Originally written on XLJournal  |  Last updated 10/21/14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman is entering the final year of his current contract. That means there is a greater sense of urgency for Freeman to finally prove that he is capable of being a franchise quarterback in the NFL. This is always the case for any player entering the last year of his contract. Playing well means more money when the time comes to sign a new contract. In Freeman’s case, that is only the beginning of what is at stake for the now 5th year quarterback. The Buccaneers had a disappointing season last year, finishing 7-9 and out of playoff contention. In a league that values instant success above all, the 1st stage of Freeman’s career has been a let down. The only year in which he led the team to a winning record was 2010, when the Bucs finished 10-6. Freeman threw just 6 INTs that year, which is significant seeing that he has thrown 39 in the two years since. That said, Freeman’s 2012 was not bad by any means. He threw for over 4,000 yards for the first time in his career, and threw more touchdowns, a career high 25, than interceptions, 17. The aspect of his game that he struggled with last season was his ability to complete passes. His completion percentage dropped from a career high 62.8% in 2011, to just 54.8% in 2012. The bigger issue in 2012 though, was the inability to win games. This cannot be totally blamed on Freeman. In fact, most of the blame probably lies with porous pass defense that frequently allowed big chunks of yardage threw the air. The team also could not hold leads at the end of games as a result. With the moves the team has made through free agency, and with the draft only a few weeks away, Tampa is expected to be much improved on that side of the ball in 2013. This makes the play of Freeman all the more important. If he progresses further in his development then the Bucs can expect to be players late in the season when playoffs are the goal. If he stumbles again, expect Tampa Bay to be looking for a new quarterback this time next year.   Follow me on Twitter: @BrigantiJoeXLJ
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

World Series: Game Two live blog

Seahawks players think Russell Wilson isn’t "black enough"

Bill Belichick sent Darrelle Revis home yesterday as punishment

Report: Texas to pay scholarship athletes $10K per year

Report: Widespread academic fraud occurred at North Carolina

NHL postpones Senators/Leafs game after Ottawa shootings

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lions send player home from London after cutting him

Brandon Marshall on Jay Cutler: We're like brothers

NBA Board of Governors votes against NBA draft lottery reform

Jamaal Charles admits he hid concussion symptoms

Kobe Bryant on ESPN article: ‘I just kind of roll with it’

Georgia releases statement about Todd Gurley's status

WATCH: Cutest grandma challenges Dwyane Wade to game of one-on-one

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

Porn star: No one parties harder than Sebastian Janikowski

Outrageous college football predictions: Week 9

World Series Game 2 Preview: Giants vs. Royals

Michigan St. fans troll Michigan campus, paint 'M' green

NFL MVP Watch Week 8: Is Manning still the King?

Fan blows $300 buying hot dogs for his section at World Series

Mo’ne Davis' Chevy commercial won't affect amateur status

WATCH: Isaiah Thomas forces OT, stares down Mayweather

10 bold predictions for Week 8 of NFL season

Buccaneers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

World Series: Game Two live blog

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.