Josh Freeman has been benched in favor of rookie quarterback Mike Glennon.
The news came midway through the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Week 4 preparations, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Bucs have made the move: Benching Josh Freeman for Mike Glennon, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 25, 2013
Tampa Bay later confirmed the decision:
Freeman’s benching was inevitable after the Bucs started off their season with three consecutive losses in unimpressive fashion. Head coach Greg Schiano is clearly rolling the dice here, but the former first-round pick didn’t do himself any favors during his contract season.
Freeman was reported to be seeking a trade prior to the NFL’s trade deadline, per CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora. With this latest news, that would have to be a logical possibility for the maligned signal-caller. That opens up the rest of the season for Glennon to show what he can do.
So what does this move do for fantasy owners? Chances are you weren’t heavily invested in Freeman as a fantasy option. You might have him on your bench as a bye-week fill-in—sorry if that’s your plight—but surely no one was deploying him on a weekly basis.
Glennon might provide a spark for the struggling Bucs offense. That’s enough for you to consider at least taking a flier on the new face of Tampa Bay’s franchise. And that’s what he is, too. Schiano and the current regime didn't draft Freeman, so moving on is easy for them after apparently seeing enough of him on the field.
As a passer, Glennon has a cannon arm, ideal size—6’7”, 225 pounds—and is relatively accurate. However, his slow foot speed has gotten him pegged as an immobile presence in the pocket. He’s also not known to see the field exceptionally well despite his size.
Draft analyst Alen Dumonjic of The Score thinks that weakness will result in checkdowns early on:
Glennon is in? Something to watch for: checkdowns. He was like Nick Foles coming out. A ton of checkdowns. Didn't see field well at times.— Alen Dumonjić (@Dumonjic_Alen) September 25, 2013
With weapons like Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, though, Glennon will have the opportunity to stretch the field with his strong arm. Whether or not he can handle opposing pass rushes, diagnose coverages and deliver accurate passes to his targets remains to be seen.
During the preseason, he wasn’t very encouraging on the field. He finished the warm-ups completing just 47.1 percent of his passes for 397 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Most of that came against defensive backups.
Until the Bucs begin to show some life on offense and Glennon proves he’s better than his preseason showing, it’s impossible to start him.
Take a wait-and-see approach; pick him up if you have an expendable roster spot, though, because there’s a good chance he’ll be the guy moving forward. And you never know, he just might catch fire.