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michael89156

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« : December 06, 2012, 12:07:57 AM »



Bucs should sign QB Josh Freeman to long-term extension now

 By Tom Jones, Times Staff Writer
 In Print: Thursday, December 6, 2012





Josh Freeman, who can become a free agent after next season, likely would get an extension worth at least $100 million from the Bucs.
 [DANIEL WALLACE | Times]
 


Sign him. There's no reason to wait. We've seen enough.

Josh Freeman is the man. Today. Tomorrow. Next Sunday. Next season. For years to come.

Freeman is the franchise quarterback the Bucs have been looking for since … well, forever.

General manager Mark Dominik might as well pick up the phone right now and call Freeman's agent, who also happens to be Freeman's father, to start discussing a long-term contract extension. The conversation starts at about $100 million.

What's the hurry, you say? Freeman still has four games left this season and then all of next season on his original five-year, $26 million contract. Why not wait?

Here's what I say: Why wait?

What, you still don't believe in Freeman? You think there's an available quarterback out there who is better? Are you ready to start from scratch with someone new?

Let's look at Freeman and why the Bucs should get cracking on that long-term extension.

He is the franchise QB

Freeman's detractors will talk about completion percentage and this bad throw and that bad read and argue Freeman is not a franchise quarterback. But at this point, he has to be. The Bucs are married to him now. Starting over with another quarterback isn't realistic.

What are you going to do, take someone else's scrub such as the 49ers' Alex Smith or the Dolphins' Matt Moore? That's no upgrade. Maybe Freeman is not a top-10 quarterback, but he's hovering just outside that neighborhood and certainly better than any quarterback carrying a clipboard.

With the success of the Colts' Andrew Luck and Redskins' Robert Griffin III, there's a school of thought that a rookie can come in right away and make an impact. But you're not going to get one of those studs unless you're at the bottom of the league and the top of the draft. Besides, rookie success doesn't guarantee anything. Just look at Carolina's Cam Newton.





CHRIS ZUPPA | Times]
Josh Freeman’s 23 touchdowns in 2012 are more than Matt Ryan and his eight interceptions fewer than Peyton Manning.


He has earned it

Freeman's 31/2-year career as a starter has gone up and down, but this really is the only season where he can be fairly judged. This is the first time he has been surrounded by real talent.

Last year, Freeman's best target was Kellen Winslow Jr., who isn't even in football anymore. Dezmon Briscoe led the team with six touchdown catches. He's barely in the league. Leading rusher LeGarrette Blount ran for fewer than 800 yards and couldn't catch a cold out of the backfield. No wonder Freeman had a lousy season.

Now look at this year. With a real No. 1 receiver in Vincent Jackson and a star running back who can run and catch in Doug Martin and Mike Williams moving from a No. 1 receiver to a No. 2, Freeman is having his best season.

He has thrown 23 touchdowns — more than Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub. He has thrown only eight interceptions — fewer than Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. He's on pace for a career-high 4,000 yards. His 92.1 rating is tied for 10th in the league with Brees. He continues to show a knack for fourth-quarter comebacks.

Oh, here's another aspect that cannot be ignored. In a league where quarterbacks get hurt all the time, Freeman has missed one start since getting the No. 1 job 53 games ago.

Potential remains high

As good as he is now, you have to think Freeman will only get better. The kid is only 24. That's younger than Sam Bradford. That's the same as Ryan Tannehill. And he has more NFL starts than those two combined. He's barely older than Luck, who has started 40 fewer games than Freeman.

"Absolutely, he has continued to improve,'' said Mike Sullivan, Freeman's third offensive coordinator in four seasons. "If you look at the touchdown-to-interception ratio, that's always going to be a big indicator. I think he has made great strides in his mechanics and his fundamentals, and I think he's headed in the right direction.''

What kind of deal are we talking about?

Well, Ryan and the Ravens' Joe Flacco are going to get contract extensions in the offseason. Both came in the year before Freeman but are three years older.

Ryan could get $20 million a year. Flacco could bring in $16 million, maybe more. Don't be surprised if Freeman slots somewhere between the two. Brace yourself. We're talking something like six years for upwards of $100 million.

No question that's a lot of money. But that's the going rate.

