The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they released former K-State Wildcats quarterback Josh Freeman on Thursday after benching him a week earlier.
According to an Associated Press report, Freeman was released after the team’s general manager contacted all 31 other teams in the NFL in an attempt to trade the quarterback. His release, according to the report, was also a result of his conduct on the team, particularly his actions and behavior towards Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano.
However, there are always two sides to every story. Just because Schiano is the head coach doesn’t mean he is immune to mistakes. And there’s evidence to indicate that someone within the Tampa Bay organization was against Freeman.
As the controversy surrounding Freeman’s benching in favor of rookie Mike Glennon was developing, a source within the Buccaneers leaked that Freeman was part of the NFL’s substance-abuse program following a failed drug test.
Freeman said that he takes prescription Adderall for ADHD, but accidentally took Ritalin, which triggered the failed test. The fact that the failed test leaked to the public sparked the NFL Players Association to investigate for the source.
While it seems like Freeman was involved in a lot of negative activity in Tampa Bay, the fact is that he was one of the team’s best players since he was drafted in the first round by the team in 2009.
Freeman spent his college career with the Wildcats, where he was the first true freshman to start a game at quarterback in school history. He holds team records for completions in a game, season and career and is also the Wildcats all-time leading passer with 8,078 yards.
Over his four year career at Tampa Bay, Freeman has passed for over 13,500 yards and 80 touchdowns. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdown passes.
With those numbers alone, Freeman deserves another shot with an NFL team. It’s actually surprising that a team didn’t trade for him.
The former K-State great is just 25-years-old, is 6-foot-6-inches and has killer arm strength. There’s no doubt that that his attributes are desirable amongst NFL teams.
Secondly, he’s had a pretty good NFL career to date. Just because things fell apart with the Buccaneers for the wrong reasons doesn’t mean that he’s any less of a quarterback.
The best situation for Freeman would be with a team such as the New England Patriots or Denver Broncos, who are quarterbacked by Tom Brady and Peyton Manning respectively. Those two guys have two to four years in the league before retirement will likely happen.
If Freeman could spend that time under the tutelage of those men not only would he be one of the best backup signal callers in the league, but he also be more than ready to takeover when those guys leave the game.
Freeman is a great quarterback who has the raw talent to be one of the best in the league. Schiano may have run Freeman out of town, but that just opens the door to new opportunities for one of the greatest quarterbacks K-State has ever had.