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Freeman: Bucs Told Me Leftwich Was A Smokescreen

Somewhere in Tampa tonight, Bucs quarterback Byron Leftwich is likely looking for answers.
Apart from the fact that the Buccaneers picked a first-round quarterback not long after signing Leftwich, the first-round quarterback who joined the team on Saturday said that the Bucs told him the addition of Leftwich was merely aimed at throwing people off.
“It was something they told me — they told me it was a smoke screen, everybody would think they didn’t want a QB,” Freeman said in an NFL.com chat.  “They said they were ready to trade up.  I think it worked out great.  I was sitting there with my family and enjoying it, and I got to go to the team that I wanted to go to.”
On April 13, we posed the question of whether Leftwich is a smokescreen, given that his contract contained no signing bonus and a non-guaranteed $2.5 million base salary for 2009.
As we wrote, “[W]e’re not prepared to agree with Stephen Holder’s take in the St. Petersburg Times that the arrival of Leftwich is “the strongest indication yet that quarterback is not a consideration for the Bucs’ first-round pick in the draft.”
As we also wrote, “We think that the Bucs are still potentially in play for a guy like Josh Freeman at No. 19, and that signing Leftwich less than two weeks before the picks start to fly might persuade some of the folks who might otherwise be inclined to leapfrog Tampa to assume that the Bucs would pass on Freeman if he’s still on the market when they go on the clock.”
But this doesn’t mean Leftwich is the odd man out.  If the Bucs are willing to eat the $2.5 million signing bonus they paid to Luke McCown, he could be traded or cut instead of Leftwich.
Regardless, Freeman probably shouldn’t have been so candid about Leftwich being a smokescreen.

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52 Responses to “Freeman: Bucs Told Me Leftwich Was A Smokescreen”
  1. go_bucs says: Apr 25, 2009 10:37 PM

    oh no, somebody just said smokescreen again and my head exploded. well it sure fooled me. i really didnt think the bucs were gonna go after him. this better work out because we will look pretty stupid drafting a qb when we already got four and other holes to fill. keep him on the bench for two years and then see what he can do. just dont put him in before he is ready.

  2. sevenirongator says: Apr 25, 2009 10:38 PM

    sounds like a bright kid. really knows how to keep his mouth shut and go to work.

  3. jaxdolfan says: Apr 25, 2009 10:39 PM

    Leftwich is most likely sitting somewhere with a dumb look on his face.
    Wait….that’s just his face.

  4. DeMan951 says: Apr 25, 2009 10:42 PM

    Great smokescreen!!! It worked so well we still traded UP to get him….

  5. Thunderbolt says: Apr 25, 2009 10:43 PM

    Both new guys are off to a great start. The coach blabbed a chemistry-killing bit to his new QB (probably before drafting him), and the new QB blabbed it to the press. Hello, locker room drama, and welcome to the NFL, Coach Morris.

  6. smfowler says: Apr 25, 2009 10:48 PM

    The rookie head coach should have told the rookie QB to keep his mouth shut.
    Welcome to the NFL, guys.
    First rule of Fight Club, don’t talk about fight club.

  7. Slow Joe says: Apr 25, 2009 10:49 PM

    These pretzels are making me thirsty!

  8. titans_fan says: Apr 25, 2009 10:51 PM

    I stand corrected

  9. killwithme says: Apr 25, 2009 10:53 PM

    nice work by the Bucs front office to treat a veteran like that. I’m sure they’ll get lots of free agents that way.

  10. RIP JB 99 says: Apr 25, 2009 10:54 PM

    Careful not to hurt your shoulder patting yourself on the back there.

  11. TheAzzMan says: Apr 25, 2009 10:58 PM

    LOL… A guy who never played a down in the NFL is talking himself up against an NFL veteran with a Super Bowl ring. Smart move bud… I’m sure your new teammates respect you for proclaiming yourself as the main QB on the team already.

  12. yoyo says: Apr 25, 2009 10:58 PM

    Bucs are going to miss the old regime.

