The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have decided to bench starting QB Josh Freeman in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, reports say.
The story, first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter via Twitter, comes after winless Tampa Bay's offensive struggles in its third straight setback Sunday, an embarrassing 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots. Citing anonymous league sources, Schefter broke his full story Wednesday morning.
"This league is about finding a franchise quarterback, and with Josh's roller-coaster career, we don't feel he's that guy," a team source said.
Freeman struggled in 2013, completing only 45.7 percent of his passes, with only two touchdown passes and three interceptions in as many games, earning him a lowly 59.3 passer rating. It was widely rumored that the 5-year pro would seek a trade from the Buccaneers, stemming from friction with Bucs head coach Greg Schiano; Freeman denied the trade-seeking rumors.
"No, not at all," Freeman told NFL.com's Dan Hanzus on September 16 after a 16-14 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
"The first I heard of it was literally 10 seconds ago, or right before I walked in here. Without a doubt I am a Buccaneer and am continuing to prepare and try and go out every week and give my team a chance to win the game."
With his recent benching, those trade rumors will return and it's likely other teams will be calling the Bucs.
Glennon will step onto the field at home at 1 pm this Sunday against the 1-and-2 Arizona Cardinals, although local fans may not get to see the rookie in action without a ticket, as the struggling Tampa Bay team also struggles at the box office and looks at another television blackout. The third round draft pick out of N.C. State was expected to compete for the starting position heading into the 2013 season. Glennon joins the Buffalo Bills' EJ Manuel and Geno Smith from the New York Jets as the third rookie to start in the 2013 season.
The Bucs' decision to start Mike Glennon in favor of Josh Freeman likely comes in Week 4 to allow him a test against Arizona's 26th-ranked pass defense and an additional week for coaches to analyze his play and work with him, with Tampa Bay's bye week coming in Week 5.
Do you think Josh Freeman should have been benched, or is Greg Schiano making the wrong decision?