Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman discussed signing his first pro contract on Friday. Freeman and the Bucs came to contract terms on Friday morning, and the rookie quarterback was happy to have the negotiations behind him. Freeman was asked if felt relieved and if he had doubts that the contract would get done in time for him to be able to participate in the first practice.
"Yes, definitely," said Freeman. "With any situation where a rookie is signing a contract, and quarterbacks especially, there are always a lot of details that have to be taken care of. Fortunately I have a great agent."
Freeman's agent Ken Kramer and Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik handled the contract negotiation. Freeman said the contract discussions were never a distraction for him. The Kansas State product Freeman has been in Tampa in recent weeks working out at One Buc Place and getting ready for his first NFL training camp. Freeman said he occasionally wondered if the contract was going to get done on time, but did not worry about it very much.
"I didn't let it throw me off of my normal routine of running and throwing everyday, getting in some work with the guys and the playbook, and not really worrying about it," Freeman said. "I have great confidence in my agent, and Mark Dominik to get me in here on time. I pretty much relaxed."
The Bucs traded up two spots to the 17th overall pick with the Cleveland Browns to select Freeman in last April's NFL Draft. Tampa Bay gave up their sixth-round pick to move up those two spots. It was the first time the Bucs selected a quarterback in the first round of the draft since 1994 when they took Trent Dilfer. Freeman was the third quarterback drafted in the first round. Freeman played for Bucs head coach Raheem Morris during the 2006 season, when Morris was the Wildcats defensive coordinator.
Last season as a junior completed 224-of-382 passes for 2,945 yards with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran for 14 touchdowns. Freeman is a physical specimen that checks in at 6-foot-6, and 248-pounds. In his collegiate career he started 30 games and had a record of 14-16. For his career Freeman completed 59 percent of his passes (680 out of 1151) for 8,078 yards and 44 touchdowns with 34 interceptions. He ran for 835 yards and 20 touchdowns averaging 3.9 yards per carry.
For Freeman having it done on time before the first practice was a high priority.
"That definitely weighed heavily on the time frame we are in. I expressed to my agent that one of my main goals is become the starter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," said Freeman. "The best way to do that is to be in camp on time. It was definitely something needed some compromise, but it ended up working out."