  13. kosarsmyidol says: Apr 25, 2009 11:07 PM

    Leftwich has the worst luck. He should’ve re-signed with Pittsburgh. They liked him, and he got chances to play (and a Super Bowl ring, as much as it pains me to admit).

  14. mallet21 says: Apr 25, 2009 11:07 PM

    WTF !! You’re on the squad for less than a day and you are already throwing teamates under the bus ??
    This dude seems like a tool.

  15. jaxeagle821 says: Apr 25, 2009 11:10 PM

    idiots

  16. jparker800 says: Apr 25, 2009 11:10 PM

    On April 13, we earned a cookie.

  17. jcasey says: Apr 25, 2009 11:11 PM

    “Regardless, Freeman probably shouldn’t have been so candid about Leftwich being a smokescreen.”
    The knock on the guy is that he is not a good decision maker. It seems those that said that were right. This guy is a moron. Freeman is obviously someone who thinks he is a hot shot and has no respect for veterans. Failure is imminent.

  18. thegregwitul says: Apr 25, 2009 11:12 PM

    It’s an interesting story, Florio, but ENOUGH about Tampa possibly cutting Luke McCown and look at the other QB’s – Josh Johnson and Brian Griese. Josh probably makes it as the fourth QB come training camp, but he’s not a sure thing for a team that may prefer to keep only three QB’s on the roster…
    Brian Griese on the other hand…Gruden QB in a new regime? Check. Older, and prone to throwing INTs? Check. The QB that Tampa will release before heading to camp with four bodies to compete? Check.
    C’mon, now, this should be obvious for a guy like you in the know. You’re buddies with the gang from Pewter Report. We’ll see how Freeman develops. Best case scenario is a hybrid of Big Ben and Culpepper. The worst case is a bust of Akili Smith level proportions. Raheem has his boy, so we’ll see what happens…
    j.

  19. killwithme says: Apr 25, 2009 11:13 PM

    I would hurt my shoulder if I was that dead on with a prediction. Don’t be a jealous ass.

  20. Smush Rodrigez says: Apr 25, 2009 11:20 PM

    we’re not worthy we’re not worthy

  21. Favre2012 says: Apr 25, 2009 11:24 PM

    Why should Freeman care about Leftwich’s opinion?

  22. FinfanJim says: Apr 25, 2009 11:24 PM

    I don’t know who is the bigger douche, the Bucs’ front office or Freeman. Unless the Bucs plan on keeping Leftwich for the entire year, this reeks…

  23. mnhit55 says: Apr 25, 2009 11:30 PM

    killwithme,
    Leftwich and his agent have to be the biggest idiots out there – hell, Florio figured it out! Neither of them realized something was amiss when the Bucs offerred him more than twice as much as the Steelers offerred him and then didn’t give him a dime in signing bonus???
    The Bucs have no obligation to look out for Leftwich, that’s what he has an agent for. I seriously doubt it will affect any other potential free agent signees – the NFL is stil a business, not a charity.
    Kudos to the Bucs for pulling it off and getting the guy they wanted (even though I personally think it was a poor pick).

  24. Slow Joe says: Apr 25, 2009 11:32 PM

    This is a great example of saying the wrong thing–even just one little sentence in an online chat–can blow up to be something pretty big. Freeman needs to be smarter about what he says to the public.

  25. shaggeez says: Apr 25, 2009 11:42 PM

    poor leftwich…
    thats kinda bull

  26. dustin_chandler says: Apr 25, 2009 11:44 PM

    BUST

  27. homerunharrigan says: Apr 25, 2009 11:56 PM

    Yep Florio, I guess when you post 100 threads a day, you’re bound to get one right sooner or later, after all, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  28. Eddie Drycleaner says: Apr 25, 2009 11:58 PM

    Man! I too wish I was missing a few ribs so I could blow myself as much as you guys do.
    War self oral sex?

