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. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

  2. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000


    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 1:10 Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Mariners

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Blake Snell
  4. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big


    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  5. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump


    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.