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Cleveland Browns Rumors: Could Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman Be on His Way to Cleveland?
By Sam Ingro
Reports coming out of the league have indicated that the marriage between quarterback Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could quickly be coming to an end.
It should come as no surprise to a lot of fans around the league.
Many speculated when former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano took over the reigns of the franchise from embattled coach Raheem Morris, that Freeman didn’t fit the profile of what he looks for in a quarterback.
The main report comes from CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco, who stated, “I keep hearing the talk that the Bucs (as in Schiano) don’t really like Josh Freeman and visa-versa.”
With a poor showing last season, when many expected a breakout year, it’s no wonder that Schiano would be frustrated with his young quarterback. It could also indicate that the Bucs are looking to move Freeman; and the obvious fit would be the Cleveland Browns.
With the status of incumbent quarterback Brandon Weeden in doubt, Freeman becomes the perfect fit for the Browns. After a sub-par rookie season, some fans aren’t willing to give up on their 2012 first rounder so quickly, but a new coaching staff typically means new quarterbacks. The Cleveland front office has indicated they will bring in competition for Weeden, but is a trade for Freeman in their plans?
There is no denying that he has the intangibles that new head coach Rob Chudzinski looks for. Freeman possesses a rocket arm, a strong physique, mobility and he’s also experienced. The fact that he just turned the age of 25, making him almost five years younger than Weeden, is only icing on the cake. For offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who has coached Philip Rivers in San Diego recently, he’s also used to having tall and strong-armed passers at his disposal.
The only issue could be the cost.
Despite wanting to move Freeman, the simple fact is that the only other option Tampa Bay has on their roster is journeyman Dan Orlovsky. What does that mean for Cleveland? It won’t be cheap. If the Browns are looking to acquire Freeman, they will likely have to put together a deal that helps the Bucs pick up their quarterback for 2013 as well. Without the Browns owning a second round pick, the best they could offer is a third rounder plus future considerations.
If Tampa Bay falls in love with a middle round quarterback prospect like Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson or Tennessee’s Tyler Bray, it could very well indicate the departure of Freeman from the Bucs, and the arrival of a new quarterback to the shores of Lake Erie.
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