  29. Tyler E. says: Apr 26, 2009 12:03 AM

    The only guy that should be looking to sell his house is Brian Griese who doesn’t fit this teams offense. Freeman will not be starting this year so Leftwich and McCown will be fighting for the starter’s position anyways. The Broncos may have been thinking about Freeman at pick no. 12. If that’s the case, the “smokescreen” worked, and Raheem got his guy. If anybody should be hurt, it’s McCown, who was thinking he would have a chance to be the Bucs “franchise QB”. I think Freeman is the real deal but for now he will have to sit, watch, and learn.

  30. 4theloveofthegame says: Apr 26, 2009 12:05 AM

    You were on it Florio… i thought the smokescreen theory was just a bunch of bull… but now who are they going to cut. It’s got to be Griese. They just drafted Josh Johnson, just resigned McCown and if they let Leftwich go it would be a perminant scar on new GM Dominik’s rep are far a big time free agents are concerned in the future.
    This kid better be as good as he says he is and the Bucs hope he is…. because I think the pick should have gone to the D-line. Maybe they can grab Michael Johnson in the third.

  31. 1stngoal says: Apr 26, 2009 12:10 AM

    Way to toot your own horn there,Mr. Florio,and you deserve to,lol.But it looks as though the first order of business for the Buc’s front office will be to put a gag order on their latest QB of the future,to cure him of his foot-in-mouth disease…

  32. ayo75 says: Apr 26, 2009 12:11 AM

    Hahaha slow joe!! Best comment ever!

  33. Hosstyle in Tampa says: Apr 26, 2009 12:34 AM

    FireRaheemMorris.com

  34. bearsfan34 says: Apr 26, 2009 12:40 AM

    He came from Kansas St. He probably had a tumbleweed in his mouth when he spilled the beans that Leftwich was just being used like a bachelor party stripper.

  35. cobrakai says: Apr 26, 2009 12:54 AM

    Wow, you really drafted yourself a think-tank in freeman, I cant wait till he posts the entire playbook on his facebook page.

  36. Hosstyle in Tampa says: Apr 26, 2009 1:03 AM

    This is by far the most disappointing moment in Tampa Bay Bucs history. The pick is horrible. The perceived threat of anyone else drafting this BUM is ridiculous. I will defend Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik NO LONGER. They are completely ridiculous and way in over their heads. Signing Leftwich as a Smokescreen is despicable. What kinda message does this send the rest of the team?? With all the defensive talent on the board at 19 and the chance to trade out with the Eagles (which the Browns did) and collect another draft pick, we trade UP to get this LOSER with NO CLASS???
    What this draft pick means for Bucs fans:
    1) The Bucs did not get an impact player for the upcoming year on the first day of the draft
    2) Forget about Josh Johnson, he is a myth. He never will be in the running for the starting qb position (therefore this 5th round pick, as valueless it may seem, is completely worthless now)
    3) Raheem Morris has a two year deal. Freeman might not be ready after two years. How long will the Bucs be handcuffed by this QB pick? Think San Francisco 49ers. They still can’t wash the stink of Alex Smith off of themselves.
    4) Don’t worry about getting a good spot in next year’s draft for a suspected qb-heavy draft. With McCoy, Bradford, and Teabow to lead next year’s crop of qb’s, the Bucs “have their guy” with this Gerry-Curled Loser…Freeman.
    5) Using Leftwich as a pawn will surely be on the minds of any future free agents. Not that we ever get top tier free agent talent. We just stock pile money, while we charge our patrons more and more each year.
    This franchise is run for fools, by fools.
    FireRaheemMorris.com

  37. flamincheney says: Apr 26, 2009 1:12 AM

    They were so smart that they cost themselves by trading up when no one was after him at that spot anyways. Good move Buc’s…

  38. Tampa21 says: Apr 26, 2009 1:18 AM

    i hate the draft

  39. cunn9305 says: Apr 26, 2009 1:18 AM

    Something tells me Raheem Morris does NOT equal Mike Tomlin

  40. ryan13636 says: Apr 26, 2009 1:34 AM

    It wasn’t much of a smoke screen. I think Freeman was Tampa Bay’s pick in every mock draft I saw.

