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July 11, 2013 @ 2:49 pm
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Stafford's Extension May Set Parameters For Freeman's Deal

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Who is the better QB – Matthew Stafford or Josh Freeman? At first glance it might be the Lions' signal caller, but is Stafford head and shoulders above Freeman? How will Stafford's contract extension impact Freeman's new deal? PewterReport.com has the answers and takes a look at the two 2009 draftees through their first four seasons.
With the news that the Detroit Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford agreed on a three-year, $43-million contract extension this week that keeps the former Georgia product in the Motor City through 2017, the Buccaneers and Josh Freeman most likely took notice.

The Bucs and Freeman will be at the negotiating table following the 2013 season if Tampa Bay can get to the playoffs. Looking at the two fellow 2009 first-round draftees' four years in the league, there are some similarities, and yet some major differences but if Freeman does earn a new contract in Tampa Bay, would the numbers be similar at an average of $15 million per season?

Stafford, who was the overall No. 1 draft pick in 2009, has been a fantasy football dream quarterback over the last two seasons, throwing for over 10,000 yards and 61 touchdowns, including a monster year in 2011. The Tampa-born Stafford had 5,038 yards and 41 TD tosses that season, and the Lions made the playoffs as a wild card team, losing to the Saints in a offensive display of firepower in the Superdome, 45-28. Last season, the Lions struggled (4-12) and Stafford’s TD pass numbers were also down (20), however Stafford still managed to throw for 4,967 yards.

Stafford struggled to stay healthy in the early part of his career, missing 13 games in 2010, but has rebounded to start all 16 games over the last two seasons. While Freeman has never led the Bucs to the playoffs, he has managed to stay relatively injury free, missing just one game against the Panthers in 2011. While Stafford's injury-prone label appears to have been shed, his ability to win against quality opponents is something he and the Lions need to see improve to justify the amount of money that has been committed since his rookie season, including the $43 million this past week.

In Stafford’s four seasons, he is just 1-23 record in games started against teams that finished the year with a winning record. Stafford’s overall winning percentage (37 percent) is also concerning to some in Detroit, although apparently not to management. Overall in his 45 career starts, Stafford has thrown for 12,807 yards, 80 touchdowns, 54 interceptions and has a quarterback rating of 82.8.

By comparison, Freeman through 57 career starts, has thrown for 12,963 yards with 78 TDs and 63 interceptions and boasts a career QB rating of 79.8. Freeman also has a better winning percentage (42 percent) than Stafford (37.7).

Freeman has yet to lead the Bucs to the playoffs, but many feel 2013 will be different.

So if Freeman and the Buccaneers are successful in 2013, his agents most likely have the parameters for a new deal. Based on stats heading into the 2013 campaign, the two fellow 2009 draftees are neck-and-neck. Circumstances out of Freeman’s control, such as injuries, play-calling and the play of Tampa Bay's defense, could be a factor is his success or failure this season. But outside of those factors, the ball is literally in Freeman’s court, and a look at Stafford’s deal should serve as all the motivation he needs.
Last modified on Thursday, 11 July 2013 15:45

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  • avatar

    I think Freeman is better than Stafford. I hope that this is a great year for him. It looks like the defense has been fixed and the better players on offense have become healed. So, what has not been fixed?.............PLAY CALLING problems! Football is a war and wars are won by the Generals. Don't put it all on Freeman. Like Brady's fine wife says, "he cannot throw it and catch it too!" I am sure Freeman will do his part to win the games. Go Free and Go Bucs.
  • avatar

    To clarify, I'm absolutely rooting for josh, but he hasn't proven he can carry a team. How many wins does he have when the running game isn't on fire? How many amazing catches do we need from Williams,Jackson, and co? You can't break the salary cap for him because he absolutely needs the help. I just think the lions made a mistake, and that doesn't justify us overpaying freeman. And if that's the game his agents want to play, it's time for a reality check. I hope he is our QB for 7-10 more years, but the beauty of this team is he doesn't need to be a top 5 QB to be a perennial contender with this kind of talent on the line and at the skill positions. He just needs to be consistent, and for the bucs to be able to keep talent around him
  • avatar

