Raiders reportedly in the hunt for Josh Freeman

With so many storylines around the NFL approaching Week 5, it might be hard for some to fathom the Raiders could be labeled the “up-and-comer” of the National Football League.

While they’re not totally that team yet, a Tampa Bay Times report connects the Raiders to former Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman, who was released Thursday:

While no announcement is expected until after Sunday’s games, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen displayed some facial expressions that were a bit out of place during Friday’s press conference.

Allen was asked whether he has been surprised by the growth of Raiders third year quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Allen squinted as responded:

“I want to see him continue to grow.”

The full answer was longer, but the squinting was acute to just that one line, suggesting that Allen knows a lot more than he is letting on.

It isn’t just the squinting that seemed out of place, but also how he answered questions having to do with either Pryor or Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers.

Well, the squinting and the breaking voice, strong in some sentences, faint in others. It all lends to the belief that Oakland is hard in the hunt for Freeman.

The fifth-year pocket passer, who was taken 17th overall in 2009 after a terrific career with Kansas State University, had battled with the front office in Tampa and was benched during Week 4. Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano hadn’t been getting along with a number of players, according to reports.

Freeman had his best season in 2010, when Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson was calling the plays in Tampa. That season Freeman threw 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions, which followed a rookie year of 18 picks and only 10 scores, in as many games.

The 6-foot-6 Freeman is the closest thing available to a franchise quarterback that is currently available and a player that Olson has been fond of since before Freeman shook the hand of Roger Goodell on draft day.

Not only could Freeman give Terrelle Pryor some extra motivation, he could please Raiders fans by knocking Matt Flynn off the depth chart.


Follow @SFBay and @JLeskiwNFL on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Raiders.