Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Freeman signs with Vikings

TAMPA — Discarded Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman had his pick of 10 teams.

Late Sunday night, he signed a one-year deal worth $3 million with the Vikings, his agent said.

Freeman, released by the Bucs on Thursday, reportedly also was pursued by, among other teams, the Raiders, Bills and 49ers.

He joins a crowded quarterback room in Minnesota that includes former Florida State star Christian Ponder and veteran Matt Cassel.

Last season, Freeman, 25, passed for 262 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-17 win against the Vikings.

The Vikings are coming off a bye week. In their previous game, Sept. 29, Cassel had a turnover-free performance to help them to their first win of the season, over the Steelers in London. Ponder, inconsistent during a turnover-filled 0-3 start, missed the game with a broken rib.

Freeman, the 17th overall pick in the 2009 draft, spoke with Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman on Sunday.

After setting Bucs single-season records with 4,065 passing yards and 27 touchdowns against 17 interceptions in 2012, Freeman fell out of favor with coach Greg Schiano this season.

During an 0-4 start, Freeman, who also will get the $6.2 million owed by the Bucs, completed only 45.7 percent of his passes and owned a passer rating of 59.3. Ponder's numbers were similar during an 0-3 start, a passer rating of 65.9 with seven turnovers.

Freeman's signing with the Vikings brings closure to a dramatic quarterback split.

Schiano benched Freeman on Sept. 25 in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, a third-round pick from N.C. State two days after saying Freeman gave the Bucs the best chance to win.

Initially, Freeman was going to serve as the Bucs' No. 2 quarterback for the next game. But he was inactive and watched a 13-10 loss to the Cardinals from a luxury suite for inactive players at Raymond James Stadium.

Schiano called the decision to watch from the suite "mutual." But Freeman's agent, Erik Burkhardt, called the assertion a "lie, obviously."

The Bucs fined Freeman for missing a meeting and for arranging an unauthorized interview with ESPN during which he said he wanted to be traded.

On Sept. 29, ESPN reported Freeman was part of the NFL's substance-abuse program, prompting an investigation by the players' union because the program is confidential.

On Sept. 30, Freeman said he had permission to take Adderall for his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder condition and volunteered to enter the program after substituting Ritalin. He added he has passed every drug test since.

Freeman accused the Bucs of leaking the information about his involvement in the program.

The Bucs also said Freeman missed the team meal and was late for the bus before the season opener against the Jets.

Rick Stroud can be reached at

Josh Freeman will make $3 million for the rest of the season with the Vikings, who also have Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel.


Josh Freeman will make $3 million for the rest of the season with the Vikings, who also have Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel.

Freeman signs with Vikings 10/07/13 [Last modified: Monday, October 7, 2013 1:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'


    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

    Former Tampa Bay Lightning player center Brian Boyle (24), on the ice during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 16, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.