Josh Freeman settles down to fight for Buccaneers QB prize

It took 2009 NFL draft first-rounder Josh Freeman a little while longer to sign his deal as the new quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers than it did for #1 draft pick Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions, but he’s in the books now and could start as early as Sanchez.

ESPN’s John Clayton reports a source as putting the figures at a five-year contract worth $36 million, of which $10,245,000 is guaranteed to the #17 pick.

Freeman, who was drafted from Kansas State, starts training camp on Friday and now looms as a semi-serious candidate for the starting quarterpack position in competition with Luke McCown and Byron Leftwich. Not necessarily because he’s more ready than the two veterans, but he’s not going to have to compete with anyone the likes of Kurt Warner to eventually lead the Bucs into battle.

That signing completes the set of the 2009 Buccaneers draft class, allowing the club to start training camp with a full roster.