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Instant Analysis: Josh Freeman signs with Minnesota


Former Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman has reportedly signed a deal with the Minnesota Vikings that will pay him $3 million for the rest of the season. Freeman had his fair share of suitors over the past few days, including the Raiders and Bills, but chose the Vikings because of their, well, willingness to pay him $3 million. Other teams were likely a better fit for Freeman, but this looks like a desperation play by Minnesota in an attempt to jump start their season.

Freeman fell out of favor with Greg Schiano and the Bucs relatively early on this season and his play on the field was simply miserable, despite having weapons like Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams to assist him. On the season, Freeman has thrown for an anemic 571 yards on an even worse 45.7% completion rate andvaccounted for just two touchdowns and four turnovers in his three games. Stats like those get you released regardless of your perceived attitude, but the Vikings are obviously looking at a player who has a good track record historically and had a season with 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions back in 2010. The only problem there is Freeman has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 55:60 in every other season he’s played.

The signing of Freeman sends a ripple effect throughout the league, so let’s take a look at some players whose dynasty outlook has changed after the signing:

Josh Freeman, QB MIN

Pending he doesn’t totally face plant at practice this week, he could conceivably be under center when the Vikings take on Carolina this week. Christian Ponder will still be given an opportunity to start if he heals up quickly (something tells me he’ll be likely telling the trainers he’s just fine this week), but if Ponder does start, the leash is going to be very short. At some point, it’s likely Freeman gets his chance and it’s also going to be sooner, rather than later. Truth be told, this is a good second chance landing spot for Freeman – the defenses will never be geared to stop him as long as Adrian Peterson is healthy and the other quarterbacks on the roster aren’t exactly setting the world on fire. Don’t forget Freeman is still just 25 years old as well. I’m hesitant in upgrading the likes of Greg Jennings, Kyle Rudolph, Jerome Simpson or any other skill position player on the Vikings because you’d be assuming Freeman is a big upgrade over Ponder and Matt Cassel – his recent play doesn’t really suggest that. However, there is at least some hope generated on that front. Regardless, this is good news on the Freeman side as he’ll soon set out to prove the coaching staff in Tampa had it out for him Let’s just hope he makes it on time to his first team meeting.

Christian Ponder, QB MIN

Ponder has been one the most disappointing quarterbacks drafted recently. The signing of Freeman sends one of two messages to the Ponder camp. First, this could simply mean he’s out of a job. Second, this could mean he’s now on notice he’s in real danger of losing his job. Either way, the Vikings are finally showing the ability to recognize the drafting of Ponder and expectation he could be the quarterback of the future was likely a mistake. You simply don’t sign a new quarterback for the rest of the season and pay him the money they’re paying Freeman and expect Ponder to somehow have the light go on. We may have already seen the last of Ponder as the Vikings starter, if not, we will here shortly.

Matt Cassel, QB MIN

Hope you enjoyed London and guiding the team to a victory. Now, please grab that clipboard. Cassel has to be more than a bit frustrated as the Vikings are looking like a team willing to turn to a player who had a magical season in 201o – problem is, it’s Freeman, not himself.

Terrelle Pryor, QB OAK

There were rumblings the Raiders were looking to bring in Freeman, start him over Terrelle Pryor and cut Matt Flynn. While cutting Flynn still seems like a pretty good decision at any point, Pryor has shown enough improvement this season that it would have likely been a mistake to sign Freeman. Pryor should have the rest of the year to prove he’s the future in Oakland and he’s surprisingly making a pretty good case for it.

Jeff Tuel, QB BUF

The Bills will likely sign another quarterback early this week (Dennis Dixon and Pat White are candidates), but Tuel looks like he’ll be the starter while EJ Manuel recovers. Let’s just say the slow start of CJ Spiller is pretty much the least of the problems for the Bills at the moment. The Bills were supposedly intensifying their efforts to sign Freeman, but they were beaten out by…wait for it….wait for it….the other kind of bills.


Ken Kelly

Ken Kelly

Senior Partner - Executive Editor at DynastyLeagueFootball
Ken is a corporate trainer by day an a tireless editor of dynasty content by night. His passion for the World Champion Seattle Seahawks is second only to his love of fantasy football and the dynasty format.

Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
Ken Kelly

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  1. Matt

    October 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    As a Freeman and Rudolph owner, I’m hoping for the best in this signing. Ponder has ruined Rudolph thus far, and my TE2 Gresham isn’t exactly shining either.

  2. Jacob Feldman

    October 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I think this is a sign the Vikings have decided that Ponder is not the long term starter. Before they spend another high draft pick on a quarterback in 2014 or chase a free agent, they just decided to give a young quarterback (Freeman) a try. Maybe they can turn him around and he could be their starter of the future. It “only” costs them 3 million to find out if he could be. If it turns out that he can be productive, it is quite the steal.

    Fantasy owners won’t be very happy with this though as it makes all of the pass catchers terribly inconsistent.

  3. Michael

    October 7, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Inconsistent – Not a worry, I have Rudolph as my main TE and am just happy that the Vikes might have picked up someone who at least can through the ball, even if he is inconsistent.

    2013 Stats:
    Ponder – 2900 YDs
    Freeman – 4000 YDs

    I look at that is a 25% chance for an increase in points!

  4. Chris

    October 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    So since this was posted some things have changed

    Bills signed QB Thaddeus Lewis off their practice squad and announced he will start Week 6 against the Bengals.

    Raiders released QB Matt Flynn

    Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said new QB Josh Freeman isn’t a candidate to start in Week 6

  5. jnyc

    October 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    “Other teams were likely a better fit for Freeman”

    Which other teams were a better fit? The Bills, so he could just hold down the fort until Manuel returns? Oakland, so he could be in a competition with Pryor? The Vikings are clearly the best fit of his choices as he has the chance to become the face of that franchise – he might not do it, but he has the chance which is more than any other team would have offered.

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