    I'm a big believer in J. Freeman and, he should continue to be our QB within comparing to any other team bc is we should be behind him as a player and person. That's why this season, we will be NFC South, Division and NFL Superbowl Champion - "Point Blank of the year". I declared and belived truly, as a BUCS'S LIFE ... in the name of God, Amen.
  • avatar

    Surferdudes: Right in the article above it says Freeman's has 78 TD's and 63 Int's. How is that a fact that Freeman has more picks than TD's?
  • avatar

    Fact is he's lost more games then he's won, and has thrown more picks then T.D.'s for his career. I don't know the stat, but I'd guess he's up there for the most three, and outs among starting Q.B.'s. You can blame last years defense to a large degree, but when you don't convert on 3rd downs, you're putting your D in a bad spot. Since his biggest knock is being inconsistent, it'd be foolish to give him a mega deal should he have a good season this year. If he does, my guess is Dom hits him with the franchise tag,and see if he can string two good seasons together before a long term deal can be worked out. Glennon is no threat this year, but that could change in 2014.
  • avatar

    Franchise tag definitely the way to go if Free puts up a good '13, risk to franchise too great to do anything else unless Dom can put together a 5 yr deal with an out in yr 2. Good call, 'dude
  • avatar

    Couldn't have said it better myself, Scubog. While I agree that the team is doing the right thing by seeing how the 2013 starts for leverage / confidence purposes, I have been in favour of the Bucs signing him Freeman to an extension ASAP. This will keep the price tag down (it should be less than Stafford, who was a #1 pick and with better stats). But if Freeman takes off this year, the cap situation will create casualties on the roster. Freeman is the best QB we have had in Tampa and if given the chance, he will be the franchise leader in all categories when all is said and done. What more do people want? The Mannings / Brady's of the world just don't grow on trees. Take care of what you have, Bucs.
  • avatar

    Blaming the QB is just the way it is Incredible. I'll never understand why people think winning and losing rests with just one man of a 53 man roster. At least here no one is calling for Orlovsky yet. My guess is that if Glennon looks good in pre-season the "I Like Mike" buttons will appear. Heck, this is a town that wanted Mike Rae and Jerry Golsteyn over Doug Williams and Chris Chandler over Vinny Testaverde. Some even wanted "Smoothie" King over Brad Johnson. In my opinion, after watching this team for 36 years, Freeman is the best we've had.
  • avatar

    Why is it so difficult for Bucs fans to get behind Freeman? He's a good kid who is growing into the position coming from a challenging beginning. These comments seem like 1/2 of you are wishing for him to fail so you can say you told everyone so and have us get Carson Palmer instead.... REALLY? Come on. Let's get behind this guy. He's got all the tools and the work ethic. Yes, he's been inconsistent but so has the whole team. I just don't understand what some of you are looking for in a QB.
  • avatar

    he's well outside the elite tier, and for him to win consistently the bucs need to have a lot of cap space to surround him with weapons. if josh wants to choose money over wins, let him do it in another jersey, we could plug in any number of QBs who would look great behind that monstrous OL handing off to doug martin or bombing it downfield to VJax and Mike Williams. a carson palmer type (3 yrs for $26m) would do just fine here.................... if freeman's agent really thinks he is worth $14m per year the bucs should play chicken. let josh field offers in free agency with a gentleman's agreement that the bucs can match the best offer he gets. i don't see anybody valuing him at more than $10 or $11m unless he plays a decisive role in a couple playoff wins this year.
  • avatar

    Stafford has been the better qb and started with an 0-16 team... hard to believe, but there were teams worse than us a few years ago :-) His TD/Int ratio is significantly better. As of today, Josh deserves significantly less than the Stafford deal, but I am hopeful that he'll earn a higher paycheck based on his play this season :-)
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