  41. downsouth49er says: Apr 26, 2009 3:55 AM

    coming from a fan whose team is struggling with the QB situation, the Bucs played themselves and not Leftwich….Byron has come out on top when the Jags let him go for David and no improvement was made, and the Bucs won’t improve with this newly drafted guy….take a hint Tampa, once the Jags stank up the joint this year also, Jackass Del Rio will be fired and he will have himself to blame for running Leftwich out of town…don’t be surprised if he is replaced with crappy Tice, who I feel only joined the Jags because he knew Del Rio wasn’t cut out to be head coach

  42. brian_21 says: Apr 26, 2009 4:27 AM

    How idiotic was that for Josh Freeman to say. What an idiot! Seriously. Doesn’t bode well.
    I hope Freeman does well, and I’ve been cheering for him the whole time.
    Here is a conspiracy theory that I just thought of and that I know is unlikely. Perhaps to make Freeman feel OK internally, Tampa just told him that Leftwich was a smokescreen when in fact he was not — and Leftwich might even end up being the starter. I, for one, would pick him over Luke McCown any day, any time.
    But perhaps Freeman was just told that so he feels more accepted and that he has a fighting chance to star this actual year.
    Or not. But it’s a thought.
    And Florio, you shoulda posted one of my comments during the draft. Not cool to completely ignore!

  43. Rulerofthemasses says: Apr 26, 2009 5:17 AM

    So what Freeman is supposed to lie for the Buccaneers? How about instead of doing things your going to be ashamed of and fearful of the consequences for, you dont do them instead. That makes the cover of up much more manageable.

  44. jlvfla says: Apr 26, 2009 5:51 AM

    The pick isn’t terrible, may pay off eventually, but the circumstances give me pause as to the maturity and savvy of those in charge. I think Morris is in over his head, he certainly gave that impression during his first news conference (shortly after he was named headcoach). I can think of several unhappy players and coaches this morning (McCown, Bates, J.Johnson), not to mention “smokescreen” Leftwich. Chucky and Bruce would never have allowed this.

  45. gtskyrider says: Apr 26, 2009 7:58 AM

    The new kid will learn…hell…he came out as a junior, so he’s really wet behind the ears. Once training camp starts the veterans will get him to simmer down. He’ll begin to learn the ropes and hopefully make better decisions speaking, playing, and professionally. Goodbye Griese!!!!!! GOTTA GO GOTTA GO!!!!

  46. DC_Bengals_Fan says: Apr 26, 2009 8:18 AM

    “Chucky and Bruce would never have allowed this.”
    Of course not. Chucky wouldn’t sign a QB as a smokescreen, he actually wanted 12 of them on the roster.

  47. inmymind says: Apr 26, 2009 8:36 AM

    Good sign Freeman will be a bust. If he is not smart enough to see how that will make the Bucs look and Byron feel, then he is not smart enough to be a good QB in the NFL.

  48. Larry David says: Apr 26, 2009 8:55 AM

    This guy was an average QB in the Big 12, aka the worst defensive league in history, and now he’s supposed to be an NFL qb? Biggest bust of the draft right here, bar none!

  49. garyofferdahl says: Apr 26, 2009 9:15 AM

    Ouch dude! Whoa!

  50. halestorm74 says: Apr 26, 2009 1:27 PM

    Wow what a clever kid! Welcome to the NFL…. Remember that old phrase “Loose lips sink ships?” Keep your damn mouth shut.

  51. praveen says: Apr 26, 2009 2:37 PM

    Why sign a 2 year contract if the first year doesnt guarantee a single dollar?

  52. jlinnell98 says: Apr 27, 2009 10:12 AM

    I don’t see this as much of an issue, Leftwich is competing this year for the starting job, that hasn’t changed. It was a ‘smoke screen’ as well as a pick up they needed when the got Leftwich. They needed a QB (assuming they’ll cut Griese) and they got one plus took some heat off picking Freeman. I see Leftwich starting day 1 & helping develope Freeman over the year

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