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October 6, 2013 @ 5:34 pm
Current rating: 2.00 Stars/3 Votes

Freeman Signs One-Year Deal With Vikings

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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Former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman's Tampa Bay career officially came to an end on Thursday afternoon. Sunday evening Freeman began the next chapter of his football life after signing with the Minnesota Vikings.
The Josh Freeman era as a Buccaneer ended on Thursday.

The Freeman era as a member of the Vikings began Sunday night with the announcement that Freeman has joined Minnesota as free agent.

Freeman signed a one-year $2.5 million deal. The Vikings have struggled to a 1-3 start behind incumbent former FSU star Christian Ponder. Backup Matt Cassell filled in for Ponder who is recovering from a fractured rib last week in London as the Vikings picked up their first win of the season.

Adding Freeman to the roster certainly clouds Ponder's future in Minnesota. Ponder, who was selected in the first round two years ago after an impressive Senior Bowl and Combine, has drawn the ire of Vikings fans who feel that Minnesota is wasting the talent of superstar running back Adrian Peterson and the receiving talent of former Green Bay star Greg Jennings who joined the team in free agency this year. Over his career Ponder has thrown for 5,479 yards with 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. Ponder's career QB rating is only 75.8.

Freeman's once promising Bucs career began in 2009,  when then first-year head coach Raheem Morris and new general manager Mark Dominik drafted Freeman as the 17th-overall pick. The Buccaneers traded up two spots with the Cleveland Browns, making him the first quarterback selected by the organization in the first round since 1994 when the team drafted Trent Dilfer. Freeman was drafted behind Matt Stafford (Detroit Lions) and Mark Sanchez (New York Jets). Morris raved about the decision to draft Freeman calling him “his guy” during his opening statement following the selection.

Freeman would start out his rookie season on the bench before being thrown into the game against New England in 2009 in London before hitting the bye week. The following game, Freeman would make his first career start against the Green Bay Packers in the team’s throwback game. In his starting debut, Freeman went 14-of-31 for 205 yards, three touchdowns and one interception and lead the Buccaneers to a 38-28 victory over Green Bay. He would finish his rookie season 158-of-290 for 1,855 yards with 10 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

In 2010, perhaps Freeman’s best year and his first full season as a starter, he lead the Bucs to a 10-6 record after going 291-of-474 for 3,451 yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. That season, he engineered five game winning drives that almost helped propel them into the playoffs.

He would follow his 2010 campaign with a 2011 season that saw his bad side. Tampa Bay finished the season 4-12, ending the year losing 10 straight after starting 4-2 leading to Morris’ firing. In 15 games, Freeman finished 346-of-551 for 3,592 yards with 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. The offense was as inconsistent as Freeman’s play on the field, struggling to reach 20 points in nine of his 15 games.

But Freeman would appear to be on track to become the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be during the 2012 season and under the new Greg Schiano regime. In a new offense, Freeman would break franchise records. He holds the Buccaneers record for most passing yards (4,065) and touchdown passes (27) in a single season.

However, the promise of building off of a 2012 season quickly collapsed. Under Freeman, the Bucs started 0-3 as the 25-year old former Wildcat product went 43-of-94 for 571 yards with only two touchdowns and three interceptions. He was replaced by rookie Mike Glennon pror to Tampa Bay's Week 4 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Freeman was inactive for the game after being named the backup, then asked to watch the game from a suite and not from the sidelines.

A 2013 season filled with drama and speculation from his benching to his ESPN interview requesting a trade to news leaking out about him being in the NFL’s substance abuse program were all the more reasons for both sides to divorce.

Freeman will be a free agent at the end of the season and will be free to negotiate with any team in the league. The next 12 weeks will be critical for Freeman who will have the chance to showcase his ability and possibly resurrect his career.

Last modified on Sunday, 06 October 2013 22:54
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    I'd take Matt Cassell over Freeman any day of the week. Let's see how much attention Freeman gets in the off season free agent market.
  • avatar


    It is, what it is,,,,,,,,,
  • avatar


    Schiano, is like a lot of fans on this site. Just plain STUPID!!!!! Birds of a feather..........
  • avatar


    There are a lot of white sheets in TB!!!!!!!
  • avatar


    @HEAVYE - What is that supposed to mean? Is that some thinly veiled comment about people in Tampa being racists? The town that adored Doug Williams, and where most never even noticed that Josh was partially black (Dad's side)? No one cares about that crap anymore. Teleport yourself back from the 1950s. We're all just people regardless the color of our bed clothes.
  • avatar

    @Mr. Incredible - I wish that was the case. One would need to live in a bubble to get away from it. That said I don't think that had anything to do with the Josh/Schiano drama.
  • avatar


    Yeah Josh, You can afford it!!!!! 11mil. For one year sitting the bench!!!!! LMAO!!!!!
  • avatar


