The Luxury Box: A Josh Freeman Sweepstakes?

The Luxury Box:
A Josh Freeman Sweepstakes?

A Rory Anderson column, follow me on twitter @holistic_pickle

There is a lot going on in Tampa Bay and frankly most of it I just don’t understand. Not only is there the entire Josh Freeman situation, but there is also news today that defensive end Adrian Clayborne will no longer be starting and is dealing with “confidence issues”. I entirely support any head coach that wants to put his stamp on a team, but there is an utter disaster brewing in Florida. From an outsider’s perspective, something simply does not add up. It seems as if the culture of chaos is so deeply engrained in this franchise they just cannot shake it. I wonder if these were the statements people made when the Buccaneers ruined and wasted the talents of Steve Young and then he got traded to San Francisco and went on to be a hall of fame player.

Freeman Gets Cut

Where does Josh go from here?

This is a very practical solution for this entire debacle. If this happens although I find it unlikely, any team can go after Freeman, and he may even be inclined to sign with a team that has a solidified starter simply to do some learning as a backup. If he is cut the Buccaneers will save 8.5 million dollars and will have done him a huge favor. Remember, Freeman is only 25 years old and has pretty solid mechanics, but he could definitely use a mentor to help teach him all the things he never learned in Tampa Bay. If he is cut there should be some pretty solid interest from multiple teams and I am sure he would get signed fairly quickly wherever he would want to play. A team such as the Texans may consider signing him to a multi-year contract for a minimal salary and see how things progress with Matt Schaub.

Cleveland Browns

Brian Hoyer has led the Browns to two consecutive wins and is a favorite of new general manager Mike Lombardi, but that does not stop me from thinking he would not jump on the opportunity to grab Freeman if only for a backup. I am not entirely sold on Hoyer and I doubt he is the long term solution in Cleveland. At a minimum the Browns could bring in Freeman to compete with him and see if one of those guys can be their franchise quarterback going forward. Freeman would be a nice fit with the Norv Turner offense and its downfield passing working off playaction, but most of all, Norv could really have a calming influence on him. Of course, all of this goes out the window if in fact the Browns are preparing themselves to draft Teddy Bridgewater quarterback from Louisville.

Jacksonville Jaguars

This team is clearly headed for the number one overall pick and the opportunity to draft Bridgewater, but that does not stop a general manager or a head coach from wanting to add a better player especially at the quarterback position. The combination of Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert is an insult to the position and this team has a pair of solid receivers now that Justin Blackmon is off suspension. Overall this seems like a fairly unlikely place for Freeman to be traded to unless the Jaguars wanted to trade Maurice Jones-Drew and operate with a run heavy scheme with two very talented running backs. Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano has expressed his intent to have a run based offense and the NFL has seen some prolific tandems including the pairing of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew when MJD was a rookie.

Oakland Raiders

As all the readers should know, I am a Raiders fan and I can tell you first hand, the performance of Matt Flynn on Sunday was beyond atrocious. Granted the offensive coordinator had some terrible play calls making it even worse, but what Flynn proved is that he may be book smart, but he cannot translate that into on field success. The biggest issue for the Raiders is the huge difference in skill sets between Flynn and Pryor. In the second half, every pass play was a downfield route concept and the Redskins countered perfectly with two deep safeties and a lot of man coverage underneath. This meant every receiver was covered downfield and it threw Flynn of his timing and he held onto the ball too long getting him sacked seven times. If Pryor played he would have rushed for 150 yards because the defensive backs all turned their backs to the quarterback leaving huge running lanes.

Understatement: Matt Flynn did not impress!

I am sure Flynn has had some positive impact on Pryor and has probably been a great teammate, but the Raiders need someone that can play like Pryor and although Freeman isn’t as fast as Pryor, he is very athletic and can run decently. I think the Raiders should offer up Flynn and McFadden for Freemand and defensive end Adrian Clayborn who is also on Schiano’s hit list. The Raiders have two million in cap space. By trading Flynn they open up 1.2 million more, but they eat five million. With McFadden, the Raiders would pay 5.8 million of his 10 million dollar salary in the final year of his contract. The Bucs would eat 1.5 million of Freeman’s contract, but the Raiders would have to pay him 8 million. The way this would work is for the Raiders to work out a contract extension ahead of time with Freeman and then make the trade. A restructure would possibly be cutting his 2013 salary to 2.5 million and spread the other 5.5 million over 2-3 more years.

This may seem farfetched, but could you imagine the tandem of Doug Martin and Darren McFadden in Tampa Bay with those guards blocking? It would be exactly what Greg Schiano would want to do with his football team and the splitting of carries would be best for both Martin and McFadden. McFadden’s days in Oakland are done. Reggie McKenzie will not pay big money to a running back, instead he will move forward with Latavius Murray who is on IR this year and he will probably draft a couple of players.

Conclusion

When it’s all said in done, none of us know what will happen with Freeman. Most likely he will be cut by the Buccaneers and he will go somewhere where he can have a breather, but it only takes one team to make everything exciting. Watch for any potential movement on Freeman with the trade deadline approaching in a few weeks. Deadlines always make things happen.

