Is Josh Freeman The Buccaneers' Next Good Man?

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IJuly 1, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 25:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses with Tampa Bay Buccaneers #17 draft pick Josh Freeman at Radio City Music Hall for the 2009 NFL Draft on April 25, 2009 in New York City  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The rookies of the National Football League have been spending the past few days in West Palm Beach.

The NFL calls it the "rookie symposium."

The purpose, in the simplest of terms, is to try and help these newcomers avoid trouble. It is a purposeful orientation.

Hopefully, it helps the newcomers understand what lies in front of them.

Tony Dungy knows all to well the problems of the NFL and isn't shy about pointing them out.

"We need to help our players develop as men," Dungy said recently. "In the NFL, we haven't done a good job of that."

During Dungy's days in Tampa, he had more than a few good men. He had Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn, just to name a couple.

Brooks and Dunn proved themselves to be outstanding players.

They are even better men. They are simply great citizens.

What the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need in addition to good players, are a few really good men.

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Which brings us to Freeman.

Could he be the Bucs' next good man? Can he fill the shoes of Brooks and Dunn, off the field?

Dunn's community service and good deeds are legendary. He has put down payments on new homes for single mothers and, with help from his corporate allies, has completely furnished these homes.

He's simply a gem, a rare man, a rare commodity among NFL players.

Same for Brooks. Brooks has been everywhere since the day he came to Tampa. His name is on a high school along with former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo.

Brooks is on the Board of Trustees at Florida State University. He, like Dunn, is outstanding in his community actions.

To have two players of this stature from the same team is amazing. Then you can add Mike Alstott. He's had a hand in many charities and is approachable. He was that way when he played.

Which leaves us to this current crop of Buccaneers, the charges of Raheem Morris.

I don't think you'll see Aqib Talib helping to purchase any homes for less fortunate folks anytime soon. He has a tough enough time avoiding trouble, on and off the field. It was Talib who disrupted this rookie symposium a year ago.

The NFL Network showed Freeman working with children this week. He looked natural at it. He has the smile, the looks, and many who have spent time with him tell us he has the personality to be a community favorite off the field.

The Bucs are betting that he will become the face of the franchise on the field. He is the chosen one.

All he needs do now is live up to those expectations on the field. Then he will hopefully turn his attention to the community.

The Bucs are now desperate for that Brooks, Dunn or Alstott off the field.

Questions surrounding this team are obvious.

And there's still the other question:

Who will be the Bucs next good man?