Free AgencyGeneral NewsOff-The-Field IssuesOpinionRumorsSpeculation

Josh Freeman Presents An Interesting Option For Vikings

The history of the Minnesota Vikings seems riddled with missed opportunities at the quarterback position.  The one that sticks out to me most was when they successfully cashed in on Daunte Culpepper by shipping him to Miami, but then ignoring the fact that Drew Brees could actually be acquired without losing any draft picks at all.  That one still stings, to me.

Due to an injury that season, however, Brees was anything but a “sure thing.”  The Chargers offered their starter an incentivized contract which was a clear signal that they were not convinced he could return and continue to play at a high level.  Brees ultimately signed with New Orleans, however, and he has amassed some the greatest passing totals the league has ever seen (and a Super Bowl ring).

These opportunities to sign a relatively young quarterback, who has shown some ability to win in the NFL, don’t come along very often.  Usually they come with some extreme doubt (Peyton Manning’s neck) or some sort of baggage (Mike Vick’s… ummm… issues), and the risk is often too much for a conservative front office to stomach.

In the case of Josh Freeman, and his recent release from the Tampa Bay Bucs, Rick Spielman and the Vikings need to decide if the free agent quarterback is just another wasted talent that will soon be irrelevant, or a talented signal-caller capable of leading a team to greatness.  Greg Schiano of the Bucs obviously thinks Freeman doesn’t have what it takes, but Schiano also isn’t currently in a position to be deemed sane, let alone a good judge of character.

Freeman’s standout season was 2010, when he started all 16 games and threw for 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions.  He showed up in a couple of big games and appeared to be well on his way to stardom, with broadcasters raving about him at any given chance.  2011 was a disappointment, however, but he improved during the 2012 season.  His improvement wasn’t enough to save his head coach’s job, though, and it is crystal clear that Schiano is ready to move on without him.

What teams like the Vikings need to determine is simple:  Is Freeman capable of playing like he did in 2010 or was that just a mirage?  Now that Freeman is able to be had at a relatively minimal investment, some team will endeavor to find out the answer to that question.

Acquiring a guy like Freeman would put the Vikings in an awkward position.  “Starter” Christian Ponder would surely feel slighted by the move and Matt Cassel would clearly see the writing on the wall, too.  Meanwhile, McLeod Bethel-Thompson is someone the Vikings have invested a lot of time into developing and they might not be too eager to send him packing.

What the front office has to realize, however, is that they are about five months away from having to invest heavily, once again, in the quarterback position.  Cassel’s contract option puts him basically on a one-year deal, while Ponder has a long ways to go before he can prove he’s dependable, let alone capable.  Today’s NFL, simply put, demands more out of the quarterback position than these two have to offer.

The presence of these three quarterbacks, and perhaps the desire to further evaluate them, might make Minnesota a good landing spot for Freeman.  It is very difficult to join an NFL team and immediately become their mid-season starter, and no team should expect that upon signing Freeman.  Instead, they should let him get acclimated, get to know him as a person and as a quarterback, and do their due diligence on him to see if he might be reliable for 2014 and beyond.  After starting the season 1-3, and facing a very tough schedule down the stretch, I would see little downside in the Vikings taking such an approach.

The worst that could happen is the Vikings add another name to their growing list of failed quarterback experiments, and after so many years of being desensitized to that I would be willing to just say:  Hey, at least this one didn’t cost us any picks.

Show More

Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

Related Articles


  1. If I remember correctly, it was Childress that didn’t like Brees’ “mechanics”. Look where that got us. . .
    I say heck yeah, pick him up. I could give a rats about Ponders feelings. That may sound harsh but I have been waiting and hoping for a Championship for the Vikings LONG before Ponder was born, so damn the torpedos and full speed ahead to a 4 QB roster.

