Josh Freeman Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding QB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman is the subject of rumors and speculation following his release by the franchise that selected him in the first round of the NFL draft out of Kansas State in 2009.
On Thursday, Oct. 3, Freeman was cut from the Buccaneers, and he is now a free agent. On Sunday night, Freeman reportedly was signed by the Minnesota Vikings.
UPDATE: Sunday, Oct. 6
From Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk:
Josh Freeman is going to the Vikings per league source.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 7, 2013
UPDATE: Sunday, Oct. 6
Jay Glazer brings the latest on a potential destination for Freeman:
As I reported 4 hours ago Bills making a late push. They even talked to EJ Manuel about it to make sure he's on board— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 7, 2013
UPDATE: Sunday, Oct. 6
From Fox Sports' Jay Glazer:
Josh Freeman told me he'd like to make a decision tonight on where to go, wants to compete for starting job. raiders, bills, Niners, Vikings, Packers among teams who've reached out
Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman reports the Raiders are the leading candidate to sign Josh Freeman:
In interviews with team executives, scouts and other sources, a picture is emerging: About eight teams have contacted the Freeman camp, and the Oakland Raiders are emerging as the front-runners to sign him.
UPDATE: Sunday, Oct. 6
From NFL Around The League:
Josh Freeman's agent has talked to at least 10 teams @RapSheet reported on GDM. Raiders are most likely destination.— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) October 6, 2013
If Josh Freeman goes to Oakland, it'd be as a starter over Terrelle Pryor @MikeSilver says.— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) October 6, 2013
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com followed:
ESPN's Chris Mortensen later reported:
Even though Raiders are obvious candidate for Josh Freeman, sources say Vikings are among the intrgued but do have "lot of questions."— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) October 6, 2013
UPDATE: Saturday, Oct. 5
From Pro Football Talk:
Just heard Josh Freeman could pick a new team by tomorrow night. If teams are interested, they have done a great job of keeping it quiet.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 5, 2013
UPDATE: Thursday, Oct. 3
Freeman was cut by the Buccaneers today.
Now the Raiders are being linked to the 25-year-old QB. 95.7 The Game in the Bay Area and the Raiders Tribune provide the details:
We just recieved this text from Josh Freeman: "Raider Nation is great. I've worked with Greg Olson & he is a great coordinator."— 95.7 The GAME (@957thegame) October 3, 2013
Dennis Allen on whether or not the Raiders are interested in Josh Freeman: "Ah, I don't know." #Raiders— Raiders Tribune (@RaidersTribune) October 3, 2013
UPDATE: Tuesday, Oct. 1
From ESPN's Ed Werder:
Source says Bucs have called nearly dozen teams about trading Josh Freeman and indicated plan to reach out to all 32 by end of today— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) October 1, 2013
Werder continued to provide further context surrounding the Buccaneers and Freeman:
Josh Freeman has requested a trade, but he is pressuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his outright release, allowing him to receive his full $6.2 million remaining salary and the freedom to sign where he chooses. The team has no intention of immediately doing that, however, according to sources.
Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik has made calls to about one third of the teams in the NFL to determine whether they have interest in trading for the quarterback, and the team will have contacted every team by the end of the day, according to sources. Interest has been described as being mild.
Albert Breer of NFL.com supported Werder's report:
The Bucs have been actively shopping Josh Freeman, and could try to unload him before they start preparing for the Eagles next week.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 1, 2013
ESPN's Andrew Brandt provided additional context surrounding any potential deal involving Josh Freeman:
Technically, Bucs cannot pay part of Freeman's salary in trade, but could restructure to pay bonus now, then trade rest of salary.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) October 1, 2013
UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 30
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports talked about Freeman's current state of mind:
Again folks, Josh Freeman told me yesterday that he would like to be released or traded to not let the situation be a distraction any more.— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 1, 2013
Freeman believes team is holding on to him til trade deadline in case a team loses a QB. At this point, don't let it get uglier. Let him go— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 1, 2013
UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 29
From Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times:
Freeman said there was a "power outage, one of those off and on breaker resets'' that caused him to oversleep and miss the team photo.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) September 29, 2013
Freeman says he wants to traded: "No question. And like I said, it's uncomfortable to say. And it doesn't, it might not sit well...— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) September 29, 2013
Freeman: "It might not feel good. But the bottom line, I am me as a player.''— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) September 29, 2013
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer followed:
Josh Freeman told me this AM he'd like to get traded or released, says he doesn't want to be a distraction and it's time both sides move on— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) September 29, 2013
UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 27
ESPN.com has the latest updates on Freeman's status with the Bucs following his benching:
In an interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson on Thursday, Freeman discussed his benching and whether he wants a trade out of Tampa Bay.