Final thought

There certainly is a risk of signing Freeman sooner rather that later. The Jets signed Mark Sanchez to a fat extension last offseason, and Jets fans are ready to run him out of New York. There's a risk in waiting, too. Prices might go up. Freeman might get a wandering eye.

But here's the deal: Freeman likely isn't going anywhere. You rarely see a quarterback test the open market after his first contract. If Freeman looks like he's headed in that direction, the Bucs could place a franchise tag on him and will have to pay him crazy money anyway. And serious conversations about a new contract probably won't happen until after the season.

Here's the point: It's time to come out and say Freeman is your guy. It's time to put the future of the franchise in Freeman's hands.

It starts with a phone call.

It ends with a signature.





Tom Jones can be reached at tjones @tampabay.com and heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620.

JDouble

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« #1 : December 06, 2012, 07:35:01 AM »

Yes we should....but I'd still draft EJ Manuel in the 2nd round. As Pat Kirwin keeps explaining, the new concussion rules are rewriting the way teams look at the back up QB position. You really have to have a 2nd guy that you feel can comfortably lead the team. QBs can't just play though concussions anymore. You have to have a legit option for a 2 or 3 game stretch. I think Manuel is that guy.


Dolorous Jason

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« #2 : December 06, 2012, 07:45:12 AM »

Yes we should....but I'd still draft EJ Manuel in the 2nd round.


Why ?? Manuel has major flaws and would be a project... That would be a serious reach with all our needs on defense.


  Dan the Man works for me in a pinch.
« : December 06, 2012, 07:48:35 AM Fire Mark Dummynik »

What is your point? I was wrong? Ok. You win. I was wrong.

           

TBayXXXVII

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« #3 : December 06, 2012, 08:24:41 AM »

Wait... isn't this the same writer who said just 2 days ago that the Bucs were 0-6 vs good QB and 6-0 vs bad ones... and basically said it's Freeman's fault?  Now he wants the Bucs to sign him long term?

No.  They should absolutely not sign him to a long term deal.  If they do, they're guaranteeing that he'll be here for at least another 3 or 4 more years.  We could have the next Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith, Jason Campbell or David Garrard.  We could have the next Eli, Roethlisberger, Matt Scahub, or Jay Cutler.  There are too many unknowns.  Right now he's cheap (by NFL standards), and should stay that way.  If he's the kind of player that requires a big deal for him to perform well, I don't want him as my QB.  Determination for greatness is the reason I want my QB to always perform at his best.
« : December 06, 2012, 08:28:11 AM TBayXXXVII »

MalcolmsPotofGold

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« #4 : December 06, 2012, 08:29:10 AM »

I do like the idea of drafting another quarterback to groom as a back up, but please god not Manuel. Who are some of the quarterbacks likely to go in the later rounds? We have too many other issues to use a 2nd round pick on another QB.

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« #5 : December 06, 2012, 08:41:54 AM »

No....Freeman is not the answer.   Freeman = Jason Cambell

JDouble

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« #6 : December 06, 2012, 08:58:48 AM »

Wait... isn't this the same writer who said just 2 days ago that the Bucs were 0-6 vs good QB and 6-0 vs bad ones... and basically said it's Freeman's fault?  Now he wants the Bucs to sign him long term?

No.  They should absolutely not sign him to a long term deal.  If they do, they're guaranteeing that he'll be here for at least another 3 or 4 more years.  We could have the next Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith, Jason Campbell or David Garrard.  We could have the next Eli, Roethlisberger, Matt Scahub, or Jay Cutler.  There are too many unknowns.  Right now he's cheap (by NFL standards), and should stay that way.  If he's the kind of player that requires a big deal for him to perform well, I don't want him as my QB.  Determination for greatness is the reason I want my QB to always perform at his best.

Before saying Freeman doesn't compare to those guys like Eli....you should compare their numbers through the first 53 games. Freeman is equal or better than all those guys you listed.


TBayXXXVII

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« #7 : December 06, 2012, 09:20:10 AM »

Wait... isn't this the same writer who said just 2 days ago that the Bucs were 0-6 vs good QB and 6-0 vs bad ones... and basically said it's Freeman's fault?  Now he wants the Bucs to sign him long term?

