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Freeman’s pay from Vikings shows he’s coming to play, not sit

Freeman Getty Images

As we reported within the past hour, the Vikings will sign quarterback Josh Freeman.  As others have reported, the contract will pay Freeman $3 million over the rest of the season.

The financial commitment shows that Freeman will be given every chance to claim the job.  For a full year, the pay projects to a base salary of $4.25 million.  That’s more than twice Matt Cassel’s $1.65 million for the year.  It’s nearly three times Christian Ponder’s base salary of $1.29 million.

The Vikings likely will say that Ponder is still the starter.  But Ponder also is injured, with at least one fractured rib.

A potential fracture also was developing between the coaching staff and key players like Adrian Peterson.  The powers-that-be seemed to be committed to Ponder.  The players were gravitating toward Cassel.

Freeman has done enough during his time in the NFL to pull everyone together, at least in the short term.

The move for Freeman feels a lot like the effort in 2009 to bolster an offense led by running back Adrian Peterson.  Then, it was a 39-year-old Brett Favre.  Now, it’s a 25-year-old Freeman.

Either way, it’s a Hail Mary to push the team back toward playoff contention, starting with a Week Six game against the Panthers, a team Freeman has faced twice per year.

It’s likely the two games played by Freeman against Minnesota that made the biggest difference for the Vikings.  Last October, Freeman torched the Minnesota defense for 36 points, with a big assist from Doug Martin.  The prior year, Freeman led the Bucs out of a 17-0 halftime deficit in Minnesota to score a 24-20 win.

Look for Freeman to get a chance to go 3-0 in the Metrodome on Sunday.  Otherwise, the Vikings will be paying him $250,000 to hold a clipboard.

Still, the move entails risk.  The last time the Vikings signed a veteran quarterback who wears No. 5, it was a debacle.  If the Freeman experiment fails miserably, those who pulled the trigger also may have signed their pink slip.

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80 Responses to “Freeman’s pay from Vikings shows he’s coming to play, not sit”
  1. onebucplace says: Oct 7, 2013 12:36 AM

    Freeman’s pay also means there was a market for him – again proving how stupid Schiano and crew are.

    Also for the idiots that say he sucks, please, again, show me the QBs that completely suck that throw for over 4,000 yards and 27TDs in a ‘bad’ year. Freeman is a quality NFL QB that was nearly destroyed by an idiotic college hack.

  2. nfl4days says: Oct 7, 2013 12:36 AM

    Lets see what freeman we get. Freeman is gonna go as far as hes willing to take himself. Hopefully that Tampa Bay situation lit a fire under him, or the Vikings are paying a lot of money for those warm benches.

  3. codiablo says: Oct 7, 2013 12:36 AM

    This is amazing and great! Freeman was a steal! Schiano an idiot & team cancer…bucs should have kept raheem morris…Time to trade ponder to green bay for a block of cheese.

  4. christhefish says: Oct 7, 2013 12:38 AM

    this move is way beyond frazier.

  5. amazingguy101 says: Oct 7, 2013 12:39 AM

    wow Vikings instesting move….

  6. FlashPatterson says: Oct 7, 2013 12:41 AM

    I was a little skeptical at first, but he’s 25 years old and he actually has played at a high level at some point in the past. Cautiously optimistic.

  7. txeer304 says: Oct 7, 2013 12:41 AM

    Freeman coming in right away to play not be the best thing.
    Freeman in 3 games vs NYJ, NE, NO had a best completion % of 48.3%
    Now he’s going to a team with less talent at the WR position and will be facing GB twice, Chi, Seattle, Dallas, Detroit, Bal, and Cincinnati.
    He has only beaten 1 of those teams in 5 years, and that was GB in his very first start.
    You will be hars press to find 2 wins in that group.

  8. All-American Voltron says: Oct 7, 2013 12:43 AM

    I have a feeling Matt Cassel just developed the same “rib injury” Ponder had …

  9. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Oct 7, 2013 12:43 AM

    I wonder which of Freeman, Ponder, or Cassel will be the backup to our #1 draft choice next year?