    1. don’t know that we’d keep four, and we’ve got joe webb (in an emergency)
      who would leave?
      what would ya tell the remaining contender?
      also, would freeman want to be in MN? he’s been the starter and might want to be assured of that wherever he goes

      i just don’t know that he’d be a good fit for us, but i’d hate for us to pass on him if he turns out to be good. just keep mbt and that arm

      1. That’s kind of where I’m at, Cal. He seems like a dick, but then, Schiano is pretty much insane, so is that part of it? Don’t know. I’m just worried he’ll end up being good with another team whilst we are forced to watch the Big Reach underthrow bubble screens.

      2. Cal, PFT recently wrote Minnesota is where Freeman most wants to end up “as they hear it.” Also, all QBs could be kept (if they want to) by carrying 4 or placing Ponder on IR (the Zach Line treatment).

      3. What do we have to lose? The Bucs will be paying his salary for the rest of the year and a lot of smart people are saying he’d be a good fit and still has the potential to be a good QB with a different environment.

      4. Geez, we can pick him up for a song, why not keep all 4 until next years draft?
        By then we should know whose who in the Zoo.

      1. In hindsight, maybe you’re right Krugs.
        Still, there’s never any good reason not to take a shot at Childo.

  2. At first I thought it would be a good idea…then after learning he got booted from being team captain from his teammates. I’m with Fozz…no way.
    Of course if Cassel flops against the Panthers…

    1. Well that’s interesting. A rating system, here. That could get fun. I wonder if I can set it up to automatically downfist Coach’s posts…it’d be a real time saver.

      1. Gotcha!

        Actually, this would satisfy the antagonistic part of me that feeds off people not agreeing with me. (I’ll spare you the comment, Tomb,…yes, there is a non-antagonistic part of me.)

    1. It’s not “downfisting”, I believe that’s means an entirely different thing.
      Hope that wasn’t wishful thinking. . .

  3. It is hard to say where the truth lies of what went down in Tampa. I am sure some things have been over blown and twisted. Having the big “C” taken away by your team mates though is alarming.

    1. There were some questions regarding whether Schaino may have had a hand in rigging that player vote for team captain. Freeman’s definitely made some mistakes, the question is will he respond by becoming the best player he can be or did he catch the Donovan McNabb syndrome making him a lazy turd. Frazier would likely be a good fit as a coach for him, so if the guy didn’t think he was going to walk through the facility doors and be named the starter I would check him out for the balance of the season. It would take a tremendous amount of work for a young QB to come into a new system a month into the season and grab a starting job.

    1. And butthole in the same sentence.
      We may have learned something about Tomb that we didn’t want to know.

    2. Well wait, I’m confused. I see a fist with a thumb pointed up, ‘upfist’, and a fist with a thumb pointed down, ‘downfist’. The act of clicking one of these would naturally be called ‘upfisting’, or its inverse, ‘downfisting.’

      I have no clue what you guys are talking about. Could you describe what YOU mean by fisting? I cannot think of what you could possibly be referring to. Does it have something to do with pugilism?

      1. Well shoot, I had just spent about 20 minutes writing you an explanation on ‘Fisting’ when it dawned on me that is supposed to be a PG site.
        What you need to do Tomb, is get yourself down to one of those “Leather Bars” (or any bar that has like a Rainbow type Logo) and walk in and just tell them you’re there to learn about fisting. I’m sure they’ll be just tickled to demonstrate the technique.
        Let us know how it comes out. . .

  4. I see a couple of general themes here on VT that I think are in general contrast to the mindset of the Viking front office. 1). The Vikings have not given up on the 2013 season. 2) Their starting QB remains Christan Ponder. I think those two things will keep them from making any Josh Freeman-type move.

    1. If Matt Cassel plays well versus the Panthers and we win…He will be the starter. They will hand him the keys to the offense and tell him it’s his job for this season.
      Frazier’s endorsement of Ponder as the starter is only outwardly.
      That’s what I believe.

