Who Will Be the Odd Man Out?

Jordan Heck@@JordanHeckFFContributor IIIJuly 16, 2009

The Buccaneers had Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Brian Griese, and rookie Josh Johnson all of last year for their 53-man roster, and they are facing a similar situation now.

Now the Buccaneers have quarterbacks Luke McCown, Byron Leftwich, Josh Johnson, and rookie quarterback Josh Freeman. All of these quarterbacks bring something to the table, which is what makes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback situation so interesting.

Luke McCown is heading into his fifth season with the Buccaneers, so he already has some camaraderie with the team, players, and coaches. McCown showed a lot of promise against the Saints on the road during 2007 throwing over 300 yards and having a multi-touchdown game.

In his sprinkles of starting appearances throughout his career, he has shown some scrambling ability and some deep ball ability. McCown pretty much has his roster spot secure.

Rookie Josh Freeman is another version of The Incredible Hulk. His 6'6" and 250 lbs. frame makes himself seen. While general manager Mark Dominik says Freeman will not be the starting quarterback when the season begins, quarterbacks coach Greg Olson says that it is not out of the question for him to become the starter.

It is pretty safe to say that the Buccaneers want to keep their first round draft pick on the roster to both learn with the first team and practice with the first team throughout the season, and maybe, just maybe, he will get playing experience in 2009 outside of those first four games.

Now the situation becomes a little bit tricky. The Buccaneers signed veteran quarterback Byron Leftwich during the offseason and after the draft was over they called it a "smoke-screen", meaning that they did not want people to know that they wanted to draft a quarterback.

After all, the contract the Buccaneers gave Byron Leftwich did not contain a signing bonus, so they would not lose out if they cut Leftwich.

The other quarterback that is fighting for a spot is second-year man Josh Johnson. With the wildcat being the cat's pajamas of the NFL, the Buccaneers might want to try some interesting formations with Johnson.

He is very athletic and has some ability in both throwing the ball and running with it. His negatives though are that despite the fact he only threw one interception his senior season in college (and that was off a tipped pass) coaches have been saying that he has accuracy issues.

So in my own personal opinion (which who cares right?), either Leftwich or Johnson will be the odd man out, and I see the Buccaneers cutting Leftwich.

McCown seems to be the favorite to win out the job, the coaches all love Freeman, and Johnson is quicker than Leftwich. I have read that Leftwich has been slow during practice, and just not showing a lot of promise with this Buccaneers roster. I also doubt that the Buccaneers keep four quarterbacks on their team again this year; they lack depth in too many other areas to keep four quarterbacks on a small 53-man roster.