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Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Josh Freeman for MVP?

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Colleague Mike Sando has his weekly MVP Watch up and the usual suspects, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, are on there, although they sort of flip-flopped after the Saints defeated the Falcons on Monday night. But Sando’s got an unusual suspect on there and it’s good to see because I don’t think this guy has received the recognition he deserves.

That’s Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman. He’s No. 10 on the list. But it’s significant that he’s even on the list for the first time. When Sando e-mailed last night to say he was leaning toward putting Freeman on the list and asked for my thoughts, I told him I thought it was an excellent idea.

Is Freeman going to win the MVP this year? No, but if you’re throwing out 10 names, I think he’s done enough to belong on the list. In fact, part of my response to Sando was something like, “take Freeman out of the picture and the Bucs are lucky to be a two-win team’’.

They’ve got nine wins so far and a shot at the playoffs. I’ve got a hunch that down the road, Freeman’s going to develop into a realistic MVP candidate. It might take a couple more years, but it’s good to see the process has started.

By the way, the Tampa Bay media relations team just handed out a great statistic on Freeman. He threw five touchdown passes without an interception in Sunday's win over Seattle. He also is 22 years old. The last 22-year-old quarterback to throw five touchdown passes and not be intercepted? That gentleman's name is Dan Marino.