These are the Vikings we remember from our youth -- constantly shuffling around quarterbacks, keeping us on our toes. It was less than two weeks ago that we wrote a similar "five things" post about Matt Cassel, the veteran who was taking over for Christian Ponder and his (wink-wink?) rib injury?
Cassel played pretty well in London, and the Vikings won his only start. A week later, his reward was the late-night news Sunday that the Vikings, during their bye week, were making headlines by nabbing released ex-Bucs QB Josh Freeman.
Now, we've been firing up the speculation machine on Freeman for almost a month now, ever since he started to find himself on shaky ground in Tampa Bay. We thought he might be worth a risk. Does signing him to a reported one-year, $3 million deal really make sense? Let's take a closer look:
1) He is the same age (25) as Ponder, but he has been in the league two years longer and made more than twice as many NFL starts (59 to 29). You could say he has had a longer time to prove himself without really distinguishing himself, but we would say he is far more accomplished than Ponder and still has more upside. Does it make sense from a prospect standpoint? Yes.
2) He has a season with 25 TD passes and six INTs. He has another season with 27 TD passes and 4,000 yards passing. Raise your hand if you think Christian Ponder will ever accomplish that. Does it make sense from an accomplishment standpoint? Yes.
3) Some of Freeman's alleged baggage can be attributed to what appears to be a toxic environment under Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano, who arrived in 2012. Does it make sense from a second chance/change of scenery standpoint? Yes.
4) If the Vikings have given up on Christian Ponder (yes), are looking once again for a QB of the future (yes), but don't want to give up on 2013 yet with a NFC North in flux (only one game back in the loss column) and Adrian Peterson in his prime (yes), does taking a chance on a young veteran with upside like Freeman make sense? Yes.
5) And going back to the beginning, if you have lived through the Kramer/Wilson/Gannon/Salisbury/McMahon cluster from 1986-1993, does this absolutely make sense in a "this is what the Vikings do" way? Yes.
All signs point to yes. We'll be out at Winter Park today blogging and doing video. Should be fun ...