When quarterback Josh Freeman joined the Minnesota Vikings in the middle of this season, most saw it as a puzzling signing by a desperate franchise. Now that the season is over, it’s pretty obvious that Freeman didn’t do anything to deserve his job and it would be shocking to see the now-free agent signal-caller back in the NFL in the future.
Reports out of Minnesota now claim that Freeman was late to “numerous meetings” during his three months with the Vikings and was “often among the last players to the facility.” That lines up perfectly with the reputation he developed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was considered aloof and lazy.
The Buccaneers released Freeman on October 3 and the Vikings signed him on October 6, hoping he could compete for the starting job with the struggling Christian Ponder and veteran Matt Cassel. He started the team’s Week 7 game against the New York Giants (after less than two weeks with the team) and was awful.
During that Week 7 contest, Freeman clearly didn’t know how to run the team’s offense and he turned in what was probably the worst performance of any quarterback during the 2013 season. In that game, Freeman completed just 20 of 53 passes (37.7 percent), for 190 yards (3.59 yards per attempt), with no touchdowns and an interception. The Vikings lost 23-7 in what was one of the worst games to watch of the entire season.
After that game, the 25-year-old never saw the field again despite ample opportunities to usurp Ponder and Cassel.
In spite of having all the necessary physical gifts a quarterback needs to be successful in the NFL, Freeman just doesn’t seem to care about working hard or earning the trust of his teammates and coaches. He has gotten progressively worse after a solid 2010 campaign in which he threw 25 touchdowns with just six interceptions, while leading Tampa Bay to a 10-6 record.
After the terrible impression he made with the Vikings in 2013 and all the trouble he caused for the Buccaneers, it’s almost impossible for me to see a team giving Freeman a guaranteed contract for next season.