Head coach Bruce Arians needs a succession plan in place. Arizona does have a number of interesting names on the depth chart including Ryan Lindley and Drew Stanton.  One of them may have what it takes but none of them have the proven experience of Josh Freeman.  Under a quarterback specialist like Arians he could realize his full potential and the Cardinals could end up with somebody fully ready to take over when Palmer is finished.


Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Arizona Cardinals Carson Palmer Josh Freeman Mike Glennon NFL Free Agency Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Chez Leite

    Quick question… you think any major free agents will go to the Jets next year….From what I been able to gather they will have anywhere from 30-45 million in cap space and usually the Jets tend to be players when they have the cap space

    • Erik Lambert

      No question. Since they have Geno Smith I have to assume they will go after wide receivers, because frankly they have none. Holmes is hurt and the rookie they drafted last year isn’t ready. Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham, Mike Williams, and Emmanuel Sanders are all ones who can become available. They also might look for a tight end like Dennis Pitta or Fred Davis. But you have to remember the Jets were big spenders under the last GM. This is the John Idzik show now.

      • Chez Leite

        While this is “the John Idzik show” its still a “woody johnson production”…..While I think the Jets will be smarter with there money I still think they will make a big play for a wide out….My guess is either they will go hard after Cruz (woody loves sticking it to the giants) or Sanders and also draft the top wide out in the draft (unless Geno just falls super flat on his face and they end up with 1# pick and they take Bridgewater)

        • Erik Lambert

          I don’t think they’ll fall that far. Their defense is too good and the offense at least has a couple weapons that could carry the load. If anything I see the Jets with a top 10 pick and going after Marqise Lee from USC and then perhaps Cruz, Sanders or even Jeremy Maclin from Philadelphia.

  • OG727

    Many times last season Freeman had the chance to run for decent gain or first down and didn’t. It was pretty obvious that he was instructed to cut back on his running, most likely by Schiano himself. Freeman has an above average sense of the pocket, and in previous years had shown an ability to make smart and timely runs. I think his mobility would be one his strengths if it is managed properly. Every other thing I’ve read about Glennon puts his mobility and decision making beneath Freeman’s coming out of college. And as far as the sacks, your talking about a team on the skids with an amputated O-line that was missing two pro-bowl caliber guards. The Cards have a much better chance of trading for Glennon! (I’m sure they’ll find somebody to keep the QB turnstile moving…)

  • Luke Eikens

    When was this written? Brian Hoyer AND John Skelton are no longer with the Cadinals and have not been for weeks. LITLLE facts like these that anyone can know make the bigger assumptions that Eric claims he knows bupkis.

  • Matthew Peary

    Short answer…no. I have a feeling the Cards will be looking to the many studs coming out in 2014 Draft for their long-term answer at QB.

    • Erik Lambert

      Definitely possible. I guess it will depend on where they’re draft. They may add Freeman AND a rookie and let them fight it out.

  • Rob West

    I’m a Tampa fan and I can say first hand that Freeman is not immobile. In 2010 he was behind only Mike Vick in rushing yards, off the top of my head I think he was behind Rodgers too but either way 2nd or 3rd in the league in rushing yards for QBs should more than show that he’s been instructed to stay home. Schiano doesn’t prefer a mobile QB he prefers a pocket passer. You’re dead wrong if you think they got Glennon because he has better mobility, that’s just false all the way around. Schiano does hate turnovers though and that could push Freeman out the door if we don’t make the playoffs this year. But I think Freeman finally puts it all together this year, its the first time in his career that he’s had the same offense 2 years in a row.

  • Tony Brown

    Whoah whoah whoah whoah whoah! Let me make this perfectly clear, Josh Freeman is NOT leaving Tampa. Glennon has potential but his chances of overthrowing Josh as the starter are slim and none.

    • Erik Lambert

      If that’s true then doesn’t it make less sense that the Bucs even drafted Glennon so early in the first place?

