Former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman spoke Monday night for the first time since he signed with the Vikings, saying he's "pumped" to start a new chapter in his NFL career.
"I'm pumped up to be a Minnesota Viking," said Freeman, who will not start Sunday as he learns a new offense. "I'm just really excited to have the opportunity to be a part of such a storied franchise. … Something about it just felt right in my heart. I'm definitely fired up."
Freeman, 25, was released Thursday by the Bucs after a difficult descent from starting quarterback to inactive as rookie Mike Glennon took over. Asked about what happened between him and Bucs coach Greg Schiano, he acknowledged it has been "a pretty crazy past few weeks," saying he's trying to look forward now.
"Obviously, he didn't feel I was the guy he wanted leading his team, the caliber of quarterback he wanted behind center," Freeman said on a conference call with Vikings reporters. "I had a lot of great memories there, a lot of good times with the fellas. Obviously the Glazers and Raheem Morris gave me that opportunity. Four and a half cherished years, but times change."
Minnesota has three quarterbacks who started last season, with former Florida State star Christian Ponder and free agent signee Matt Cassel. Ponder returned to practice Monday and said he threw the ball with "very little pain, if any" to the fractured rib that sidelined him for one game.