By Jay Kilby: After a disastrous start for the Minnesota Vikings (2-7) last month in the Vikings 23-7 loss to the lowly New York Giants in a game in which he suffered a concussion, quarterback Josh Freeman says he’s ready to get back in and start playing again.
The sad thing is that Freeman was going to be given another start in the Vikings next game against the Green Bay Packers, as Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier was backing Freeman to the hilt and was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But that decision was taken out of his hands when Freeman reported that he had taken a hard hit to the head that turned out to be a concussion. Frazier was basically off the hook at that point, as he didn’t need to give Freeman another start.
He then buried him on the bench and re-inserted quarterback Christian Ponder as the Vikings starter, and he’s done fairly well in the team’s last couple of games. Now that Ponder has suffered a shoulder that may keep him out of the Vikings next game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 17th, Matt Cassel could end up getting the start. Freeman is being ignored on the bench, and it looks like he’s going to remain in that position for the remainder of season unless Ponder or Cassel start suddenly playing poorly. This means that the Vikings have probably wasted the $2 million that they agreed to pay Freeman for the remainder of the season.
In hindsight, it was a dumb move to sign Freeman in first pace, because he had really stunk it out while starting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season before they cut him. In three games with the Bucs, Freeman completed less than 50 percent of his passes. In his only start for the Vikings, he completed 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards with a completion percentage of 37.7 percent. This season as a whole, Freeman has completed 63 of 147 passes for 761 yards with a completion percentage of 42.9. He’s having one of the worst seasons ever for a quarterback.
Freeman told the St. Paul Pioneer Press “I’m making a lot of progress from my first game. I can’t speak for the coaches. I can’t speak for Leslie. I’m just working as hard as I can. When they need me to go in, I plan to go in and play well, whenever that may be.”
It’s not a good sign that the Vikings, who are in last place, aren’t letting Freeman play. That’s a terrible sign because it suggests that they don’t see him as having the talent to play at this level. What that means farther down the road is that the Vikings will almost surely not bother to re-sign Freeman after the season. That could in turn put Freeman in the same position that former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was in after he was cut by the New York Jets and New England Patriots. It’s going to make it potentially difficult for Freeman to find a team that will sign him, and when he does find one, it could be a last chance type of scenario for him.