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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.

Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?

Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.

Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,

Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:

“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”

“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option? 

The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.

After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”

While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.

Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.

The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020

Florida Football Insiders

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?

First, the team released another video with clues about them intending to change their uniform and potentially alter their logo:

The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:

“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”

As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.

This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,

The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.

NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.

It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.

The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.

Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.

So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.

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