  10. vikingsftw says: Oct 7, 2013 12:43 AM

    I can picture it now big rainbows Freeman to Patterson it will be like reliving the Cunningham to Moss days…SKOL!

  11. logicalvoicesaysravensrule says: Oct 7, 2013 12:43 AM

    Right, because Freeman has shown the cpacity and poise to turn around a losing franchise….. oh wait…..

  12. pfic15 says: Oct 7, 2013 12:44 AM

    Who was the last QB? Memory slips?

  13. pfic15 says: Oct 7, 2013 12:46 AM

    Oh wait…McNabb.

  14. patsbrat says: Oct 7, 2013 12:47 AM

    Good for Freeman…can we move on now?

  15. jackdaniels1 says: Oct 7, 2013 12:47 AM

    I dont get why all you pundits are shining Freeman’s knob. He’s obviously regressed, severely, otherwise he’d still be in Tampa. Maybe his early success was a fluke

  16. zygizag says: Oct 7, 2013 12:48 AM

    You don’t make this deal if you still believe you have the QBOTF on your team. Ponder’s time as a starter is OVER at last.

    If I was Freeman I would change my number because of who preciously who #5 for the Vikes as mentioned in the article.

    If Cassel does start Sunday he knows he needs to play lights out to keep playing. I am sure he is bumbed with the move.

    Competition is a good thing. Worked for Seattle.

    LF interviews are going to be interesting.

  17. dpaste99 says: Oct 7, 2013 12:48 AM

    And yet another amazing picture.

    You guys should run a side caption contest on these things.

  18. mianfr says: Oct 7, 2013 12:50 AM

    Brett Favre he is not.

  19. riverace19 says: Oct 7, 2013 12:50 AM

    This experiment will fail miserably like most things the Vikings have done… Besides drafting AP

  20. allday420ap says: Oct 7, 2013 12:57 AM

    The deep ball with AP is a lethal combination

  21. zn0rseman says: Oct 7, 2013 1:01 AM

    Horrible signing.

    QB has not been the Vikings problem. A brutal opening schedule, a defense that is stuggling, and an injured starting QB.

    Now the Vikings schedule is softening up and they are bringing in Freeman, a waiver-wire scrub that was let go elsewhere for being terrible? I don’t get it, are they trying to lose?

  22. bennyb82 says: Oct 7, 2013 1:02 AM

    Major upgrade…not being sarcastic

  23. cougar69rt03 says: Oct 7, 2013 1:03 AM

    WTF it better be ponder who they release , not Thompson

  24. moneymike23 says: Oct 7, 2013 1:06 AM

    What in the world was Spilmen thinking when he drafted Ponder??? Just can’t figure out what he saw in him….he wasn’t even that good in college. Speilmen should be fired NOW just for that pick alone.

  25. allday28mvpmvp says: Oct 7, 2013 1:07 AM

    Vikes have multiple solid QBs now. If only Ponder had trade value. Maybe let him watch and learn for the rest of the year then make a decision.

    Too all the “fans” who wanted the Vikings to just tank it this year to get a high draft pick: That is just loser talk, dont be a loser.

  26. libspotter says: Oct 7, 2013 1:07 AM

    This will end poorly.

  27. xofootballer says: Oct 7, 2013 1:14 AM

    Freeman for whatever reason is a five-year failure that some people LOVE to make excuses for.
    This isn’t going to end well for Freeman or the Vikings.

  28. johnnyb216 says: Oct 7, 2013 1:32 AM

    This team is a complete joke.

  29. shottiboom says: Oct 7, 2013 1:46 AM

    Oh my… oh my… why couldnt we just bring Brett back with his Levis or McNabb? Actually, if I don’t have to watch Ponder I am fine with this.

  30. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 7, 2013 1:52 AM

    They must really not like Matt Cassel (as a person) because Josh Freeman IS NOT as good a quarterback as Matt Cassel.

