Bringing in Figurs might clear way for Freeman

Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

On the surface, Tampa Bay’s signing of wide receiver/return man Yamon Figurs might seem like a bit of a head-scratcher.

After all, they also had Matt Jones and David Tyree among five receivers that worked out Tuesday. But they passed on Jones, who was a former first-round pick by Jacksonville, and Tyree, who was a Super Bowl hero.

Give the Bucs credit for not getting caught up in the name game with Jones and Tyree. Yes, they’re better known than Figurs, but there are reasons why they were available. Jones never reached his potential in Jacksonville and has had a bunch of off-field problems. Tyree never was that good, although he did have one great catch in the Super Bowl.

But you also need to recognize one other aspect to this move. Figurs played at Kansas State -- with Tampa Bay rookie quarterback Josh Freeman. Figurs might not be able to come in and take the starting job immediately from Michael Clayton, who’s been having problems with drops, but Jones and Tyree weren’t going to do that either.

Figurs is a guy that Freeman has a comfort level with and that’s going to be important in the future. Freeman’s going to be the quarterback of this team sooner or later and the signing of Figurs might be a sign that’s coming sooner and not later.