Minnesota Vikings Sign Josh Freeman, Open at -1 vs. Carolina
Minnesota Vikings Sign Josh Freeman To Pressure Ponder, Cassel: Over the course of the last few seasons, Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder have both been starting quarterbacks. Now, the Minnesota Vikings are adding a third quarterback to the bunch, as Josh Freeman has been signed. He is expected to be a part of the team this week, and though he probably won’t be starting right away, he probably isn’t all that far away from replacing Ponder as the starter and Cassel as the backup in Minnesota.
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Freeman of course, had all sorts of problems this year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He wasn’t named a team captain a year after being a captain, and he and Head Coach Greg Schiano butted heads a ton. Schiano still has his job for the time being, but Freeman got his release last week when the team couldn’t find a trading partner for him. The Buffalo Bills were also rumored to be set to bring in Freeman to try to replace the injured QB EJ Manuel for at least the next few weeks, but at this point, Freeman has himself a job where he could probably stay for the long run if he makes a good impression right away.
Ponder was a waste this season, and he has really turned into a bust for the Vikes. Though he did take the team to the playoffs last year, Minnesota won in spite of the Florida State graduate. This year, Ponder has only completed 59.0 percent of his passes for 691 yards with two TDs and five picks. Cassel did well against the Pittsburgh Steelers in London two weeks ago in his first start with Ponder injured, but it has become clear that the team doesn’t think that he is the long-term man to put in charge.
Freeman led the Bucs to three straight losses before getting benched. He put up Tim Tebow-like numbers, throwing for just 571 yards in three games with a 45.7% completion percentage and a 59.3 quarterback rating. QB Mike Glennon has taken over in his rookie year for Tampa Bay, where he will start for the rest of the season.
The Vikings opened up this week on the NFL betting lines at -1 against the Carolina Panthers at home. The Vikes are still within reach in the wide open NFC playoff picture in spite of their 1-3 start to the season, as the Bears, Packers, and Lions all already have two losses, and only the Seahawks and Saints have separated themselves from the rest of the field in the conference through Week 5.