  31. cornedbeefhashinacan says: Oct 7, 2013 1:54 AM

    You don’t get freeman for free

  32. tcstunner says: Oct 7, 2013 2:05 AM

    Freeman had a year where he threw for 3500 yards, 25TD and 5INT. Last year he threw for over 4000 yards and 27TD and 17INT. Both of those years he completed 60% of his passes. He’s only 25 with tons of upside. Why exactly are Vikings fans disappointed? This is gonna end up being a steal. I’m pumped they signed him.

  33. purple1967 says: Oct 7, 2013 2:17 AM

    Bring him on, better than what we have!!!

  34. viachicago22 says: Oct 7, 2013 2:17 AM

    This was a good move for the Vikings. Cassel isn’t the answer and Christian Ponder most certainly isn’t. Freeman probably isn’t either, but he’s flashed more potential than either one of those guys. And there’s enough season left to find out if he is or if you need to draft another QB early again next year.

  35. jimmysee says: Oct 7, 2013 2:36 AM

    So … let me get this straight.

    The guy wasn’t good enough to even remain on the Buds roster — and now he’s likely to be starting for the Vikes?

    Isn’t it a little late in the season to be signing a new QB?

  36. gcounterman says: Oct 7, 2013 2:47 AM

    I’m glad to see the Vikings make this move. It’s a gamble, but I’d rather roll the dice than not.

    Skol!

  37. brentswitzer says: Oct 7, 2013 2:48 AM

    So now they have three QB’s who can start but neither is good enough to make the playoffs on that sad excuse for a team. If I was AP, I’d be asking for a trade.

  38. vegasgreek says: Oct 7, 2013 3:16 AM

    Freeman is just using the Vikings to cash in big time in the off season when he is a FA. He is one and done in Minn.

  39. losangeleslions says: Oct 7, 2013 3:20 AM

    I wonder if an 8 ball costs the same in Minnesota as it does in Tampa… meh, not like it matters when you’re robbing a “franchise” for 4.25 mil.

  40. edelmanfanclub says: Oct 7, 2013 3:23 AM

    Jeez his agent is just stealing money from these teams.

  41. staffordsyear says: Oct 7, 2013 3:26 AM

    Disaster.

  42. bucx01 says: Oct 7, 2013 3:46 AM

    If the Freeman experiment fails miserably, those who pulled the trigger also may have signed their pink slip.
    ———————————————————-
    Why it’s not like they traded for him. Always over the top huh Mike???

  43. 84smooninlambeaunevergetsold says: Oct 7, 2013 4:14 AM

    There’s no comparing this to 2009. He’s not going to come in here and save the season. Go figure, we finally get to see a good game from from a good QB in Cassel, and now you’re throwing him under the bus?
    I’m disgusted, I can’t believe they did this.
    He’s not that good.

    I hope you play like @$*t Freeman, because I definitely don’t want you on the Vikings, you big baby.

  44. derrickbrooks4president says: Oct 7, 2013 4:14 AM

    He will beat the Vikings again. Out of 3 million dollars. Condolences Viking fans.

  45. larrydavid7000 says: Oct 7, 2013 6:16 AM

    This move is a train wreck waiting to happen and back fire.

  46. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Oct 7, 2013 6:18 AM

    What could possibly go wrong?

  47. easywolf says: Oct 7, 2013 6:18 AM

    Vikings just joined the jets, raiders and jaguars fir the dumbest organization award

  48. ninefingers9 says: Oct 7, 2013 6:31 AM

    Seems like the Vikes really ARE trying for a high draft pick next year!

  49. monctonvike says: Oct 7, 2013 6:50 AM

    I still think Cassel should start. He was at training camp, he knows the playbook and he has the timing down with the wr’s. If Freeman starts it should not be for a few weeks if Cassel looses the job, and that is if he does at all.

    They still need to draft a qb next year. Freeman will still be a free agent next year.

    Ponder should be placed on IR.

