The Redemption of Josh Freeman and His Return to the NFL

BR StudiosFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2016

In an exclusive off-camera interview in Brooklyn on October 29, 2015, with Bleacher Report and USA Today, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman discussed his roller-coaster career and his current quest to return to the NFL.

In 2009, the Buccaneers selected Freeman with the 17th overall pick in the NFL draft. By the following season, the Kansas State product had progressed from an effective rookie to a Pro Bowl alternate. Freeman's career was clearly ascending.

Three years later, his career arc had done a complete 180. After an 0-3 start, Tampa Bay benched him and ultimately released him. After a disastrous start with the Minnesota Vikings during a Monday night game against the New York Giants, Freeman didn't play another down in the NFL for more than two seasons.

Year after year, minicamp after minicamp, tryout after tryout, Freeman failed to make an NFL roster. The Giants, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins all passed on the former standout quarterback.

This past fall, Freeman signed up to play in a league that even most diehard fans have never heard of: the Fall Experimental Football League. As a quarterback of the Brooklyn Bolts, Freeman was reunited with his former quarterbacks coach, Terry Shea, who placed Freeman on a road that led the former first-round pick back to his first NFL start in nearly 26 months.