Let me introduce you to the man that has ruined my idea of hope. 2009 NFL Draft. 1st round pick. 17th overall. Traded up two spots to get him. Kansas State legend. Josh. Freeman.
So you’re telling me we drafted a 6’6 giant who has an absolute gun for an arm and is a true pocket passer. He even has some mobility and can run when needed? I love it. We hadn’t drafted a quarterback in the first two rounds since Shaun freaking King. Yeah, I was ecstatic to not have Jeff Garcia (sorry Philly) and Josh Johnson flinging the ball around Raymond James Stadium. We add the prodigal son Josh Freeman to a team that went 9-7 last year. I’m expecting great things. I have hope.
Now before I start on his career here is an interesting scouting comparison for Josh before the draft:
“Player Comparison: JaMarcus Russell. Russell had questionable intangibles coming out of LSU with a cannon for a right arm (Freeman’s arm is not as strong as Russell’s). His accuracy in the NFL is horrendous, but he still shows amazing upside.
Note: I am not saying Freeman is the next Jamarcus Russell (as far as a bust in the NFL so far) just that they are very comparable as prospects.”
You never want to see that.
But guess what? Josh Freeman gave me hope because he was actually good at the beginning of his career.
Undoubtedly his first year was very difficult as he struggled with the blitz and accuracy. But boy 2010 was an absolute year for Josh. Coming into the year things were looking great, we had a defense that featured newly drafted Gerald McCoy, a developing Michael Bennett, Aqib Talib, and Geno Hayes. Offensively, LeGarrette Blount dominated training camp, Donald Penn was ready to anchor the line and Kellen Winslow was going to be Josh’s main weapon. I had such high hopes. And it actually worked out. Freeman was light out with 25 TDs and 6 Int the entire year. He was dropping dimes like the one below and he truly looked like a franchise quarterback. Sophomore slump? No thanks.
Some accolades from his 2010 year:
-Best QB rating in franchise history
-Most 4th quarter comebacks in a single season in franchise history
-Most passing touchdowns in a game
-Twice Named NFC Player of the Week
We should have made the playoffs at 10-6 but sometimes the ball doesn’t roll your way. Again going into 2011 I had never been more hopeful for a team in any sport. Adding big Albert Haynesworth, drafting Adrian Clayborn, and keeping most of our team from the year before and we were in good shape. Josh was the key to our success, this was the year to put up those All-Pro numbers and show that tall quarterbacks are great quarterbacks.
So what happened? He sucked. Awful decision making. Terrible accuracy (don’t let the completion percent shroud the truth). We went 4-12. From there Josh played with my heart. He threw 27 touchdowns with terrible accuracy and a ton of interceptions in 2012 after fortunately going 7-9. In 2013 it all ended. Josh was atrocious the first three weeks of the year and was benched for Mike Glennon (remember him?). He missed the team photo, was not named captain, and lured as trade bait. Eventually he was cut that same year. I thought his name would be in the Ring of Honor. John Lynch, Lee Roy Selmon, and Josh Freeman.
My hope has been damaged ever since. I’m scared to trust Jameis Winston. He has some attributes that are Freeman-esque and scare me to death. The hero of my franchise could not even make the Montreal Alouettes practice squad this summer. My hope has disappeared just like Josh Freeman.