A glimmer of hope shines for Vikings fans with the addition of a new quarterback. On Monday, Leslie Frazier signed former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman. The Vikings have struggled this season (1-3) and hope that this could be just what the team needs to get them back on track for the playoffs.
Freeman was the 17th pick of the 1st round draft back in 2009. He had a successful 2010 season throwing for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. However, in his 2011 season, Freeman threw only 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. In the first three games this season, he has already thrown three interceptions and only two touchdowns. He was released after this third game.
Head coach Greg Schiano released Freeman last week due to disagreements between coach and player. Freeman looked at multiple teams, including the Buffalo Bills. He chose the Vikings because he will have time to learn the ropes before he will be asked to step up as a starter. If he had signed with the Bills, he would likely be in their starting line up this weekend.
“From standpoint of a career move, thing I like about the Vikings is, they’ve got a guy. It’s an opportunity to pump the brakes,” said Freeman. “They’ve got a situation where I can come in and learn the system, and whether they call for me and need me to play.”
Matt Cassel took over at quarterback last Sunday against the Steelers due to Christian Ponder out with injured ribs. Cassel had an impressive game; he was able to capture the team’s first win of the season, which makes people wonder if healthy Ponder will ever have his starting position back. With the addition of Josh Freeman, will both Ponder and Cassel be bumped down from the starting positions?
“By no means is this a reflection that we’re disappointed in Christian Ponder or disappointed in Matt Cassel. … Just an opportunity to go out and add a football player we have high regard for,” said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. Spielman and Frazier have had faith in Ponder as a quarterback since he was signed in 2011, and they still insist that they have faith. But realistically, with Ponder’s injury and contract up at the end of the year, Freeman has a good chance to step into his shoes.
Cassel is likely to start this weekend against the Panthers. He will have to prove himself able to hold his own as a starting quarterback. Once Ponder’s ribs heal and Freeman learns the ropes, all three of them will have to prove they have what it takes to turn this team around.