Josh Freeman Is Merely a Stopgap for Minnesota Vikings

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IOctober 7, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after throwing an incomplete pass in the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

So, according to an ESPN report, the Minnesota Vikings just signed Josh Freeman to a $3 million deal after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut the embattled quarterback on Oct. 3.

Either he's the Vikings' dream quarterback of the future or simply a temporary option with Christian Ponder currently injured (and playing horribly).

Vikings fans better hope the franchise is thinking the latter.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported during halftime of the San Francisco 49ers-St. Louis Rams matchup in Week 4 that Freeman's Tampa Bay teammates were "not upset" that head coach Greg Schiano benched the former No. 17 overall pick in favor of rookie Mike Glennon (via Rotoworld.com). In fact, they reportedly thought Glennon was "a better leader," according to Rapoport.

So, you can say Freeman "needs a change of scenery," but that doesn't change the fact that he's not a leader or apparently mature enough to guide an NFL team.

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after an incomplete pass in the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Im
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

But it goes beyond Freeman's attitude. He's also not good enough to be a franchise quarterback.

Or, as parody Twitter account Evil Mike Tomlin put it:

Before the 2013 campaign, Freeman had tossed 17 or more interceptions in three of his past four seasons. He ranked 29th among 32 qualifying quarterbacks in completion percentage last season while ranking 19th in quarterback rating.

But Freeman is good enough to be a stopgap in Minnesota, which is exactly what he should be. I don't blame the Vikings for signing him for this season, but they need to move forward without him once the 2013 season concludes.

Freeman will probably mind his manners in Minnesota for now because of his impending free agency. He certainly doesn't want to scare off potential suitors.

But to think that he will continue to be on his best behavior once he's signed to a long-term contract is being naive and, frankly, desperate. Desperate teams give quarterbacks like Freeman long-term deals. And making such commitments to quarterbacks like Freeman only stunts your growth as a team.

So, move forward with Freeman, possibly sell more tickets for now, but don't treat him like a franchise quarterback—because he isn't one. 

If the Vikings are smart, they will look for a new quarterback in the offseason, either in free agency or in the draft.

 

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