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Vikings Sign Josh Freeman


The last relationship Josh Freeman had with an NFL franchise ended badly, but it appears he’s rebounded quickly and found love from another team willing to give him a shot.

According to league sources, via ESPN.com, the Minnesota Vikings have signed the embattled quarterback to a one-year contract worth approximately $3 million. Sunday’s announcement of the signing comes just three days after Freeman was released from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After going through a very public falling-out with its starting quarterback during a stretch of games where Freeman played poorly, Tampa Bay originally tried shopping Freeman, but couldn’t find any takers, even after contacting all 31 other NFL teams. Whether it was his underwhelming play or rumored character issues, teams seemed understandably apprehensive about giving up any valuable players in exchange for the recently-benched quarterback.

However, as a free agent, Freeman’s stock suddenly rose as several teams showed interest in signing the troubled, but undeniably talented QB. The Bills and Raiders were reportedly looking for more help at the position, but Freeman ultimately decided to sign with Minnesota, a team with a top-notch ground attack that would complement any signal-caller.

While some will say Minnesota is taking a risk in adding Freeman to its squad, the Vikings see plenty of upside in the fourth-year man, who threw for more than 4,000 yards and tossed 27 touchdowns last season.

“I think Josh Freeman is a good player,” a Vikings source told ESPN. “We just have to figure out where things went wrong in Tampa Bay so we can help him. He is too young not to progress.”

With Christian Ponder – who sat out of Minnesota’s week four win with a fractured rib – and Matt Cassel on the depth chart, the question now is: Where will Freeman fit in? It’s not out of the question to think that Freeman could start, since neither Ponder or Cassel has dazzled under center. But a quarterback change might not come right away, considering Freeman would need time to learn a new offensive system and the fact that Ponder is still listed as the team’s No.1 QB, according to a team source. However, if the Vikings continue to struggle moving the ball through the air, a change may be just what they need.

While the Vikings aren’t likely to compete for a playoff bid this season, it’s far too early to throw in the towel, so maybe starting Freeman in an effort to salvage their 2013 campaign would be their best move? A change of scenery is also likely to calm Freeman and give him some confidence, so don’t be too surprised if he plays soon and plays well.

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