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Friday, January 10, 2014
No chance of Freeman encore with Bucs

By Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- As I opened my mailbag for Thursday morning’s post, there was one persistent question that I thought was worth tackling separately.

It was framed in a variety of ways by at least half a dozen readers, but the basic premise went something like this: Any chance of Josh Freeman coming back to the Buccaneers in 2014?

I get the logic. Lovie Smith and his new regime might not be sold on Mike Glennon. Wouldn’t it make sense for Freeman, who will be a free agent, to return to the Bucs now that Greg Schiano, who was perceived as the big, bad bully in last year’s coach-quarterback feud, is gone?

The answer is absolutely not. Even if the Bucs decide they have to bring in a quarterback, there’s no chance it will be Freeman. That ship sailed in Tampa Bay once and it’s not going to happen again.

Yes, Schiano undoubtedly could have handled the Freeman situation better. I still think Freeman could have been a franchise quarterback if things had been a little different. But this isn’t all about Schiano.

He’s gone, but ownership remains the same. Make no mistake about it, ownership played a heavy role in the decision to dump Freeman four games into last season. Schiano wasn’t acting alone. The Glazer brothers -- Joel, Bryan and Ed -- had to sign off on releasing Freeman.

You could say they took Schiano’s side. But I prefer to think the Glazers were acting in what they thought was the best interest of the franchise. The Glazers knew a lot more of the details about what was going on behind the scenes with Freeman than the rest of us.

They took that knowledge and decided to get rid of Freeman. They’re not about to bring him back.