    This seems like a waste of money

  50. bucheadlouden says: Oct 7, 2013 6:54 AM

    Josh Freeman isn´t Big Ben (in his greatest years), but he has similar escape abilitys, is clutch when needed and is realy good on play-action rollouts (throwing on the run). That should serve pretty well with your Running Game. Vikings fans shouldn´t expect too much, but you should give him a chance. He could bring it on your team – Bucs HC Shiano just wanted to get rid of the QB; threw him under the bus. And shiano is a awfull HC. So here we go, be happy about Freeman (is a very nice guy too) and comes at NO costs. Great bet.

  51. guruvious says: Oct 7, 2013 6:58 AM

    The Ponder Era is officially over. Thank God!

  52. gbfanforever says: Oct 7, 2013 6:58 AM

    This move is a real head scratcher. I get the impression that if the team continues on a losing path this year that spielman is fired so he’s desperate to try anything. But why try with a stopgap who had proved he can’t figure it out? Is he hoping that if freeman wins a couple games people will forget he spent a first rounder on ponder? This move only will make their process to get a qb next season more complicated.

  53. gb4mn0 says: Oct 7, 2013 7:05 AM

    What happened to the warm and fuzzy love-in in the Land of 10k Trailer Park Cesspools? So it’s safe to say the loonies are running the asylum in Winter Park. You make it to easy to laugh at you.

  54. truvikingfan says: Oct 7, 2013 7:18 AM

    Back in the day, NASCAR tracks were littered with signs that read, “Anyone but Waltrip”. Not saying Freeman is the answer, but consider my sign saying “Anyone but Ponder”.

  55. 1uniquename says: Oct 7, 2013 7:21 AM

    I have to feel this works out if Freeman gives 100% effort which he seemed to not be doing in Tampa. When the weather gets down to negative whatever every morning going forward he may regret not working harder in Tampa tho.

  56. irishgary says: Oct 7, 2013 7:31 AM

    dysfunctional franchise. Freeman is a head case, poor draft pick in noodle arm and they won’t start the only QB who got them a win this year.

  57. minnmiller says: Oct 7, 2013 7:37 AM

    True, but $3 million isn’t close the $8.4 million that Tampa is still paying him not to play. From that perspective, Freeman looks like a bargain — wouldn’t be surprised if he sits at least a week.

  58. urcrap says: Oct 7, 2013 7:51 AM

    All we do is win!

  59. AD2K5 says: Oct 7, 2013 8:03 AM

    Yeah, the fact that he wears #5 is the problem. I’m starting to wonder if Rick Spielman really is a magician…

  60. rayvens says: Oct 7, 2013 8:19 AM

    instant upgrade…But thats still not saying much.

  61. fwippel says: Oct 7, 2013 8:39 AM

    I don’t see it. Here the Vikings are throwing money at an unproven QB like Freeman when they have their three best DE’s headed for free agency at the end of the year. That money could be better spent on one of them.

    As for Freeman, outisde of 2010, his passer rating stinks to high heaven. He’s as inconsistent and turnover prone as Ponder. His career completion percentage is under 60%, and he threw 17 INTs (five more than Ponder) last year while the Bucs self-destructed down the stretch. This is an upgrade?

    Right now, Matt Cassel gives the Vikings best chance to win at QB. He should remain the starter until he plays his way out of that role. But $3 million for 12 games for this guy? This looks more like a “Hail Mary” move in hopes of striking lightning in a bottle rather than a long-term QB solution.

    Meanwhile, their defense is set to lose Jared Allen, Brian Robison and Everson Griffen at year’s end to FA unless Speilman wakes up and realizes that keeping at least two of those guys is vital to the team’s future success. For a team with a defense already under-performing this year, the front office needs to quit wasting that kind of money on unproven retread QBs.

  62. glazerh8er says: Oct 7, 2013 8:44 AM

    I wish him the best and am officially a Vikings fan until the Glazers sell or we have an actual NFL coach.

  63. asherallencanttackle says: Oct 7, 2013 8:49 AM

    Cassell will start this week and Freeman will start the week after. The coaches must feel that Cassell is clearly a back up at this point. They will try to move Ponder but they (like the Bucs with Freeman) will have no leverage. I think it’s a good move because Freeman is a major upgrade over Ponder. Ponder doesn’t have an NFL arm. Freeman does so I’m ok with this.

  64. whatjusthapped says: Oct 7, 2013 8:53 AM

    The Vikings paid Favre over $13 million so this is hardly the first time an ineffective QB has managed to fleece big time money out of the Vikings. But sitting at 1-4, its not like the Vikings are going anywhere this year so whatever the strategy might be, its not like the $3 million they are flushing on Freeman might be spend on their own flailing roster.

  65. gbmickey says: Oct 7, 2013 9:25 AM

    Minnesota where desperate and little regarded players cash in, 3 million really?

  66. godofwine330 says: Oct 7, 2013 9:27 AM

    That last paragraph, The last time the Vikings signed a veteran quarterback who wears No. 5, it was a debacle,” threw me for a second. I was like…who?

    I forgot all about McNabb being a Viking. I wish Freeman the best, though it is extremely difficult to come to a team midseason and start at QB and have any simblance of success. Since my Browns have already played them I wish them nothing but success against the rest of the AFC North…thank you Vikings for already beating Pittsburgh, now my Browns are tied for 1st in the division while the Steelers are alone in the cellar.

  67. filthymcnasty1 says: Oct 7, 2013 9:28 AM

    Next up – Matt Schaub, with Mark Sanchez in the on deck circle.

    MN is a bad QB graveyard.

  68. fluffy19 says: Oct 7, 2013 9:43 AM

    Fwippel,

    Unless you are Zygi Wilf’s long lost nephew, this expenditure shouldn’t bother you. $3 mil this year has no impact on next year’s cap # for JA, BR, EG, etc. I’m more bugged that we are throwing 3mil at Freeman instead of Antoine Winfield during the summer. But, at least they’re doing something.

    Now, as for the move itself….I would agree with cautious optimism. Freeman has some potential, and from a distance Schiano seems like a “my way or the highway” kind of coach. If Frazier and staff can get the most out of Freeman then we might have something. If not, we’ll be in line for a high draft pick to invest in (yet another) QB of the future. I still say cutting Ponder loose would be a mistake. Keep him in a back up or even 3rd string role. Ponder reminds me of Rich Gannon. If developed correctly, I still think Ponder could be a player. The QB position isn’t geared toward instant gratification. We want instant everything, but sometimes patience is still a virtue. The list of QB’s who developed after early struggles is a lot longer than the list of instant rookie successes. Ponder has gotten exactly 3 starts with a decent receiver corp and would have been 2-1 in those games if the D could stop anyone. Just sayin’.

  69. buc8 says: Oct 7, 2013 9:45 AM

    I’ll be very curious to see how Freeman plays with the Vikings. I have no confidence that it will be good for them, but if he plays at a high level I think that would seal Schiano’s fate in Tampa. If he plays like he has been, then he is a has been and Schiano starts to look a little smarter. We shall see.

  70. coreyn23 says: Oct 7, 2013 10:07 AM

    whatjusthapped says:
    Oct 7, 2013 8:53 AM
    The Vikings paid Favre over $13 million so this is hardly the first time an ineffective QB has managed to fleece big time money out of the Vikings. But sitting at 1-4, its not like the Vikings are going anywhere this year so whatever the strategy might be, its not like the $3 million they are flushing on Freeman might be spend on their own flailing roster.

    Actually, the Vikings are 1-3 which is only 1 loss behind every other team in the division. Not exactly out of anything yet. Maybe you should think before you post.

  71. purplehaze28 says: Oct 7, 2013 10:45 AM

    Seattle is just about to offer their entire draft for Ponder…

  72. buffaloviking says: Oct 7, 2013 10:50 AM

    Fire Frazier. Start from scratch. Freeman scorched the Vikings defense. The defense is suspect at best. Offense scores 30points a game and we still lose. The Vikes would be 0-4 if the defense didn’t get a lucky turnover against the steelers. More troubles than a QB. Need all new blood on coaching staff. Tampa two needs to be history.