      • OG727

        Schiano likes Glennon, but the real reasons he was drafted are to push Freeman mentally and as a leader, and because Glennon has similar abilities. If you can bring in a backup QB who fits the mold of your offense and provides the competition to push the starting QB to the next level, you might view him as the best player available in the 3rd round. This also fits with the dichotomy about Freeman that we’ve gotten from Schiano since the season ended.

        They addressed the secondary with Revis, Goldson, and Banks; plus the backups now have some starting experience. They feel confident enough in Bowers and Clayborn that they didn’t go after any D-lineman till later in the draft. There’s one open linebacker position, but there’s at least two competent players to compete for it. The O-line is deep and experienced. Two TEs with potential. Good fullback. Dougernaut, nuff said. Starting WRs were 1-2 in YPC for much of the season. P and K do their jobs well. You probably don’t know the long snapper’s name, so he’s doing his job :)

        What’s that leave? Backup QB, backup RBs and 3/4/5 receivers. They drafted a RB late and brought in RBs and WRs in FA. So do you draft a backup QB who fits your system in the 3rd round? Or stick with the guy who ran out the back of the wrong endzone? The only surefire better pick would have been a medical guy to keep all those linemen healthy ;)

        • Erik Lambert

          Well said, OG. It also makes sense in another manner. Glennon could make superb trade bait in a couple years, especially if he gets on the field for a some playing time and plays well.

  • Bill Doerr

    Why is it so hard to get Carson Palmers age right?? I have seen many so called journalists get it wrong. Carson Palmer is 33 YEARS OLD. He will be 33 through the whole season. Palmer is signed to a 3 year contract.

    Carson Palmer had the one of the NFLs worst WR units in the NFL last year , WRs running routes wrong and outright dropping his pass’s left n right including in the end zone or his numbers would of been even higher. Still he managed to put up good numbers, over 4k+ passing yards , completed 61+% of his pass’s , 23TDs 14 Picks and a Passer rating of 85.5 in 15 games behind a OL that wasn’t good in OAK. Palmer has better career regular stats than Eli Manning, Both have been starters since 2004, and Carson Palmer has outplayed a QB like Sam Bradford, both in Palmers first 3 years in the NFL as a starter , and the last 3 years with a lot less weapons.

    Sam Bradford:
    58% Completion Percentage 9,378 Passing Yards 6.26 YDs-Pass-Avg 45 TDs 42.3QBR 77.3 Passer Rating
    (2012)16GP 59.5% CMP% 3702YDS 6.72 AVG 21TD 13INT 4FUM 82.6 Passer Rating
    ( Bradford had Far better WRs n RBs as well)

