The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent generously to upgrade a porous defense in hopes of giving Josh Freeman every opportunity to be successful.
The fifth-year pro is entering the final season of the contract he signed as a rookie in 2009. He likely needs to lead the Bucs to the playoffs to prove he's worthy of the hefty pay raise he could command next year.
Tampa Bay hasn't made the playoffs since 2007 and doesn't have a postseason victory since winning the Super Bowl 11 years ago.
''There's always going to be pressure, but it's all internal,'' Freeman said, shrugging off the notion that because of his contract status there's a greater sense of urgency to get the Bucs over the hump.
''When I look at things, look at what I want to be and who I want to be as a player, it exceeds everything that anybody else could hope for,'' the 25-year-old added. ''When I leave the game, I want to be regarded as one of the best who ever played.''
Freeman became the first passer in team history to thro...