"You know, I don't for a number of reasons," he said. "But bottom line is, if you want things to change, something has got to change. At the end of the day, yes. I think that moving forward that might be, that is going to be probably the best option."
"The bottom line is for me as [a] player I can't worry about everyone else," Freeman said Thursday. "I can't worry about what everybody is doing. I just have to focus on the best situation for me. ... Obviously the head coach [Greg Schiano] has come out and said that this isn't the place for me to be a starting quarterback.
"He doesn't think that I give this team the best chance to win. I don't agree, but at the same time, I'm the player and he's the coach. Whatever happens next, I'm moving on. I'm going to be excited to go out and make the most of any situation."
UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 26
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports speculates on one particular team who may be interested in acquiring Freeman:
I would keep a particular eye on the Vikings QB play next few weeks vis a vie Josh Freeman.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 25, 2013
UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 26
ESPN's Adam Schefter discusses the Buccaneers' current plans for Josh Freeman:
Tampa Bay is going to wait and hold on to Freeman until some team has a QB injury. And when that happens, a trade becomes possible. But right now, Tampa Bay’s not in a rush and no team right now is jumping to trade for Freeman.
UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 15
From Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune:
Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he just heard about trade story 10 minutes ago. Says if that's what his camp is thinking he needs "a new camp.''— Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTBO) September 16, 2013
La Canfora indicates that the 25-year-old has become "further alienated" by head coach Greg Schiano after the coach revealed why Freeman wasn't present at a team photo. Some executives even believe Schiano is dismissing Freeman in an attempt to sabotage general manager Mark Dominik for full roster control:
[S]everal executives on other clubs believe Schiano's refusal to ever really endorse Freeman is an attempt to undermine general manager Mark Dominik, who drafted Freeman in the first round prior to Schiano's arrival from Rutgers and who has also worked diligently to add talent to that roster in recent years. Many around the league believe Schiano would like to have full roster control as well, viewing Freeman -- who threw for over 4,000 yards and nearly 30 touchdowns last year -- as a pawn in a would-be power struggle.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport also hinted at a "growing disconnect" between Freeman and Schiano, but he added that the team is still sticking with Freeman under center:
On #Bucs coach Greg Schiano & QB Josh Freeman: There is a growing disconnect there, some real tension. Yet Bucs say "he's our starter."— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 15, 2013
Freeman admitted to oversleeping for the team photo, and that it played a part in not being named a team captain. Freeman had held that distinction since taking over the job in his first full-time season in 2010.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times passed along a statement from the quarterback regarding the incident:
Calling them "isolated incidents," Freeman said Thursday that he is ready to move on and focus on beating the Saints.
"I know exactly how (it looks)," Freeman said. "Quarterback is a position of leadership, and obviously, missing the team photo is a big deal. It's something I feel badly about, and it's obviously upsetting. But at the same time, I've got to put it behind me and get ready to play."
Per Stroud, Schiano recently denied the notion that he rigged the captain vote so that Freeman would not wear the coveted "C." "I was not aware of any questioning of the captains vote because there isn't any," said Schiano.
Another key observation La Canfora made was that Mike Glennon, a rookie third-round draft pick out of North Carolina State, is viewed as "Schiano's guy" within the organization.
The aforementioned 2010 campaign was Freeman's breakout year, where he led the Bucs to a 10-6 record while throwing for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
From there, he regressed with a woeful 2011 when his passer rating was just 74.6. Freeman bounced back reasonably well last season, though, throwing a career-high 27 touchdowns.
A formal trade request is likely expected due to the perpetually souring relationship between Freeman and Schiano, per La Canfora, and he named Minnesota and Tennessee as potential trade destinations, though it is all speculation at this point.
The Buccaneers face the NFC South rival New Orleans Saints in the friendly confines of Raymond James Stadium in Week 2, and it will be well worth watching how Freeman responds.
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