Sunday, October 6, 2013

What Should Josh Freeman Do?

It is very rare that a quarterback that is very capable of starting is out there as a free agent during the season.  Josh Freeman went from franchise quarterback in Tampa Bay to benched, to inactive, to released in a matter of weeks.  Now he has a ton of options to resurrect his career.

Don't get me wrong: being a QB in this league is tough and I don't think you could just plug in any QB in any situation and it is a perfect marriage.  Still, it is an opportunity for some down trodden teams to quickly upgrade a tough position to fill.

So where could Freeman go?  It could all go down on Monday and here are just some (uneducated) options:

MINNESOTA VIKINGS:  Makes a lot of sense.  Christian Ponder doesn't have that franchise hold on the job like he may have had a year ago.  Matt Cassel played well against the Steelers last week but isn't much more than a journeyman at this point.  You have a decent defense and Adrian Peterson running behind you.  Domed stadium and a chance (at least in later seasons) to be a playoff team?  Could be a perfect fit.

OAKLAND RAIDERS:  The Raiders are always in the mix on situations like this.  A guy with an unceremonious exit?  Fine.  A guy allegedly in the league's drug program?  Fine.  Throwing out your future plans of Terrell Pryor as your franchise guy?  Fine.  It's the Raider thing to do so you can bet your bippy that it may happen. 

BUFFALO BILLS:  The Bills need help right now.  E.J. Manuel is banged up and Kevin Kolb is done for the season.  Freeman could come in right now and start.  The problem is that Manuel is the Bills' future and he's shown some nice things already.  So if Freeman wants to be the no-doubt starter then Buffalo isn't for him.

CLEVELAND BROWNS:  The Browns' quarterback situation is either good or bad.  Hard to say.  Both Hoyer and Weeden have been banged up but both have played well enough to have the Browns in first place in the AFC North.  Cleveland could decide that they could cash this in and go for it by adding Freeman (a la the Raiders adding Carson Palmer a few years back).  I know they like what Hoyer has done, but don't think they couldn't be tempted. 

ARIZONA CARDINALS:  I know that Carson Palmer is the starter ... right now.  Palmer is basically a journeyman now who is leading a bad offense.  Freeman could allow Arizona to start fresh with a QB of the future who can win now.  He'd have Larry Fitzgerald to throw to and ... well.  Still, not a bad job to have even though you'd be staring at the Seahawks and Niners for a while.

NEW YORK JETS:  The Jets are in sort of the same boat as the Bills.  They drafted Geno Smith to be their future.  Mark Sanchez is serviceable if Smith needs to sit a bit.  But would Freeman go into an already toxic situation where the coach, in this case Rex Ryan, could be dumped at the end of the season?  Probably not. 

HOUSTON TEXANS:  I know there is a lot of anti-Matt Schaub feelings in Houston, but I doubt that the team changes horses mid stream.  They may decide to look in a different direction next season via the draft (Johnny Football, anyone?) but not right now.  However, Freeman could decide that he could be that next man in Houston and if there is a feeling that he could sort of sit a bit this season and then take over the job next year, he may bite.  Not likely, but not crazy either.

ST LOUIS RAMS:  Tough one, but Sam Bradford hasn't taken this team very far since he was the top overall pick.  Could Jeff Fisher decide it is time to get a Steve McNair type of quarterback to helm his team?  Maybe. 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES:  This is a similar situation to the Texans as well.  Michael Vick is only in a one-year deal so Freeman knows that they have no future invested in him.  Freeman could work in Chip Kelly's fast break offense and would be an intriguing option.  Yes, the Eagles have floundered to 1-3, but the NFC East is so bad right now that they could fire into a division title and a playoff spot. 

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS:  If this was a quarterback who just desperately needed to start and had little option, then Jacksonville makes sense.  But why in the heck would Freeman leave that mess in Tampa to go across state to deal with the worse mess in J-ville?  There are tons of better jobs out there that he doesn't have to take on this one.

Now, the Bears, Chiefs, Chargers, Bengals, Titans and Panthers could be spots if those teams decide that they need to go into a new direction.  Of those teams, only the Titans (who's franchise QB Jake Locker is injured) may do so without much hesitation.  Still, Locker is their guy so it would be difficult for Freeman to know he'd have a fair shot at the gig long-term.  There is grumbling in Cincinnati among fans over Andy Dalton, but all he has done is lead his team to the playoffs in both his seasons (and is a win away from tying for the AFC North lead). 

Meanwhile, he would only go to the Broncos, Patriots, Packers, Lions, Ravens, 49ers, Colts, Falcons, Saints, Giants, Steelers, Redskins, Cowboys, Dolphins or Seahawks if he was fine being the backup.  For a loooooong time.  Unless he decided to sit for a few weeks and see if an injury occurs to any of these starting quarterbacks (it isn't that far-fetched), I don't see him signing with these teams.

No comments: