Every day we’ll take a look at one of the Minnesota Vikings heading for free agency, what he has meant to the team before and a prognosis on whether or not he’ll be back with the club in 2014.
Free agent to be: Josh Freeman
Years in the league: 5
What he made last season: $2,000,001 (cap number); $2,000,001 (cash value)
What he did last season: Freeman provided one of the most interesting subplots of the Vikings' season, signing a one-year deal on Oct. 7 for the $2 million the Vikings had nearly given to Antoine Winfield to come out of retirement. He was in the starting lineup two weeks later, and didn't see the field again after completing 20 of his 53 passes for just 190 yards against the New York Giants. He habitually overthrew receivers against the Giants, still had accuracy issues in practice and spent much of the season working on his footwork. Freeman seemed bewildered by the Vikings' plan for him, and it wasn't hard to see the Vikings didn't have enough confidence in him to put him back on the field.
His potential market value: Freeman had several teams vying for his services when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut him, but the fact the Vikings signed him, only to not use him, has to send off some alarm bells for other teams. He is still only 26, and has a Pro Bowl season to his credit, but it's tough to see a team committing more than a one-year deal to Freeman, simply because he carries so much uncertainty at this point.
Will he still fit the Vikings? Unlikely, though Freeman's arm strength could make him an intriguing option for new offensive coordinator Norv Turner. But bringing Freeman back would likely mean the Vikings would have to regain his trust, and convince themselves that they'd seen enough from Freeman's practice performances and work habits to move forward with him. It's hard to see that happening at this point.
What happens: Freeman will likely have to go somewhere as a backup quarterback, but he might find a team to take a chance on him because of his size, talent and flashes of success as a NFL quarterback. He didn't get the chance to rebuild value for himself in Minnesota, when it seemed like he had the opportunity to do so, and now he'll likely face a much cooler market than he might have seen otherwise.