New Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman didn’t want to sign anything more than a one-year deal, because he wants to hit the open market again in March.
But the Vikings have the ability to keep Freeman beyond 2013, if they so choose.
Per a source with knowledge of the contract, the agreement does not include a clause preventing the Vikings from using the franchise tag to keep Freeman from hitting the open market.
Of course, the franchise tag would also put Freeman in line for a one-year deal worth an amount north of $15 million. So that wouldn’t be a bad thing for a guy who will make, in all, $11.43 million for 2013 from the Bucs and the Vikings.
And if, unlike the last one-year veteran wearing No. 5 the team signed, the Vikings like Freeman enough to make that kind of commitment for one more year, it’s likely that Freeman will want to stay. Which could result in a long-term deal with the Vikings before it even gets to the point where the franchise tag is used.
For now, Freeman simply wants a chance to compete. He has gotten no assurances regarding his role, we’re told.
Then again, he may not need one. Getting $3 million for 12 weeks says it all.