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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
NFC South Top 25: No. 23

By Pat Yasinskas

We continue my NFC South Top 25 with No. 23:

Josh Freeman, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What he did in 2012: He completed 306 of 558 passes (54.8 percent) for a 4,065 yards with 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The passing yards and touchdown passes established new franchise records. That might sound like a pretty solid season. But you have to take into account the fact Freeman slumped mightily during a five-game losing streak that took the Bucs out of playoff contention.

Why he’s No. 23 in 2013: This clearly is a make-or-break season for Freeman as he heads into a contract year. Is he truly the kind of franchise quarterback that can take a team deep into the playoffs? Or do the Bucs need to go in another direction? We’ll find out this season and the outcome is up to Freeman. The Bucs have surrounded him with good talent on offense and defense. I think this will be the year that Freeman takes a big step forward.

For previous entries in the NFC South top 25, click here.