Bucs, Freeman wise to wait on deal

January, 15, 2013
1/15/13
10:15
AM ET
Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik said in radio interviews Monday that “no one’s in a hurry" to extend the contract of quarterback Josh Freeman.

That probably is the smart approach for both sides, even though Freeman’s current contract is set to expire after the 2013 season.

There was a time during the 2012 season when it seemed like a no-brainer for the Buccaneers to lock up Freeman. The quarterback was playing well as the team got off to a 6-4 start. But the Buccaneers slumped, losing five straight and finishing 7-9. Freeman also slumped, having back-to-back December games in which he threw four interceptions in each contest.

Although coach Greg Schiano has said the Bucs would like to bring in some competition, I don’t think the team is ready to give up on Freeman. He showed plenty of positives in 2012. But I think the team is taking the right approach now.

It only makes sense to see how Freeman starts off in 2013. If he plays well, there still will be time to sign him before he can become a free agent. If he struggles, the Bucs can move on because Freeman’s not locked into a lengthy contract.

Dominik said he has talked to Freeman’s agents and they’re fine with waiting as well. That also is the smart approach for Freeman and his agents. Even if the Bucs wanted to do a deal now, they likely wouldn’t sink huge money into a quarterback they still aren’t sure about.

The best thing Freeman can do is wait and then come out and have a huge 2013 season. If he does that, he’ll get his big contract and he and the Bucs will live happily ever after.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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