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Don’t fret, Freeman will arrive on time
Posted Jul 15, 2009 by Ira Kaufman
Updated Jul 15, 2009 at 12:23 PM
If Josh Freeman is as smart as Raheem Morris thinks he is, he’ll make sure he’s in camp on schedule.
Besides the big arm and the charisma, one of the first things that struck Morris about Freeman at Kansas State was the intelligence of the strapping quarterback. We’ll soon know whether Freeman is sharp enough to realize the rare opportunity that awaits him when Buccaneer players report to training camp July 31.
The 17th overall pick in the 2009 draft has a real chance to start if he wins over the coaching staff and outplays veterans Luke McCown and Byron Leftwich. But until Freeman signs a rookie contract, he won’t be allowed to participate when camp officially opens Aug. 1 at the team facility.
Let’s be honest—Freeman isn’t trying to beat out Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Donovan McNabb here. The quarterback job is wide open and Morris is already a big fan, so Freeman needs to be in camp from the start to give himself maximum exposure and enough reps to impress coaches, teammates and ownership.
Two other quarterbacks chosen in the opening round, No. 1 overall pick Matt Stafford of Detroit and Mark Sanchez of the Jets, have already agreed to deals with substantial guaranteed money. Freeman’s agent and Bucs GM Mark Dominik should both be equally motivated to secure an agreement in the next nine days so Freeman can pursue his dream.
There’s no reason at this point to think the two sides will be at an impasse when players report. The Bucs know that first-round picks, especially potential franchise quarterbacks, demand big money up front and Freeman knows he has a legitimate shot to stand under center when the Cowboys come to town Sept. 13.
Neither side can afford an early hiccup.