Josh Freeman's days as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are numbered. After watching Sunday's game against Arizona from the press box, it appears that head coach Greg Schiano has sent a clear message; you're not playing for me anymore, son. Although, when you consider he's an adult male involved with professional football, he probably replaced "son" with an expletive.
About 3 hours north of Tampa, sits the city of Jacksonville. They have an NFL team there. If Freeman was smart, he'd pack his bags, hop on a bus and go there. But sadly, it ain't that easy.
To be blunt, the Jaguars are a mess. Their quarterback, Missouri product Blaine Gabbert, is having a season that would make Heath Shuler consider his NFL career a success. In two starts, Gabbert has a passer rating of 30.5, is completing just 49.3% of his passes, and has thrown for 300 yards, no touchdowns and five interceptions.
Though Freeman is barely any more impressive - 59.3, 45.7%, 571, 2-3 - he's proven in the past that he can handle the duties of starting under center in the NFL. Just last season Freeman aired it out for 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns. In 2010 he passed for 25 touchdowns and a passer rating of 95.9. Buried somewhere under Freeman's stubbornness and Greg Schiano's distaste lies the talent to develop a solid NFL quarterback.
Tampa Bay, if he were to remain on the roster after week 6, would owe Freeman $4.2 million on the final year of his contract. Considering he'll likely spend his time as the third quarterback on the depth chart, Tampa would be wise to deal the 25-year-old quarterback.
If I'm Jacksonville, I'd part ways with a 5th, 6th or 7th round pick in a heartbeat. Would taking a flyer on Freeman really be worse than watching Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne give it the ol' college try? It'd only cost $4.2 million and a draft pick they'd likely use on a kid from some small college in New Mexico anyway. The Jaguars are likely going to finish 0-16, so lets not act like they know how to draft.
It's a small risk with a potentially big reward, and it's the kind of a gamble a team who plays second fiddle to NCAA football needs to take.