Josh Freeman 2014 NFL Free Agency Destination: Arizona Cardinals


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

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.