  73. brutusmandingo says: Oct 7, 2013 11:28 AM

    @onebucplace are u kidding me those numbers mean nothing and if u wanna bash “The College Hack” Well he posted Those “franchise ” numbers under the coaching Of Schiano! what the Hell does that tell u. and I live in Tampa. Josh had So many chances. go read Joebucs fan article about Freeman and all the chances That Schiano gave our “franchise ” Qb.

  74. bobnelsonjr says: Oct 7, 2013 12:10 PM

    The vikings sure like these re-tread desperate moves at QB like Spurgon Wynn, Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, Warren Moon, Sean Salisbury, Jim McMahon, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff George, Todd Bouman, Brooks Bollinger, Gus Freotte, etc.
    Each one welcomed warmly to turn the franchise around.

    I think it is because they draft QB’s like:
    Tarvaris Jackson, Fumblepepper, Ponder, Gino Torretta, Chad May, Tyler Thipgpen, John David Booty, Joe Webb, Christian Ponder, etc.

    QB acquisitions are only part of the reason the vikings are the NFL’s “Rodney Dangerfield” franchise.

  75. qckappa says: Oct 7, 2013 12:31 PM

    People can be hilarious, many talk about the Vikings taking cast off qbs, well Brad Johnson won a Superbowl and Rich Gannon was league MVP and went to the SB, they both started in MN. So, sometimes you need to give a guy a chance. Ponder has had a chance to play he doesn’t look good, Cassel looks better and won. Freeman is a very good addition, he’s thrown for lots of yards(like Cassel) and gives MN two viable starters that can take advantage of the 9 and 10 in the box AP faces.(yeah, not 8) Anyway, Freeman is only 25 and the Bucs got nothing for him, this is a great hedged bet by MN, great move by the organization. It is possible that we may even get a draft pick for Ponder. Freeman has been a model citizen until this year, so the only thing that is diff is his relationship with Schiano. He’s bigger and stronger than most qbs and worth a shot. We have a good set of receivers and are scoring almost 30 points a game. The money will be there to sign the d line men that we want and change is good sometimes. BTW, if you saw TJackson in preseason, he looked very good, experience and familiarity with Carrolls system have done him well. Short term memory can be good but its not always accurate. I admit I thought McNabb was a good move, who knew until we saw him play in MN, at least this organization will make moves, at least they are trying to win. Who among you can say they knew Farve’s 2nd MN year would go poorly, I couldn’t foresee that. Unlike many that rarely do anything but draft and play it out like my hometeam the Panthers, my beloved Vikings are wheeling and dealing to get it done. Who would you rather play for, root for and pay for? BTW, the Vikings have more hall of famers than over half the league so they have done pretty well. Presently, we have 10 pro bowlers, as many or more than anybody. Go Vikings!

  76. rcpecook says: Oct 7, 2013 1:28 PM

    “Presently, we have 10 pro bowlers….” and yet no chance to actually make the playoffs. But hey, whatever helps keep your chin up.

  77. evilglazers666 says: Oct 7, 2013 1:47 PM

    We have no starting QBs on the team now! Maybe not even one of back-up quality…

  78. h8glazersgobucs says: Oct 7, 2013 1:52 PM

    Freeman threw for over 4,000 yards last season. I’m pretty sure he was the best QB on the Bucs. How does Schiano have a job in the NFL?

  79. cheapglazers says: Oct 7, 2013 2:37 PM

    “glazerh8er says:
    Oct 7, 2013 8:44 AM
    I wish him the best and am officially a Vikings fan until the Glazers sell or we have an actual NFL coach.”

    Me too! I cannot root for the Bucs while theGlazers own the team! Go Vikings!

  80. norseman69 says: Oct 7, 2013 10:40 PM

    hmmm give me my ADD medicine I’ll try not to lose focus.. lol

    Tampa would NOT walk away from him unless he was DAMAGED goods he’s inconsistent.. time will prove me correct!

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