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Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman gets another shot in CFL

Roy Cummings

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Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The odyssey of Former Buccaneers first round pick QB Josh Freeman has resumed, and this time, it’s north of the border. Freeman agreed on Friday night to a two year deal with the CFL’s Montreal Alouttes.

A TSN (Canadian version of ESPN) reporter broke the story of his signing:

It has been quite a fall for Freeman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, was the former potential franchise QB of the Buccaneers, but who has been completely out of the NFL the past two seasons.

Freeman’s success came in his second season in Tampa Bay, after having been drafted with the 17th overall pick out of Kansas State, he took over as the starter in 2010. He led the Bucs to a 10-6 record throwing 25 TD’s and only six interceptions that season, as the Bucs missed out on the playoffs in a three way tiebreaker.

The following season, Freeman and the Bucs crashed back to the bottom of the NFL, as he threw 16 TDs but his INTs skyrocketed to 22 that season. Tampa Bay fell apart mid-season, lost their final 10 games to finish 4-12 and coach Raheem Morris was fired after that losing streak to end his third season.

Then, when the Bucs hired former college coach Greg Schiano, Freeman enjoyed some more short lived success in 2012 as he threw for 4,065 yards for the only time in his career, 27 more TDs, but still 17 INTs. The Bucs went on a win streak midseason of four games to get to 6-4, but then promptly fell apart, again losing five straight and missing the playoffs.

Rumors of too much partying and possible drug use dogged Freeman in the Tampa Bay market.

It was at that point that Schiano made it apparent privately and, even publicly, that he and the Buccaneers were not going to invest franchise money in Freeman long term. The team drafted Mike Glennon out of N.C. State in the third round of the 2013 Draft and from the beginning of training camp that year, Schiano looked to rid the Bucs of Freeman.

After poor play and an 0-3 start that year, Schiano benched Freeman for Glennon in week four, as the Bucs played the Cardinals at home. They lost that game, too, but more importantly, and amazingly, Schiano convinced the Glazer family to outright release the quarterback, who had started 56 out of 57 games over the previous five years.

The Bucs did so, two days after the Cardinals loss still owing Freeman $6 million guaranteed and the Minnesota Vikings quickly picked him up after he cleared waivers.

The Bucs lost the next four games to drop to 0-8 and eventually fired Schiano the day after the season ended.

Meanwhile, Freeman never caught up from joining the Vikings in October, but their ownership wanted him to get a chance to play, and he did start in one game on Monday Night Football at the N.Y. Giants. Freeman was terrible throwing just 20-53 for 190 yards and a pick. He also suffered a concussion at some point in the second half of the game, and never played again in 2013 sitting the bench behind former #1 pick Christian Ponder.

The Vikings let his contract expire. The Giants themselves, picked up Freeman in April of 2014 as a potential backup to Eli Manning. However, another indication of not putting the work in or not being focused on football was him lasting just one month of the off season before being released by New York.

Freeman didn’t catch on anywhere else and sat out the 2014 season.

In 2015, the Dolphins gave Freeman his fourth different NFL shot and had him in training camp, where he was shaky at best. He played sparingly in the preseason and was released on their final cuts and sat almost the entire 2015 season.

That’s until, the Colts gave him his fifth NFL chance, signing him for the final game of the 2015 regular season, while they rested Andrew Luck. Freeman played in that final game coming on in the first half in relief and threw 15 of 28 for 149 yards one TD and one INT, as the Colts won the finale’ over the Titans at home 30-24.  However, he didn’t stick in Indy either and was released that off season.

And that ended his NFL career, to the moment.

In summation, Freeman has played in one regular season NFL game in the last four years and it was believed that he was basically finished.

That was until Montreal, who had worked him out in the summer of 2017 at a tryout camp, decided to work him out again recently this month, and signed him to a two year deal.

The Alouttes new coach is former Packers boss, Mike Sherman, who was just hired in December after the season ended.

As for Freeman, with the poor track record above, you have to wonder if he even makes it out of the Alouttes’ training camp and to their regular season later this summer.

If he cannot, you would have to think that the career that looked slated for stardom for Freeman with the Bucs in 2010 is completely over.

Once, and for all.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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