Josh Freeman has been benched in Tampa Bay, making room for rookie Mike Glennon, ESPN.com reports.
This move has been months in the making since Glennon appears to be the anointed QB of the future there. The relevant question to Vikings fans: does this mean Freeman would be available, and would it be a good thing if the Vikings were to make a play for him?
We did a little archive searching in the Star Tribune database to find some of the 2009 pre-draft chatter. Freeman was chosen No. 17 overall that season by the Bucs, who traded up from No. 19 to take him.
You'll recall that at the time Tarvaris Jackson was still an experiment, Sage Rosenfels had been acquired in February of that year as competition and the acquisition of Brett Favre was months away. So the Vikings could have been thinking QB. They ended up with Percy Harvin at No. 22, which worked out very well considering his production in four seasons and the haul he fetched in the trade to Seattle.
That said, there is some reporting that suggests the Vikings were high on Freeman. Per a Star Trib story from April 26, 2009:
NFL Network analyst Scott Hanson, citing a source, said the Vikings were interested in Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman before Tampa Bay traded up from No. 19 to No. 17 to take him.
Rick Spielman, Vikings vice president of player personnel, laughed when asked about it.
"Again, everybody is writing things," he said. "We were excited to get Percy Harvin at 22."
In a separate KFAN interview before the draft, by the way, Spielman was asked about the three projected first-round QBs (Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Freeman) and uttered these words that were reported in the Star Tribune as well: "Those are the three that people are talking about as potential
franchise-type quarterbacks. But also first-round quarterbacks can be the biggest busts as well. That's the hardest position that you take a chance on, especially in the top 10."
Do with that what you will, as you remember the 2011 draft.
In any event, the Vikings never had a chance to take Freeman but at least reportedly liked him. Next question: Should they still like him?
On the plus side, he is a mobile QB who had one very good season (2010) and one decent season (2012). He is 25 years old -- one month older than Christian Ponder -- with a more accomplished resume.
On the minus side, he stunk in 2011 and just lost his job after a bad start in 2013. He has accuracy issues at times and is 24-35 in his career as a starter.
When looking ahead to 2014, the Vikings could be starting over at QB. Is Freeman someone they should be considering as part of that mix?