(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
TAMPA - By late October, there is little doubt Josh Freeman will be playing for another NFL team. Of course, if there is a taker.
Once considered the franchise player of this team has been benched, and it was made clear that the team was moving ahead without him, period.
Oh, Josh will backup rookie Mike Glennon on Sunday against Arizona.
But don't hold out any hope that Freeman will resurrect himself in the starting QB position here in Tampa.
The question is why?
Head Coach Greg Schiano said it was strictly based on Freeman's performance. The Bucs have lost nine of their last ten games going back to last season.
Were all those losses Freeman's fault? Heck no.
But someone's head had to roll for this regression, and Freeman is one who falls on the sword.
Could this move be looked at as a hopeful job saver for the coaching staff and GM Mark Dominik?
Yes it can.
I can assure you that the meeting of the minds on Tuesday that precipitated this move has the stamp of Schiano and Dominik, with the Glazer's giving their approval.
Rarely does a team owner object to what his key staff recommends.
They do however, hold those two accountable if no progress is seen the remainder of this season.
I am definitely not convinced that this was strictly an on-field performance decision.
I am convinced that there were plenty of off-the-field issues that contributed greatly to Freeman's demise.
For one, the well-publicized no shows to his football camp and early morning team photo session.
Oh, there was another team meeting he missed, and for the exclamation mark, Freeman not voted a captain by his peers.
It was that vote that raised a huge red flag.
To be your so called franchise quarterback and not be elected captain by your peers says volumes.
Oh, the player can spin it any way they want. It was a telling tale of where Freeman has fallen.
It pains me to write this because I do like Josh. He is a likeable guy. You would be hard pressed to find anyone in that locker room that be considered his adversary.
I've given him as much rope as I could in the hopes he would develop into what a fifth-year quarterback in this league should be.
However, as I sit here writing this blog, I must admit I was wrong.
My only contention with Josh leading up to this hour, going back for two years, was his lack of leadership.
He didn't carry himself like a leader with the media. He didn't have the conviction in his words when he spoke to us.
He seemed guarded, or had a hard time saying what he wanted to say.
I've listened to enough franchise QB's in my day to know who has conviction in their words, quick and precise in their thoughts.
It just seem that Josh was so laid back, almost lethargic.
There seemed to be little passion coming out of him.
I just for the life me can't figure out why.
My biggest concern is that Freeman's Achilles heel hangs off the field.
Something is not right.
You don't blow off three functions in a short period of time. Oversleeping, flat tire, dog ate my term paper.
It's called accountability. That, at least in the eyes of Schiano, is kaput.
Whatever is hindering Freeman, whatever is bothering him, I sure hope he gets it solved.
Seen far too many athletes with talent waste their gift.
Make no mistake jobs are on the line here. Schiano's, Dominik's, and others.
Whether Glennon realizes it or not, the fate of this franchise moving forward is in his hands.
For Freeman, it will be new vista, a new venue-maybe.