Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbackJosh Freeman
(5) reacts after completing a pass against the New York Jets during the fourth quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won 18-17. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
There are two sides to every story. In the case of the drama between Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both stories sound the same.
“They didn’t do what I wanted them to do, so I’m taking my toys and going home.”
Following Freeman’s benching on Wednesday, the Bucs’ former starting quarterback did not appear at any media sessions to discuss his situation. Instead, he opted to speak to ESPN in an exclusive interview, which clearly upset the team. The Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud reported the following:
"Freeman was benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon Wednesday but coach Greg Schiano said he would serve as the No. 2 quarterback. But that was before he broke his silence Thursday night in an exclusive interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson that was not authorized by the team."
During that interview, he admitted that there had been previous trade talks before his benching, which reveals the heart of the situation. Neither side of this situation finds any redeeming value left in the other side.
Josh Freeman was clearly done with the Buccaneers over the summer, which is likely when the trade talks he referred to began. He didn’t want to be second guessed by his head coach, who went back and forth with comments that suggested Freeman was the starter and suggesting that the Bucs would consider other options.
The Buccaneers, on the other hand, clearly did not want to move forward with Freeman, and feel as if he’s handled his disagreements with the team poorly. From missed team photos to unauthorized interviews, they’re clearly not happy with the former face of the franchise.
So why continue to put up with each other? The Buccaneers have a way to get rid of Freeman, and that’s via trade. Even if they have to absorb some of his salary, or only receive a late-round draft choice for him, it’s worth it for both sides to get rid of the toxicity of this situation.
And as Sander at BucsNation points out, the Buccaneers are unlikely to get a good compensatory draft choice for Freeman, if they get one at all. And since that pick wouldn’t come until 2015, the Buccaneers would be wise to accept even a 7th round choice for Freeman and get some sort of value from their departing QB.
Dan Orlovsky is a competent backup quarterback (and might actually be better than Mike Glennon at this early stage in his career), so the Buccaneers would still get a reasonable level of quarterback play should Glennon need to miss any time. But at this point, that should be the last of the Bucs’ concerns. See what Mike Glennon provides, and give a decent effort against the Cardinals to attempt to salvage the season that seems already lost.