Former Bucs QB Freeman headed to Vikings on one-year, $3 million deal

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 7, 2013 - 11:25 AM

The Vikings signed the free-agent quarterback after he was released from Tampa Bay.

The Vikings quarterback situation just became a lot more interesting. And crowded.

The team signed free agent Josh Freeman to a one-year deal reportedly worth $3 million late Sunday night, which presumably means Christian Ponder’s tenure is almost over.

Freeman must learn the Vikings offense, but the team’s aggressiveness in pursuing the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback indicates that they want him to replace Ponder as the starter as soon as possible.

A former first-round pick out of Kansas State, Freeman is only 25 but already is in his fifth NFL season. He has passed for 13,534 yards and 80 touchdowns with 66 interceptions.

The Vikings, who return to work Monday after their bye, already were prepared to face questions about their quarterback situation this week. The team is hopeful that Ponder can practice as he recovers from a fractured rib injury that forced him to miss the Steelers game in London. Veteran Matt Cassel played well in relief on Ponder in guiding the Vikings to their first victory of the season.

Coach Leslie Frazier was noncommittal last week on which quarterback will start Sunday against Carolina. It would be surprising if Freeman can get up to speed on the offense by this weekend, which means Cassel likely could get to start again.

Freeman is expected to fly to the Twin Cities on Monday morning. Ten teams contacted his agents before he signed with the Vikings.

According to a source, Freeman had a good conversation with Frazier over the weekend and felt comfortable about the situation and opportunity.

“We are always looking to add good players to our roster and I think we have done that with Josh,” Frazier said.

Freeman told Fox NFL Insider Jay Glazer on Saturday that he planned to pick a team Sunday night after watching the slate of games to see if a team suddenly needed a quarterback because of injury.

The list of teams reportedly interested in Freeman included the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills. Freeman, who was released by the Bucs after starting the first three games this season, reportedly was looking for a situation where he could step in as a starter.

Freeman endured a dramatic fall from franchise quarterback to outcast with Tampa Bay. He looked like a future star in 2010 when he passed for 3,451 yards and 25 touchdowns with only six interceptions.

But his performance seesawed the past few seasons and he fell out of favor with new coach Greg Schiano.

Freeman missed a team photo and was fined more than $30,000 by the Bucs this season for several infractions, according to the Tampa Bay Times.  

Word leaked recently that Freeman is a stage one participant in the NFL’s drug program. Freeman promptly released a statement saying he has an approved exemption to use Adderall to treat ADHD but that he made a mistake and switched to Ritalin, which resulted in a positive test. In his statement, Freeman said he’s passed 46 drug tests since voluntarily entering the program.  

Freeman completed only 45.7 percent of his passes for 571 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions in three starts this season. He was benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon and then released late last week.

Freeman is 2-0 against the Vikings and he completed 61 percent of his passes for 505 yards and four touchdowns in those meetings. He passed for 262 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in a 36-17 victory against the Vikings at Mall of America Field last season.


    noon Sunday • Mall of America Field • TV: Ch. 9 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Philadelphia 1 Top 2nd Inning
Washington 0
Seattle 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Baltimore 0
Texas 0 Top 2nd Inning
Cleveland 1
Colorado 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Detroit 0
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Miami 0
San Francisco 2 Top 2nd Inning
NY Mets 0
LA Angels 3 Bottom 1st Inning
Tampa Bay 0
NY Yankees 0 Top 2nd Inning
Boston 0
Minnesota - L. Darnell 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Sale
Toronto - J. Happ 7:10 PM
Houston - C. McHugh
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 8:35 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez 8:40 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Atlanta - M. Minor 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis 8/7/14 6:00 PM
NY Jets
San Francisco 8/7/14 6:30 PM
New England 8/7/14 6:30 PM
Cincinnati 8/7/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
Seattle 8/7/14 8:00 PM
Dallas 8/7/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Winnipeg 27 FINAL
Hamilton 26
Toronto 0 4:36
Montreal 4
Brt Columbia 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Connecticut 7:00 PM
San Antonio
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question