Prior to his release, I wouldn't have even entertained the notion of trading for Josh Freeman and his boatload of a $6M salary. However, with the possibility of acquiring him for peanuts as he aspires to refloat his bottomed out career, I am somewhat intrigued.
There are two major limitations Dalton has which irritate me to no end. One being his ineffective deep pass to arguably the most dangerous deep threat in the game and the other being his struggle to see and throw over the line to arguably the most explosive TE tandem and receiving RB in the league. These are physical limitations which I don't foresee ever being fixed.
As much as I like Dalton as a leader and his seemingly acute ability to read defenses, I have serious doubts the Bengals will ever make it past the first round of the playoffs with him at the helm. The ceiling is just too low. Even the completions he makes are often over the heads of his targets (due to his inability to throw at a downward angle over the offensive line), which is especially denoting considering how tall his TEs are.
Watching John Skelton towards the end of the preseason was very inspiring. He made throws over the middle and deep with incredible ease - something I haven't seen since Palmer back in the day. It was actually somewhat discouraging seeing him go.
So what can an ostensibly washed-up QB in Freeman bring to the table? Perhaps he doesn't make as many reads prior to the snap as Dalton does (after the snap, it'd be a wash since Dalton routinely stares down his primary target, often alerting the defense where he's throwing before he even steps into the throw). Inevitably there would be a locker room divide as a controversy ensues between the two QBs. And possibly Freeman will bring a bit of an attitude or lackluster work ethic.
I can accept all of that because what we would be getting is a 6'6" QB who can easily see and throw to our pair of explosive TEs and Bernard over the middle. We'd be upgrading with a cannon of an arm which will keep defenses honest with the constant threat of hitting Green for a 40 yard pass. And as a bonus, we'd have a more mobile QB who can scramble out of the backfield when plays break down and absorb hits, a la Roethlisberger style.
This is what Freeman would essentially be asked to do on any given play: Look for Green, Gresham, Eifert, Bernard, and/or Sanu and hit which ever one is open or in single coverage. Given the more than adequate protection the offensive line has been providing, any QB should be at a competitive advantage on this team (and arguably far more so than what Tampa Bay had to offer).
Is Freeman an elite QB who is going to carry our team on his shoulders to the Superbowl? No. But he's a far more dynamic QB who might just be the Joe Flacco we are lacking to get us past the Wild Card round.