    1. I’d love to see him and AD in the same backfield. That’d scare the crap out of any defense.

  5. That’s right Tomb. You saw a fist where we all saw a thumbs-up. 🙂 All in good fun buddy.

  6. Vikings in where Freeman wants to play. it was stated on PFT Freeman thinks the Vikings are the prefect fit for him. Sign him and see what happens. Ponder is out at least 4 weeks maybe up to 8 weeks, his fractured rib is by his heart. Lets see what Freeman can do. Cassel sucks, look at KC last to this year with Smith.

    1. maybe ponder to injured reserve for the season, then play around with cassel and freeman and not expose our third stringer to the wire……yeah, like that’ll happen…..

    2. Cassel also did not play for Andy Reid. Romeo Crennel is a poor head coach. That makes a big BIG difference.

  7. They are about 2 mil above the cap…
    Plus the Secondary woes,
    Do you think they Would ?

  8. Drew Boylhart 2/09

    Josh Freeman QB Kansas St


    Josh Freeman has the arm strength, height and overall athletic talent to play QB at the next level and at a very high level. He is a multi-talented player who could play more than one position in the NFL if he desires to do so. He has good feet and has those long legged strides that, once he starts running, can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. There is no question about Josh’s athletic talent and arm strength, but there are many questions about Josh’s maturity and coachability for the next level.


    Josh is not close to being ready for the next level. His athletic talent, his leadership skills and his work ethic all need work — they are not at the level needed for him to be successful in the pros. This kid is in for a big shock if he truly thinks that he is ready to be an NFL starting QB!


    Personally, I would not invest any money in this kid at this time. But that’s just me being a pain in the hindquarters about the fact that it takes more than talent to play in the NFL. He is not starter material because he is not coachable at this point of his career. He can throw the long ball very well, but that’s about it. Josh also struggles with making plays from the pocket. I do have to say that when this kid is on, he’s on. If he gets into a rhythm, he looks just like a real live big time professional QB and then when the adversity hits, he becomes a mess. The mental stamina to be the face of a franchise and carry a team through a 16 game schedule is just not there right now and I question if it will ever be! He can win a game or two alone on his athletic ability, but that is about it. Josh could mature into being a professional QB some time in his sixth or seventh year, if he lasts that long! In my opinion, Josh will need a very strong coach and team to be successful. Then, and only then, will Josh have a chance to live up to his talent. This kid has made a big mistake coming out early. He needs another three or four years of college on top of the three years he all ready has to be ready to play in the NFL.

  9. just watched the viking-steelers game week on the discovery channel. they’ll replay it a few times over the next couple of days. worth the hour, it was pretty good

  10. hearing that spielio frazier and freeman have or are having conversations. interesting.

    1. Yeah, I read that to. Here is the article I found on Rotoworld:

      FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reports free agent Josh Freeman is hoping to sign with a team by tonight.
      Freeman wants to go somewhere he could “compete for a starting job.” Per Glazer, the Raiders, Bills, 49ers, Vikings, and Packers are among the teams that have already reached out to Freeman. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen indicated Sunday Oakland and Minnesota are atop Freeman’s likeliest destinations.

  11. Sound like Freeman will be a Viking be 9 PM. So does Ponder go on IR, or MBT go to Oakland?

  12. NFLN says it’s a done deal at about 10:30 here Sunday night, one year deal for Freeman. This will be a fun week. I like this move, nothing to lose in my opinion.

  13. Here is the post on Rotoworld:

    Vikings agreed to terms with QB Josh Freeman, formerly of the Bucs, on a one-year contract.
    So much for the Bills “intensifying their pursuit” of the wayward signal caller. It’s an odd fit for both, though whatever the money is, it was obviously right for Freeman. As for the Vikings, they’re getting a quarterback who’s basically on the same level as supposed starter Christian Ponder and experienced backup Matt Cassel. The roster wouldn’t seem to be big enough for the three of them, though there’s no immediate reason to believe the Vikes will be cutting ties with either Ponder or Cassel. Perhaps Ponder (ribs) will be sent to injured reserve, but it’s unlikely. With Ponder sidelined, Cassel should start in Week 6, and be on a quick hook.

  14. This could get interesting. I like the move, pretty bold. Now let’s see a move for a db.