No.  They should absolutely not sign him to a long term deal.  If they do, they're guaranteeing that he'll be here for at least another 3 or 4 more years.  We could have the next Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith, Jason Campbell or David Garrard.  We could have the next Eli, Roethlisberger, Matt Scahub, or Jay Cutler.  There are too many unknowns.  Right now he's cheap (by NFL standards), and should stay that way.  If he's the kind of player that requires a big deal for him to perform well, I don't want him as my QB.  Determination for greatness is the reason I want my QB to always perform at his best.

Before saying Freeman doesn't compare to those guys like Eli....you should compare their numbers through the first 53 games. Freeman is equal or better than all those guys you listed.

Whatever.  Freeman entered the league in a passer-friendly era, none of those guys did.  You can't compare their numbers and weigh them equally, you have to compare them based on how they rate against their peers.  Besides, I'm talking about end product... not current product.  Eli, Ben, Schaub, and Cutler are (and not exclusively), the tier below the elite guys... that's what we all hope he becomes.

To your stats point... in Eli's 2nd season, he had 3760 yards... Freeman had 3450.  On the face, they are comparable... but looking deeper, Eli was 5th in yards that year and Freeman was 13th.  When you look at the rest of the numbers across the board, Freeman's look better overall, but the fact that Eli threw 100 more passes tells you that Eli was asked to do more.  More responsibility leads to more mistakes.  Again, in their 3rd years their numbers similar... but again, one (Freeman), is doing it in a more pass-friendly league while the other (Eli), is not.  Cutler, whom a lot of people don't like, is way ahead of Freeman.  He's been extremely consistant from year 1 to today posting a mid to high 80's rating almost every year with a completion pct in the low 60's almost every year and has virtually no legitimate targets to throw to the last 3.

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« #8 : December 06, 2012, 09:26:35 AM »

After 53 games started.....

Josh Freeman -  1012/1703 for 59.4%    74 TDs to 54 Ints for an 82 QB rating.  11901 total passing yards with a 7 yards per pass average.

Eli Manning -   929/1670 for for 55.8%    69 TDs to 55 Ints for a 76.8 QB rating.    10152 total passing yards with a 6.1 yards per pass average.

Throw in the fact that Eli had all the same coaches and schemes for his first 53 games, and it makes Freeman's numbers even more impressive. Also, Freeman is 24 years old while Eli was 26 after 53 games.


Now Eli isn't the greatest QB to ever live, and he is certainly inconsistent....but he is considered to be elite by most and he has won two Super Bowls. How about we enjoy what we have instead of always taking the "Grass is Greener" approach to everything? Freeman needs to be locked up. Period.


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« #9 : December 06, 2012, 09:36:21 AM »

After 53 games started.....

Josh Freeman -  1012/1703 for 59.4%    74 TDs to 54 Ints for an 82 QB rating.  11901 total passing yards with a 7 yards per pass average.

Eli Manning -   929/1670 for for 55.8%    69 TDs to 55 Ints for a 76.8 QB rating.    10152 total passing yards with a 6.1 yards per pass average.

Throw in the fact that Eli had all the same coaches and schemes for his first 53 games, and it makes Freeman's numbers even more impressive. Also, Freeman is 24 years old while Eli was 26 after 53 games.


Now Eli isn't the greatest QB to ever live, and he is certainly inconsistent....but he is considered to be elite by most and he has won two Super Bowls. How about we enjoy what we have instead of always taking the "Grass is Greener" approach to everything? Freeman needs to be locked up. Period.
I agree. He won't command a record breaking deal either and I think it should be done.
« : December 06, 2012, 09:39:20 AM youngone »

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« #10 : December 06, 2012, 09:40:54 AM »

Wait... isn't this the same writer who said just 2 days ago that the Bucs were 0-6 vs good QB and 6-0 vs bad ones... and basically said it's Freeman's fault?  Now he wants the Bucs to sign him long term?

No.  They should absolutely not sign him to a long term deal.  If they do, they're guaranteeing that he'll be here for at least another 3 or 4 more years.  We could have the next Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith, Jason Campbell or David Garrard.  We could have the next Eli, Roethlisberger, Matt Scahub, or Jay Cutler.  There are too many unknowns.  Right now he's cheap (by NFL standards), and should stay that way.  If he's the kind of player that requires a big deal for him to perform well, I don't want him as my QB.  Determination for greatness is the reason I want my QB to always perform at his best.

