Best QB from Class of 2009? Josh Freeman

June, 20, 2011
6/20/11
4:46
PM ET
Over on our main NFL page, we’ve got a Hot Button debate on which quarterback from 2009 will have the best career.

John Clayton argues the case for Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman and Kevin Seifert presents Matthew Stafford. New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez also is on the ballot and I encourage you to go over there and cast your vote. I just did.

I voted for Freeman and it wasn’t even close. I think the guy who took the Bucs from 3-13 to 10-6 in his first full season as the starter has way more upside than Sanchez and Stafford. I’m not trying to sell either of those guys short. Sanchez already has proven to be a solid NFL quarterback, but I don’t see him as the type of guy who can carry an offense on his own. Stafford’s had some bright moments, but hasn’t gotten his career firmly on track.

Freeman’s so big and strong that it’s tough to imagine injuries ever having a big impact on him. More importantly, there’s no doubt Freeman can carry an offense. He already did it last year.

He took the Bucs to the cusp of a playoff berth in a season where the team often was starting rookies Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn at wide receiver and LeGarrette Blount at running back. The Bucs also were playing a lot of young offensive linemen.

Freeman still managed to throw for 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. Imagine what he can do when the players around him grow up?

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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