Yes, Josh Freeman had to go. He had become a cancer at One Buc. Or so we are told.
Yes he probably endured a lot from Greg Schiano, which may or may not have been above and beyond how a coach should ever treat his players.
But Josh Freeman had a time frame when he was one of the Best QBs the Bucs have ever drafted, and looked to have a promising career. Let's not forget a penalty on Kellen Winslow II against Detroit cost Tampa Bay a playoff spot, and with Green Bay winning the Super Bowl from the wildcard spot, there is no telling how far the Bucs could have gone that year with that mentality.
Fact: No Bucs rookie QB ever had such a debut as Freeman did against the Green Bay Packers, heavily favored against the Bucs in the first ever throwback game. I was at One Buc the night before the game for a throw back celebration of all the 1979 Tampa Bay players, flown in by the Glazers for the event.
Freeman was a cool, quiet dude who made you feel like he could be something special. He was in that game. He took it over in the 4th quarter and threw three touchdown passes to lead the Bucs to a victory. His rookie year, well he looked like one at times. But there was something there that showed you he could be special.
Then he came out in 2010 and ripped up the league. He ran the ball, he threw the ball. His deep passes were a thing of beauty, and you couldn't help but fall in love with this kid.
Somewhere, that is all gone now, replaced by memories of a man who could not put in the same effort anymore, for whatever reason. We can pin this on Schiano, and we can pin it on Freeman too. Heck, we can even toss or sprinkle a little blame on Raheem Morris for coddling. But in the end, if this is a results driven league, then the only result I'm concerned about is that Josh Freeman, at one point as a Buc, was getting it done like few ever have.
So thats what this video represents. Set to what I think is an appropriate song, lets look back and remember the day when the future, and Josh Freeman, were bright on the horizon. Next year we will probably draft a new franchise QB, but do not be surprised if Freeman resurrects his career somewhere, learning the lessons of the day, and fueling the fires that do exist within.