    I'm happy for you Freeman. Good luck riding the pine behind Matt Cassel in Minnesota! Don't forget your snowboots, you're gonna need them.
  • avatar


    I'm Happy for You Josh, and good Luck in the future!!!!!
  • avatar


    I think this all started with the Bucs not giving Josh an extension and then to go out and draft a QB in the 3rd round just pissed off Josh even more. I'm not saying that Schiano wasn't at fault at all but the Freeman camp new enough to see how he can be un-tradeable, a la release news of drug program, so that the Bucs would have to release him. What a shame of a season so far.
  • avatar


    NoMoFreeman talk. Not a Buc anymore, so I'm not interested. On another topic, I think Schiano should hire Bill Parcells (or someone of his ilk and experience) to teach him how to manage a game. Maybe then we could have a chance to win. Go Bucs!
  • avatar


    I like the idea of bringing Parcells in. Maybe he won't jilt the Bucs for a third time!
  • avatar


    Yes I remember Cower saying it. I am certainly pro Cower. I temper my enthusiasm with he had Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh to run his defense; and Cower is a 3-4 guy and our personnel is 4-3 oriented. Other than QB, he might spend all the early picks on DL and LB. What I like most about Cower is his philosophy of buiding the team from the Lines out. If anyone can get better production out of our DL and OL it would be someone like Cower.
  • avatar


    Does anyone else remember that before the Bucs hired the moron Shiano, Bill Cower said that he would not be available for 2 years and he was not sold on Freeman. Well next year he will be available and Freeman is gone. How attractive would this team be for Cower next year. With Shiano at the helm we are assured one of the top picks next year. Cower would demand total control and get it. He could hand pick his quarterback. We have a great young defence and a ton of talent on offence. Any one else remember Cower saying this.
  • avatar


    Good luck Josh. A lot of people have had to move on to be successful. Now the question is who is the next malcontent to be let go by Schiano? My money is on Penn. I don't want Penn to go. I am saying that personnel carousel in Tampa is not closed yet. Schiano keeps jetisoning good players and I think Penn is the next one.
  • avatar

    Freeman had his flaws. Kid was frustrating as hell at times. He is still young. Loads of ability. My guess is, he will be around a lot longer than Schiano's pet Glennon. MC - Did I hear correctly? That Schiano was quoted "The Bucs were the laughing stock of the league prior to his arrival?" Great. So we've gone from laughing stock to all out hysterical.
  • avatar


    Good for Josh. Ponder was never worth damn even in college. Cassel? Even worse. This was the right move by the Vikings and when the question first came up of what team would Freeman go to the Vikings were the first one to come to mind. Jacksonville and Oakland are going to lose a lot more games than Minnesota so those two teams are eyeing the draft. As for the Bucs, I had all day yesterday to watch the other NFL teams (thank you NFL RedZone). I even stayed up to watch half the Chargers/Oakland game. I came to the conclusion that the only teams who have a worse starting QB than the Bucs are the Jaguars, Giants and maybe the Texans. Folks, the Giants aren't making headlines but they are a far worse team than the Bucs.
  • avatar


    Pinkstop: There is no way Eli Manning is worse then Glennon. Eli is bad but he is on pace to throw for 4800yds this season. Yes he has a 2:3 TD to Int ratio but at least he scores points. If he had any sort of running game they would be at least 2-3 this year. The Bucs wont even have 4800 yds of total offense this year. The Giants are averaging 5 more points a game then we are. Just think if we would have had 5 more points per game this year. We would be 3-1 right now.
  • avatar


    @Wnb0395 - We're both entitled to our own opinion. Yards don't tell the whole story, which is why Freeman isn't here anymore. Those three QB's I mentioned (along with Freeman) routinely and consistently make inaccurate, careless and/or stupid throws that no professional QB should make more than once a month and they make them several times a game. I always said that if Eli can get two Super Bowl rings with the right people around him, Freeman should be able to get at least one. Eli has never been good but he has had great coaches and players around him.
  • avatar


    Tampa Bay, we've been played, by Josh and his agent. Motivation to violate team rules and leak unfavorable stories about yourself? In retrospect, Josh had 2.5 million reasons. Josh laughs all the way to the bank and leaves the team is disarray. Guess he can go back to his Playstation now.
  • avatar

    Good luck to Freeman ...I honestly hope he does well. Now let's get back to talking about our Bucs!
  • avatar


    For the posters that seem upset that Freeman will be making 11mil this year, your anger is misplaced. You should be angry that we're 0-4 and the road only gets harder. Our team is a national laughing stock and we're under investigation from both the NFL and the NFLPA for violations of the NFL drug policy privacy laws. This is a win now team paying enormous player salaries and we've had 1 win in the last 9 games. Freeman is in a different color uniform now and will take care of himself, but where are our wins and when will they come? Come Sunday and you're still talking about Freeman, then you're whistling Dixie standing in quicksand!
  • avatar


