Teams that could pursue free agent QB Josh Freeman

Who could sign recently released QB Josh Freeman?

10/3/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Sep 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) sets to throw during the second half of the game against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY SportsIn most cases, when a former 17th overall pick is released at the age of 25, he's going to draw some interest on the open market. That should prove to be the case with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman, who was cut by the team that drafted him in 2009 on Thursday. Sure, Freeman has been horrendous this season, but he still has a strong arm to go with some solid mobility, and he posted a 10-6 record with a 95.9 passer rating in just his second season in the league. Freeman is a near-lock to be promptly scooped up by a team that thinks they can get him back on the path that he appeared to be on during the first few years of his NFL career. Here are some of the teams who may consider signing Freeman:

Jacksonville Jaguars: It's probably the first team that comes to mind for most people. Blaine Gabbert is horrible, and Chad Henne is clearly a backup-caliber talent. There is a lot wrong with the Jaguars' offense - especially since trading left tackle Eugene Monroe - but quarterback is the heart of their issues. Freeman would probably be an upgrade once he got a chance to learn the offense. I don't see the Jaguars signing Freeman, however, because I don't believe that winning games is very important to them right now - if it was, they wouldn't be starting Gabbert over Henne. The Jaguars likely have their eyes on a quarterback at the top of next year's draft, so I think they'd rather have the No. 1 overall pick rather than a few extra wins that could hurt their draft position.

Cleveland Browns: Just a few weeks ago this seemed like a great spot for Freeman, as Brandon Weeden was struggling and the Browns didn't seem to have any other viable options at quarterback. Brian Hoyer, however, has come in and won two straight games while helping the offense average 24.0 points per contest in his two starts. Hoyer may not be the long-term answer, but his play suddenly has Cleveland fans talking about the playoffs. I'm not sure that the Browns would want to bring in a high-profile quarterback when everything is going well at the moment.

Minnesota Vikings: This is an interesting one. Christian Ponder looks like he might be one more boneheaded play away from losing his starting job. Matt Cassel started for Ponder due to injury in Week 4 and played well, but after last season's performance it's tough to trust him to keep up the good play. With Ponder ailing, Cassel a wild card, and the team holding out hope for another run at the playoffs, Freeman could be an option. It's a near certainty that he would not start immediately if signed by the Vikings, but the team could use him as insurance in case their other two volatile quarterbacks begin to tank. I could see Minnesota as a possible landing spot and would be intrigued to see how Freeman would fit in there.

Tennessee Titans: With Jake Locker sidelined 4-6 weeks with a hip injury, the Titans are down to Ryan Fitzpatrick and Rusty Smith at quarterback. Fitzpatrick will start Week 5, but the weak-armed signal caller is no lock to succeed. Freeman is more similar to Locker as far as arm talent, which could allow the Titans to leave their playbook open if they opted to sign him. They could also simply add him to the roster as an upgrade over Smith (who has 234 yards, no touchdowns, and four interceptions on his career) at backup quarterback; then if Fitzpatrick struggles, they could plug in Freeman until Locker is healthy.
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