The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released quarterback Josh Freeman earlier today after several failed attempts to trade him, ESPN.com reported. Freeman, who was drafted 17th overall in 2009, played fairly well for Tampa Bay – he played his best during the 2010 season in which he threw for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns, only six interceptions and completed more than 60 percent of his passes. Now that Freeman is indeed a free man, and considering the team’s lack of depth at the position, the Oakland Raiders could potentially court the free agent quarterback.
Signing a player like Freeman, a big, mobile quarterback with a canon arm, just screams of the Oakland Raiders. It’s the type of move that the late Al Davis, in all likelihood, would not hesitate to make. It would not be urprising if current owner Mark Davis took after his father and went after Freeman, especially if he is losing patience.
Despite the team’s 1-3 record, Terrelle Pryor has performed well so far during his first season as the starter. Though the former Ohio State Buckeye is young, athletic and has unwavering confidence in his ability, Pryor is not invisible as he did suffer from a concussion during Oakland’s game against the Denver
Broncos during Week 3. No player in the NFL is invisible for that matter. Pryor has fully recovered from his symptoms and is scheduled to start this Sunday.
Pryor being fully cleared is fantastic. However, it is understandable that the Raiders would want to look for a more competent backup after Matt Flynn fell to third string in the Raiders depth chart after his lackluster performance against Washington last week, as reported by CBSSports.com. While new backup Matt McGloin was impressive during the preseason, he is still just a rookie who hasn’t seen the field since the regular season started. Freeman and Pryor are fairly similar quarterbacks who can throw the ball down the field and can scramble when it is necessary. Freeman is not as fast as Pryor, but he can certainly use his legs
to extend plays when his pocket collapses.
It would not be surprising if the Raiders, at the very least, give Freeman a hard look despite his current issues away from the field. Whether the team should go after him remains to be said. If head coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie whole-heartedly believe Pryor is the future, then they should stick with him and not go after Freeman. Previous cases have shown that “competition” between quarterbacks could backfire e.g. Mark Sanchez. Self-confidence is not an issue for Pryor and the Raiders should not to anything to compromise that, at least for the time being while he is playing well.