Before saying Freeman doesn't compare to those guys like Eli....you should compare their numbers through the first 53 games. Freeman is equal or better than all those guys you listed.

Whatever.  Freeman entered the league in a passer-friendly era, none of those guys did.  You can't compare their numbers and weigh them equally, you have to compare them based on how they rate against their peers.  Besides, I'm talking about end product... not current product.  Eli, Ben, Schaub, and Cutler are (and not exclusively), the tier below the elite guys... that's what we all hope he becomes.

To your stats point... in Eli's 2nd season, he had 3760 yards... Freeman had 3450.  On the face, they are comparable... but looking deeper, Eli was 5th in yards that year and Freeman was 13th.  When you look at the rest of the numbers across the board, Freeman's look better overall, but the fact that Eli threw 100 more passes tells you that Eli was asked to do more in a 100 more attempts he only threw for 300 more yards. That would be three games at 100 yards per game. (and that's your seperator?)  More responsibility leads to more mistakes.  Again, in their 3rd years their numbers similar... but again, one (Freeman), is doing it in a more pass-friendly league while the other (Eli), is not.  Cutler, whom a lot of people don't like, is way ahead of Freeman.  He's been extremely consistant from year 1 to today posting a mid to high 80's rating almost every year with a completion pct in the low 60's almost every year and has virtually no legitimate targets to throw to the last 3.

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« #11 : December 06, 2012, 09:50:43 AM »

What is Freeman making out of his current top17 rookie contract? And what will he make then?
While speculation, Freeman does not look like a guy that just plays for another contract.

Actually, are we sure we can keep Freeman? Dude might want to play for a better team, better city etc. I'm pretty sure he will find a job in the nfl.

What are our alternatives? Cheaper FA upgrade available? How many year do we wanna wait to draft and develope an upgrade over Freeman?

Call me conservative, a pessimist, but the idea of a QB playing in Tampa better than Freeman are either totallly unrealistic or have a way to steep prize.
I better hold onto Freeman, just hoping he will be great one day, believing he is already on a good way there, compared to other great QB that did not outplay him at same age.
At best we prolly just get a slightly better QB than him, but in most cases we will be stucked with crappy QBs, having spend alot of money, draft picks or just time.

Freeman atleast provides hope for the better, everything else makes me fear for worse QB play.

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« #12 : December 06, 2012, 10:15:06 AM »

After 53 games started.....

Josh Freeman -  1012/1703 for 59.4%    74 TDs to 54 Ints for an 82 QB rating.  11901 total passing yards with a 7 yards per pass average.

Eli Manning -   929/1670 for for 55.8%    69 TDs to 55 Ints for a 76.8 QB rating.    10152 total passing yards with a 6.1 yards per pass average.

Throw in the fact that Eli had all the same coaches and schemes for his first 53 games, and it makes Freeman's numbers even more impressive. Also, Freeman is 24 years old while Eli was 26 after 53 games.


Now Eli isn't the greatest QB to ever live, and he is certainly inconsistent....but he is considered to be elite by most and he has won two Super Bowls. How about we enjoy what we have instead of always taking the "Grass is Greener" approach to everything? Freeman needs to be locked up. Period.
I agree. He won't command a record breaking deal either and I think it should be done.

This! ^

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« #13 : December 06, 2012, 10:16:33 AM »

I just love when people suggest that the Bucs should try to replace Freeman and they have no viable alternative. This season Freeman is on pace to break Brad Johnson's single season record for yards and possibly touchdowns. Freeman is a franchise QB imo, and while he is inconsistent at times you still have to look at the fact that he only 24 years old.  I for one can not wait until next season to watch how far this offense can go. 

Feel Real Good

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« #14 : December 06, 2012, 10:20:49 AM »

I just love when people suggest that the Bucs should try to replace Freeman and they have no viable alternative. This season Freeman is on pace to break Brad Johnson's single season record for yards and possibly touchdowns. Freeman is a franchise QB imo, and while he is inconsistent at times you still have to look at the fact that he only 24 years old.  I for one can not wait until next season to watch how far this offense can go.
Don't forget he also just passed Doug Williams for #2 career touchdown passes and is 4 away from being #1.

FRG is the most logical poster on this board.  You guys just don\'t like where the logical conclusions take you.
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