    Carson Palmer: ( I did the math using his last 3 seasons to get these stat’s)
    61% Completion Percentage 10,741 Passing Yards 7.42 YD-Pass-Avg 61TDs 50.26QBR 82.73 Passer Rating
    (Palmer also only played in 10 games in 2011, getting off the Couch to play for Oak, coming into a offense mid-season he knew nothing about, didn’t know the playbook, didn’t have repore/timing with receivers, still threw for 13TDs n almost 3k yards)
    Now Carson Palmer is in a great situation in Arizona, a team ready to contend now. He has the best WR unit in the NFC West with guys like Larry Fitz, Mike Floyd , Andre Roberts, Laron Byrd and Ryan Swope. A T.E who the old regime didn’t develop or utilize as much in Rob Housler is 6″5 250 with 4.4 speed , runs excellent routes with excellent hands , who Bruce Arians loves and wanted to draft when he was with the Steelers , he refers to Housler as a Wideout Playing TE. Arians Will use him a lot. He creates great mismatches not a lot of defenders outside of DBs can catch him.
    Arians is a offensive genius as coach, so is Asst HC father time Tom Moore, and both are excellent at getting QBs to produce big. Its a whole new coaching staff that is highly regarded in the league ( Only John Lott remains) and Arians is one of the best offensive play callers in the league n he is calling the plays. Palmer has a great coach who runs a proven passing offense and Palmer is still one of the best deep ball throws in the League and VERY accurate. Palmer has a good run game in Arizona with a healthy Ryan Williams , 2011 2nd round pick. The Signing off a 100% Rashard Mendenhall on a 1yr contract in prove it mode, a healthy mendenhall is dangerous. They drafted 2 of the best RBs in the draft as well, the 5th n 7th best rated RBs in Stanfords All-Time leading Rusher, and high 2nd-3rd round projected talents Stephan Taylor and Clemsons 3rd all time Rusher behind C.J Spiller who he took over for Andre Ellington, Drafted as insurance. Arizona had 4 out of 5 starters on the OL out injured last seasons, had to throw rookies to the Lions, Still in the second half they gave up only 19 Sacks Ranking 13th in the NFL. In the Second half of the season, Rookie RT Bobby Massie gave up ZERO sacks, a 2012 4th round pick turned out to be a steal. He is returning, LT Levi Brown is coming back from injury he is above average , Center Lyle SendLein is coming back, The Cardinals drafted the best LG prospect to come outta the draft in 20+ years, thought to be a multiple 1st year probowl level LG 7th overall J. Cooper and E. Watford who gave up a single sack in college E. Watford who is very athletic like cooper with a lot of the same attributes of Cooper. To start the season until Watford is ready , D. Colledge who is a proven , solid , really good veteran OG is playing RG. Arizona also has a lot of Seasoned Depth on the line this year they didn’t have last year With Nate Potter OT/OG, Chilo Rachal OG, Senio Klemente OG, Scott Weidge OC/OG Mike Gibson OG/OC and E. Watford OG this years rookie who is also being groomed as a OC. They also have ALOT better coaching that is worlds better. 3 out of the 4 RBs are also excellent pass blockers , with good blocking TEs. So Carson Palmer has a good OL in Arizona this year & and a good run game , to setup Play Action , which is key to the passing game , and a effective play action offense is damn near unstoppable.
    My Point is Palmer only 33 y/o , and he has the most talent especially at WR he has ever had , in a passing offense tailored to his skill set with a great offensive coach in Bruce Arians. Fitzgerald and Floyd will have around 20 or more touchdowns between the two alone. Palmer easily will throw over 4k yards again, Complete over 63% of his pass’s ( 61.7% is his career lowest) with around 28-34TD pass’s and a 90+ passer rating. Palmer can easily play in the desert 3-5 seasons , till 37-38 and take them a long way. Peyton Manning, Drew Bress ,Tom Brady, Tony Romo are older than Palmer. Their are a lot of QBs in the league Older, Vick , Rivers, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, Big Ben, I mean Palmer if successful should be in ARZ a minimum of 3-4 yrs barring some horrific injury.
    All of that plethora of information Said, I see Arizona drafting a QB of the future in 2014 or 2015 to sit behind Palmer for a few seasons and learn . I expect the Cardinals to be around a 10-6 team this year, either way if they draft a QB in 2014 or 2015, now that they have a QB to utilize their explosive offense that matches a top 10 defense , they aren’t going to be drafting in the top 15 , Top 10 for a while most likely so they are going to have to trade down and give up a future 1st round pick to do so. If the Cardinals grab a top stud rookie in 2014 , then Palmers tenure might be only be the 3 yrs he signed. If its in 2015, he will be here 3-4 years. Hopefully ARZ isn’t stupid enough to wait till Carson retires to do something.

    (2012)15GP 61.1% CMP% 4018YDS 7.11 AVG 22TDs 14INTs 5FUM 85.5 Pass Rating

    • Erik Lambert

      Calm down there, Bill. You have to remember this article is based on what happens next spring. By then Palmer will have turned 34. That is the manner in which I wrote this article. I understand he played well for a bad team. I’m merely pointing out the Cardinals can’t expect more than one or two good seasons from him before they should think about a successor. Freeman is only 25 right now and if Schiano choose to move on, is young enough to absorb the coaching from Arians. Then you can save that first round pick to continue building the roster with other stars.