Picking Winners: Browns, Bears, Bengals, Colts, Ravens, Giants, Packers, Rams, Chiefs, Cardinals, Broncos, 49ers, Falcons, Raiders

This Column was written by Rory Anderson. Rory is a Diehard Oakland Raiders Fan. You can Follow him on Twitter: @holistic_pickle

The Luxury Box: Number 4

The Luxury Box
Whoa There, Slow Down Turbo

A Rory Anderson column, follow me on Twitter @holistic_pickle

I am a really political guy. Aristotle claimed that by nature all humans are “political animals” and my picture is next to those words in the dictionary. For one, as I said, I love politics. I even have a bachelor’s degree in political science, but more importantly, I have a really thick beard which just emphasizes the “animal” part of the term. In my life I have been all over the map when it comes to politics, but as an adult I have settled on the philosophy of libertarianism which is primarily defined as the maximization of individual liberty. Although I do my best to live my life under this and other related ideals, I find myself forced by the insanity of a small minority to put the kibosh on some absurd notions floating around the NFL. Let me make this abundantly clear: IT’S ONLY WEEK 2 RELAX!

For my own personal sanity and possibly for your own as well, I am going to go against my political beliefs and do something for the greater good and kill some really silly notions that are floating around.

Phillip Rivers is Back

Rivers has looked terrific at the start of season

Call me a Chargers hater all you want, but Phillip Rivers is not all of the sudden having some life changing experience where he becomes the guy that gutted out a torn ACL in the playoffs, which the chargers ended the same way they always have, with nothing to show for their regular season dominance. After two years of some of the most miserable quarterback play in the NFL, new head coach Mike McCoy isn’t going to somehow lead Rivers into a midlife renaissance where he goes to being a top ten quarterback. Rivers is this year’s Carson Palmer, he just happens to have wide receivers that can actually catch on occasion. These five touchdowns to Eddie Royal in two games…Total fluke.

Firstly, the Texans had no idea what to expect from the Chargers in week one and once they caught onto what the Chargers were doing, they began to shut them down. This week against the Eagles, the Chargers put up 33 points against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Eagles have little to no pass rush, mediocre at best defensive backs, and Chip Kelly is the worst thing to happen to a defense since the Mel Blount rule. The Eagles only had the ball for nineteen minutes against the Chargers! That means that the Eagle’s defense was exhausted and I do not care how fast you score or how dynamic your offense is, if your defense is on the field for almost two thirds of a game, you will lose more often than not. Rivers’ success will be short lived and in time with that abysmal offensive line, poor pass rush, and mediocre defensive backs, the Chargers will show that they are one of the worst teams in the NFL and they will go on to trade Rivers and start all over.

RG3 Needs to be Benched

With all due respect Tony Dungy, there is nuts. First of all, Mike Shanahan is in a no-win situation. If he played last year’s offense right now with RG3 and he got hurt again then he would be blamed for wrecking the franchise. Instead he is choosing to go with his franchise quarterback whom the team traded several draft picks for, and run a more traditional offense. The real problems in Washington are Griffin’s lack of experience since he missed the entire preseason, and the amazingly impressive ineptitude from the Redskin’s defense. Watching this defense reminds me of reading about the French army defending the Maginot Line while the Blitzkrieg just went around them. They simply cannot do anything right whether it’s a lack of talent in the defensive backfield or terrible play calling, this defense never seems to do the right thing and these failures are forcing the Redskins to pass from behind with defensive coordinators bringing twice as many blitzes so they can take a free shot at the quarterback. Griffin is talented enough to run a conventional offense and throw from the pocket, the real problems are defensive and until those are fixed the Redskins will be in a tail spin.

Head Hunting Safeties

As a Raider fan, I have seen the clips of Jack Tatum and George Atkinson and I appreciate that sort of football. In fact, I am a traditionalist that loves to run the ball and play stout defense that crushes the opposition, but this isn’t the 1970s anymore and whether the old timers or the people with an old school mentality like it or not, it’s a new NFL and in this NFL head hunting has to go. Brandon Meriweather lowered the crown of his helmet on a wide receiver and knocked him out. Later in the game karma struck and when he lowered his head again to crush a receiver, he knocked himself out. I do not wish a concussion on anyone, but when you as a player lower your head for that kind of hit knowing it’s both illegal and crosses the line in the unwritten rule book, then you deserve whatever it is karma dishes out. Frankly, Meriweather needs to be suspended not just fined.

Dashon Goldson on the other hand was suspended. This is a player that has received 15 personal fouls stemming from illegal hits in three seasons and his suspension is well deserved. What kills me about players like Goldson is the fact that their idiocy takes away from the players who actually make gorgeous legal hard hits that receive a penalty for no reason. For instance, Bronco’s safety Rahim Moore was flagged for a perfect textbook shoulder first hit against a receiver simply because his head snapped backwards. Last time I checked there was thing called momentum and when on object is traveling at a high rate of speed and collides with another traveling in the other direction, stuff is going to snap backwards. That doesn’t make the hit illegal.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Is there tough times ahead for Greg Schiano?

This is a trending topic I am actually going to start pushing. There is an implosion coming in Tampa Bay. Head Coach Greg Schiano rubbing starting quarterback Josh Freeman the wrong way is one thing, but when the 96 million dollar cornerback whom you traded a first round pick to acquire who also rarely ever speaks out like this, tells the media that the coach isn’t connecting with the players, then you have issues. I had this team as a playoff team in my projections before the season started, but if Greg Schiano cannot get a grip on this locker room ASAP, then he is doomed for the college coach that failed in NFL flames of glory. On the other hand, it should be fun to watch. I really believe that by week eight we could see head coaches Schiano, Rivera, and Ryan all fired and those franchises in the hunt for the next big thing next offseason.

This Column was written by Rory Anderson. Rory is a Diehard Oakland Raiders Fan. You can Follow him on Twitter: @holistic_pickle