Now that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are shelling out just under $6 million for the remainder of Josh Freeman's 2013 salary, a quarterback with 59 starts over the past five seasons is free for the taking.
Let's break down Freeman's potential landing spots.
- Oakland Raiders: The NFL is about connections. Freeman has one in Oakland with offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who ran the Buccaneers' offense during the quarterback's best seasons. Although Terrelle Pryor certainly has flashed potential, the organization has been skepticalthat he will emerge as the long-term solution. At the very least, Freeman could push Matt Flynn off the roster now that coach Dennis Allen has banished general manager Reggie McKenzie's acquisition to third-stringer.
- Green Bay Packers: Alex Van Pelt is the Packers' running backs coach. Three years ago -- when he was the Buccaneers' quarterbacks coach -- Van Pelt insisted there was no quarterback in the NFL for whom he would swap Freeman. Van Pelt said Thursday via ESPN.com that Freeman was "nothing but a pro" and there's "no doubt" his former pupil can be a starting quarterback again. Coach Mike McCarthy has been looking for Aaron Rodgers' backup since Flynn flew the coop after the 2011 season.
- Cleveland Browns: This team immediately leaked word that they weren't interested once Freeman was placed on the trade block one week ago. The Browns are concentrating on finding a "championship level quarterback," which would seem to preclude a flier on a scattershot quarterback with maturity concerns. That stance might change if Brian Hoyer tore ligaments in his knee Thursday, as the Browns suspect. The new regime clearly is not sold on Brandon Weeden.
- Tennessee Titans: General manager Ruston Webster and a few of the team's scouts have ties to the Buccaneers' front office. NFL Media's Albert Breer and Ian Rapoport each have expressed skepticism that the Titans will reach out to Freeman, even with no proven backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick while Jake Locker nurses his hip injury.