Could the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Trade Josh Freeman to Jacksonville Jaguars?
Quarterbacks are the most important players on a football field simply for the fact that they handle the ball more than anybody else. So it becomes even more imperative that every team gets the position right or they risk wallowing in mediocrity, or worse, for years. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers know this well. They haven't reached the playoffs since veteran Jeff Garcia was under center back in 2007. Hopes are high their new man in charge has what it takes to finally get them back there.
Freeman fighting more than NFL defenses
By conventional standards one would think Josh Freeman had a very good year for the Buccaneers in 2012. He threw for 4,065 yards with 27 touchdowns. However, a lot of people, including his own coaches, see deeper issues than those two "warm and fuzzy" stats. He only completed 54% of his passes, down from 62% the year before despite taking three fewer sacks (26). He threw seven more passes than in 2012 and had 40 fewer completions. Yet the most troubling statistic is the same reason Freeman is in hot water in the first place. Not only did he fumble ten times and lose two of them, but he also tossed 17 interceptions. Franchise quarterbacks almost never commit 19 turnovers.
Greg Schiano didn't draft Mike Glennon to ride the bench
This hasn't put him in a bad spot with teammates so far but Freeman is not in the best standing with head coach Greg Schiano. The former college coach from Rutgers inherited Freeman from previous coach Raheem Morris. Team ownership had hoped Schiano could get the most out of the first round draft pick. One might say he did last year. Not that it won him over. If there is one thing head coaches hate from their offense it is turnovers. If Freeman can't protect the football he may put in somebody who can. That would explain why the team drafted N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon in the third round of the draft. The 6'7" passer has the height, arm and technique to thrive in the NFL, especially when protected. If Freeman doesn't start off this season well, with him being a free agent next year Tampa Bay may choose to make a switch. Pushing it further, could they even avoid the controversy by trading him somewhere else?
Gus Bradley gambling on Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne
How long will it take for Josh Freeman to lose his job?
Everyone plainly knew that the Jacksonville Jaguars needed a quarterback when they entered draft weekend. However, head coach Gus Bradley and the front office agreed that no quarterback was going to win for them until they improved the overall roster. So they drafted Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel and spent the remaining bulk of the draft working on the defense. It wasn't a flashy strategy but it was one that needed to happen. It also displayed how Bradley was fixing to gamble the 2013 season on the quarterbacks he already had. Blaine Gabbert was taken in the first round of the 2011 draft. Many believed he has the physical skill to succeed but not enough of the mechanics and intangibles. Yet the team saw fit to start him almost right away. In the past two seasons, or 25 games, he has taken 62 sacks, tossed 17 interceptions to just 19 touchdowns. People wonder if his mind is quick enough to handle the speed of the pro game.
That could explain the cries for backup Chad Henne instead. In just ten games playing on an injury-riddled offense he still managed over 2,000 yards passing. More than that though he seemed more decisive and effective in the huddle than Gabbert. Either way fans and the coaches will get plenty of looks at both quarterbacks throughout the off-season as they battle for the starting job.
What nobody has really mentioned since it almost never happens is the possibility of a trade. If Bradley feels Gabbert and Henne aren't doing the job and that a deal with another team can get his offense going, would Jacksonville consider it? For his faults Freeman has performed better on a whole than either Jaguar quarterback. If the Buccaneers feel they can move forward with Glennon, then finding a fair deal to send Freeman to Jacksonville could become a win-win for both teams.
They will have until week 8 of the regular season to make a decision.