The drama is over: Buccaneers release Josh Freeman
Finally, the drama has come to an end. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Thursday that the Buccaneers have released Freeman. The team tried very hard to find a trade partner for the fifth-year signal caller, but no team was willing to part with even a late-round pick to acquire him. The Buccaneers decided to eat the $6.25 million of guaranteed money that remains on Freeman's salary to get him off the team.
Freeman was having by far the worst season of his career before being released. He was 0-3 as the starter with career-lows in completion percentage, touchdown rate, and passer rating. He also was averaging his lowest yards per game since his rookie season in 2009.
Despite his struggles, Freeman is a strong-armed quarterback who has shown some nice promise at certain points in his career. He led his team to a 10-6 record at the age of 22 while posting an impressive 95.9 passer rating back in 2010. There are surely coaches out there who feel that they could figure Freeman out and turn him back into a serviceable quarterback. He'll certainly generate interest on the open market, and could very well latch on with a team in the next 72 hours, though his immediate role on the team will almost certainly be as a backup.
As for the Buccaneers, they'll move forward with rookie Mike Glennon behind center. Glennon got the start while Freeman was still on the team in Week 4, but struggled after finding Mike Williams for a touchdown on his second drive of the game. Glennon turned the ball over three times while posting a pathetic 55.7 passer rating and 4.5 yards per pass attempt. I did not like Glennon's college tape, and I don't believe he can be the long-term solution for the Buccaneers, but they'll see what they have in him over the course of this season. Fortunately, he'll have one of his easier matchups of the year after his Week 5 bye when faces the Philadelphia Eagles.