    Super Bowl in Minn in 2014! :-)
  • avatar

    Nice to see people are happy for him "escaping". The Freeman will have a good life; i am just feeling sooo bad for his former teammates.. If Goldson and V-Jacks/Nicks would have known Shiano is that much of an *censored* they would have taken less money and wouldn´t have come to Tampa (my guess). Theres a song called "fire in the hole" - so - lets fire an ...hole
  • avatar


    Good luck! Having a coach who will attempt to make you succeed, instead of belittling. Eleven teams sought Josh's services. Eleven teams that believe poor coaching and coordinators were to blame for lack of growth. Congratulations on escaping Schiano's prison. I hope you flourish in a organization that doesn't only exist within negative reinforcement, an organization that believes in training to win, not training in poor sportsmanship and blowing up a victory formation. Godd luck, Josh
  • avatar


    Now Surferdudes, just how do you know Olsen didn't make the request? He just doesn't have the authority. Much as I like some of what Mark Dominik has done in recent drafts and free agency, one can't deny the 2009 debacle. I suspect Ponder and or Cassell will finish this season while Josh takes a spot as the third inactive QB. Should the pair fail to impress, Freeman will be on board to "compete". That's a funny word that Schiano throws around. Who's competing with Mike Glennon?
  • avatar


    Not much of an up grade over Cassell, or Ponder. I think it's telling his old O.C. in Oakland Greg Olsen didn't want him. Consider their Q.B. situation, and record, and they didn't want a 25 year old former first rounder who has two years with Olsen's system, very telling.
  • avatar


    Was Oakland even looking for a QB? Otherwise, this is just conjecture.
  • avatar


    Surferdudes: FYI Oakland did want Freeman along with Minn, Green Bay, San Fran, and the Bills. Freeman chose Minn because it was the only team that would let him compete for the starting QB spot. Oakland told him he would be backing up Pryor.
  • avatar

    2009. What a great year for Mark Dominik... Lands us Rah. Helps Rah by hand picking Jeff Jagodzinski as the first OC under him. Still think that would have been a great choice IF that Jagodzinski could have called a play in 45 seconds or less... And Jim Bates is the first DC under Dominik. Bates made it over half way through the season so that worked out better then a whole lot of Domink's other moves. Like dumping Derrick Brooks. That was smooth by Doms. But he did bring in Byron Leftwich, and got us Kellen Winslow Jr. And, at least we don't have to pay any of that 2009 draft class any money... Well except for the Millions of dollars Freeman will still continue to be collecting... 2009 and Mark Dominik. Ahhhhh. Good times.
  • avatar

    GOOD RIDDANCE. I'm afraid we the fans will still have to endure more of the Josh fiasco through out the year as bad things will be probably said by Josh and the Bucs without thinking, the way both parties handle most things. Well, the real final Josh chapter probably comes at the end of the season when this franchise gets the complete enema it has needed since Gruden left and Dominik was made GM. We needed a complete cleanse at Gruden's departure but our dingleberry of a GM keeps hanging on (by a hair :-) ).
  • avatar

    Never in my life have I seen such media attention over the benching of an ineffectual quarterback. I liked Josh, but he was a head-case. I don't know what will come of the Glennon experiment, but I definitely knew what would've come of more Josh. Hopefully, the shake-up will be good for him. And all this Schiano-bashing is crazy, but I guess expected at 0-4. Still, I'm absolutely loving this defense for the first time in years.
  • avatar

    Another mediocre QB for the Vikings. Guess that he was a better option than Tebow.
  • avatar


    I hope Schiano made the right decisions the last few weeks.
  • avatar


    I am happy for Josh. He makes almost 11 million this year and if he proves it in Minnesota, he could make a lot of Money. Good job Josh; you have a good agent that got you extra money to boot. I wish you the best next season.
  • avatar


    Happy Josh got picked up and for an excellent salary. Make it count, Josh!!
  • avatar


    Schiano and crew are soo stupid they didn't even wait a few more days to see if a trade market would have developed. Schiano truly is an idiot of the 1st magnitude - and make no mistake it was Schiano's call to cut him when they did.
  • avatar


    Actually Cbrady2K - the trade market was NEVER going to open up for Freeman because everyone knew they were going to release him... You know due to his agent leaking all those stories and letting the media (Cough: PW) bash Schiano for it. But in all the places to go this had to be the worse for Freeman, yeah they have AP. but he now has to face GB twice, Chi, SEA, Dallas, Bal, Cincy, and Det. in 5 years he has only beating GB and that was in his first ever start. They will lose 8 of those games.
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