Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Josh Freeman recently admitted to a radio station that he would be “content” in moving on next season. This of course makes perfect sense with the actions of Head Coach Greg Schiano, because Schiano has publically admitted his displeasure with Freeman. In addition to Schiano’s fingers being all over the wasted draft selection of Mike Glennon in the third-round of the 2013 NFL draft as an attempt by Schiano to usurp Freeman in the future. There is not a lot of love pouring onto the young signal caller on the Bucs, and unless Freeman suffers from battered wife syndrome, he would be happy to move on to another team. So which teams would Freeman have the best fit? That’s what we’re going to explore as we countdown the top 5 landing spots for Josh Freeman in 2014.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals may not seem like the most likely fit, but every Bengal fan knows the issues Andy Dalton has with his arm strength. Josh Freeman has never had an arm strength issue, but has suffered more from poor decision making processes as a drop back passer. However, Freeman playing in a West Coast offense under Jay Gruden could help him improve his decision making from the pocket immensely. Why have one of the best deep ball threats in A.J. Green if you can’t throw the deep ball? This doesn’t mean Andy Dalton will lose his job right off the bat if Freeman is signed, but it makes sense for the Bengals to do whatever it takes to take advantage of the window they have open for a championship run.
4. Houston Texans
This is another questionable fit, but the same logic remains. Matt Schaub doesn’t have a lot more lifelines, and Freeman could be signed to light a fire underneath. The West Coast offense in Houston will help Freeman improve, and he could win the job from Schaub if the Texans falter in the Playoffs again. The Texans window for a Super Bowl won’t last long and Freeman can be insurance. Otherwise the Texans will join the long list of Super Bowl caliber teams that couldn’t get it done, because they couldn’t find a quarterback.
3. St. Louis Rams
Its Sam Bradford’s last season in St. Louis. He either gets it done or he doesn’t. If Bradford doesn’t get it done, then signing a young prospect like Freeman as a stopgap isn’t a bad idea. The Rams are not going to have a high draft pick to get a quarterback of the future, and Freeman could be seen as an underappreciated commodity in Tampa Bay by Jeff Fisher. The Rams can continue to build up the foundation to their team and Freeman could be the last piece. It could work and Freeman would be on a young aspiring team will a lot of fresh talent.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Florida connection is the first aspect to consider, but also the fact that the Jags need a quarterback. Blaine Gabbert will be gone after 2013, and unless they have the number one pick in 2014, they will need to make a tough decision at quarterback. Or they can sign Josh Freeman and see what happens. If Freeman were on the Jags in 2013, he would be head and shoulders above all the other options. Signing Freeman would open up that high draft pick to a lot of other possibilities to strengthen the team and by the time Freeman matures, a quick turnaround could be in store.
1. Cleveland Browns
The Browns’ new regime under Head Coach Rob Chudzinski loves quarterbacks like Josh Freeman. A big, strong-armed quarterback is what Chudzinski’s offense is all about, and Freeman can fit that system like a glove. The Browns may have Brandon Weeden, but new regimes mean new quarterbacks. None of the 2014 quarterbacks fit the mold of Chudzinski’s offense and Freeman would be a perfect fit. A lot can happen between now and 2014, but if I was a betting man, Freeman would head to the Browns. A fresh organization with a stockpile of weapons is just what Freeman needs to succeed and the Browns have that in spades.
James Cobern is a Division Leader for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com or follow him on Twitter @Jmcobern1