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Josh Freeman trade tracker: Browns, Jags out?

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are open to trading Josh Freeman after benching him in favor of rookie third-round pick Mike Glennon.

Marc Sessler already has identified several teams in need of a quarterback, adding that the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns likely will solve their quarterback riddles in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Sessler's much-celebrated instincts were correct.

Mark Long of the Associated Press reported Wednesday that the Jaguars have "zero interest" in a Freeman trade.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio followed up with a report that the Browns are out of the Freeman trade market. The new regime's goal of navigating the "critical path to the Super Bowl" includes an emphasis on finding a "championship level quarterback," which understandably debars a scattershot passer with maturity concerns.

The biggest hurdle to any Freeman trade, according to Florio, is that the quarterback is not inclined to accept a pay cut or sign an extension as part of a trade.

Freeman still has $6.44 million due on his guaranteed base salary of $8.43 million. With free agency on the horizon, any team interested in acquiring his services would have to make it worth his while to restructure.

In other words, there is no incentive for Freeman to accept less than $7 million in guarantees as part of a trade. He's going to collect that money to sport a visor and hold a clipboard behind Glennon in Tampa Bay.

Of all the teams in obvious need of a quarterback, Jacksonville is the only one with the available cap space to pull off a trade without a restructured contract.

The bottom line is that Freeman essentially is untradeable unless a situation arises similar to the Minnesota Vikings' desperate fling with Donovan McNabb two summers ago. The two sides found enough common ground to clear the hurdle of McNabb's $10 million bonus while also satisfying the Washington Redskins' need for draft-pick compensation.

One team to watch is the Oakland Raiders, if only for the connection to coordinator Greg Olson, who ran the Buccaneers' offense back when NBC Sports analyst Cris Collinsworth ranked Freeman ahead of Matt Ryan and Eli Manning among NFL quarterbacks.

In fact, one former Bucs offensive assistant insisted at the time that there was no quarterback in the league he would swap straight-up for Freeman, who was coming off a breakout 2010 season.

If Olson regarded Freeman in a similar light three years ago, he might be inclined to float the idea by his front office, even with Terrelle Pryor showing promising signs.

At this point, though, the planets are not aligned for a Freeman trade.

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