Freeman says he will be 'content' if he has to move on
Josh Freeman says is not focused on his tenuous contract situation and ready to move onto another NFL team if his best effort isn't good enough for the Buccaneers.
Freeman, 25, is in the final season of his five-year, $26-million contract he signed as a rookie in 2009. He is coming off a record-setting performance in 2012 in which he set franchise marks for most passing yards (4,065) and touchdowns (27) in a single season. But a promising 6-4 start was torpedoed by a mid-season collapse and five-game losing streak that resulted in a 7-9 record under first-year head coach Greg Schiano.
The Bucs drafted North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon in the third round in April and Schiano, who inherited Freeman, has said he not 'wedded,' to the fifth-year pro.
"I'm excited about getting this year going,'' Freeman said during an interview Thursday on 620 WDAE's Ron and Ian Show . "It has nothing to do with...a contract year, finding out, oh, is he signed for this? What happened? I know God has got a plan for me, it's all going to work out in the end. If I just give it the best I've got regardless...if I give it the best I've got and the Buccaneers say, "Ah, we don't think he can play for us,' at the end of the year and every other team in the NFL does and I end up wherever I end up doing whatever, I'll be content because I'll know I gave it the best I had.''
The Bucs have decided to wait until the end of 2013 to determine whether to offer Freeman a contract extension. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next March, but the club could use their franchise tag on Freeman if they are unable to reach a long-term agreement.
Freeman said the uncertainty of his future with the Bucs is not been a distraction to his preparation.
"I get this question a lot and, yeah, I've got stuff weighing on my mind, but very little has to do with the contract year,'' Freeman said. "Yeah, it's a big year and professionally it's the biggest year I've had from that standpoint. But I'm telling you, when I play the best football, it's when I'm just relaxed and I'm being myself.
"My identity is set. I know who I am. Come hell or high water, trust me, dude, we're going to win some games this year. The Bucs are going to be a force. I'm pumped up about that.''
After starting games for 3-1/2 seasons, Freeman said his experience and work ethic has added to his confidence.
"I'm excited. There's no added pressure, no nervousness, no anxiety,'' Freeman said. "Man, I know who I am, my guys know who I am, we know what it's all about. I'm pumped up. There's no anxiety, it's all excitement.
"But I'm telling you man, it's good enough. More than good enough.''