New York signed Freeman April 21 to bolster its quarterback depth but is now left with the same three signal-callers that were featured on its roster for the entire 2013 season: Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter.
A veteran passer drafted 17th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2009 NFL draft, the 26-year-old Freeman has appeared in 61 regular-season games for the Bucs and Minnesota Vikings over the past five seasons.
ESPN's Andrew Brandt breaks down Freeman's remarkable fall from grace:
Last year Josh Freeman made $10.43 million between Bucs and Vikings. This year signed for minimum with Giants, now released.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) May 30, 2014
After completing just 45.7 percent of his passes for 571 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in three games with the Bucs in 2013, Freeman was released by Tampa Bay in early October. He would sign with the Vikings just days later, making one dreadful start for Minnesota before suffering a concussion and being benched for the remainder of the season.
After signing with the Giants in April, Freeman discussed the challenge of moving on following such a difficult year, per NFL.com's Judy Battista:
Last year, I would never have imagined this happening. I can't put my finger on exactly what happened. It was a frustrating time. You've got to learn to let things go. At this point, just thinking about it is only going to take time away from preparation in the present. I've laid it to rest. As frustrating as it was, it's over.
Although many point to Freeman's memorable 2010 season as proof that the 6'6", 240-pound quarterback can succeed as an NFL starter, his inability to follow that performance up over the past three seasons has all but crushed his hopes of earning a starting job.
The fact that the Giants were unwilling to even keep Freeman around until the preseason is likely to turn off other teams to the idea of signing him as a backup.
Nonetheless, Freeman remains a young player with invaluable NFL experience, and if the right situation presents itself, he has the credentials to capitalize.
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