Josh Freeman’s not sure why he’s not playing


The Vikings continue to wonder on a week-in, week-out basis who the quarterback is going to be.

And the question most people are wondering is why Josh Freeman hasn’t gotten another chance yet, as they continue to spin their wheels with Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder.

Freeman himself might wonder the same thing, although he’s close enough to free agency that he’s not going to rock the boat.

I don’t think there’s any concrete reason,” Freeman said, via Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I think they want me to get more fluent and continue to understand the system, and I’m continuing to do that, learning a lot. I’m watching a lot of film and staying in these game plans.

“If you ask coach and he feels he wants to go with the other guy, . . . coaches are paid to coach, and players are paid to play.”

Freeman diligently avoided answering whether he wanted to stay with the Vikings, or say much at all really. He mostly said he was trying to focus on getting better each week to be ready in case they called on him again after his one too-soon start.

“Who’s to say — it’s out of my control, so I’m just controlling what I can control,” he said. “If they call on me, I think I’d be ready to go. But at the same time, it’s not really my call.

“I’m here to support Matt or Christian, whoever’s in, and continue to just grow in the system. An NFL offense — I know you guys really haven’t been around them — but they’re pretty complex. There’s a lot of ins and outs, different layers, stuff they might have run earlier in the year that’s a pretty hard concept. They adjust for a certain week. There’s a lot to take in. It’s been fun learning it.

“Of course, as a competitor I want to play. But I’m a guy who’s just going to work my butt off until that opportunity comes. Will that opportunity come again? I’m not to say. I hope it does, but you never know.”

In a weird way, Freeman might be better off going into the market without playing for the Vikings again this year. At the moment, it’s not exactly an environment conducive to making any offensive player shine.

By not playing, there’s still an element of mystery about his game, which could lead some coach to fall for the first-round talent which has peeked through the clouds from time to time, even if it hasn’t been evident lately.

75 responses to “Josh Freeman’s not sure why he’s not playing

  1. Because in your last 10 starts you have a lower QB rating than Tim Tebow in his last 10 starts. Be thankful you’re still on an NFL roster. You suck!

  2. Really? you don’t know?? Have you watched any game tapes??? You’re just NOT that good! As soon as you accept that, the sooner you can move on….

  3. If it’s too difficult for a running back (Trent Richardson) to change teams midseason and do well, why would anyone expect a quarterback to be able to do it? The reason he isn’t playing is because Leslie Frazier is trying to win games to save his job.

  4. He’s not playing because he had a very bad outing with the giants. I wouldn’t be complaining for making money for doing anything. He’s lucky he’s even on a team.

  5. He’s also not sure what day it is, how he got to Minnesota from Tampa, or what the heck Wasabi is. Josh, go back to the coach’s room, watch film of your last game, and have another donut. It’ll start to come to you.

  6. He’s not playing because the worst GM in football made another error and signed a bum. It’s what the Vikings do … sign other people’s garbage. While everyone else passed … the Vikings took him and are paying him $3 million for him to sit on the bench. Hey Rick – if you thought Freeman was good, Mark Sanchez will be available after the season. He fits the Vikings’ business plan perfectly … a QB from another team that can’t play (i.e. George, Frerotte, Holcomb, McNabb, Cassel, Freeman).

  7. Spielman is a joke and the signing was a complete waste of money. Vikes already know (you would think) that Cassel and Ponder are ineffective in running the offense, might as well see what Freeman can do regardless of how he played against the Giants.

  8. What’s so hard to understand? The reason he’s not playing is because he has completed only 42.9% of his passes this year with a QB rating of 52.6. Ponder and Cassel complete about 63% of their passes and have QB ratings of around 80. As AT&T would say, “It’s not complicated.”

  9. He was very lucky to get drafted under the last CBA, because he probably won’t see as much money for the rest of his career. Permanent backup status awaits.

  10. if I had to guess, it would be he can’t grasp the playbook. Ditto the Tampa playbook Sciano put in. I would bet the farm that is the core reason he and Sciano did not get along.

  11. Actually was thinking the same thing. I have no way of knowing, but suspect Vikings management have seen enough of him to fear putting him back on the field to reveal his inadequacies once again. To make him more marketable possibly. Right now they can suggest “we put him out there too early and he didn’t know the system” as an explanation for his horrific play.
    But if they put him out there again and he tanks… well then.. what can anyone conclude other than he just plan sucks……
    And not sure what “environment” you mean Darin. With a competent QB this team would likely be leading the North right now…

  12. sdsmooth says:Dec 5, 2013 2:06 PM

    He’s not playing because the worst GM in football made another error and signed a bum.

    Please stay on point. We’re not talking about Ted Thompson signing Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien, and Matt Flynn now.

  13. Oh… by the way… how is that investigation into the release of Josh Freeman’s private medical records going?!?

    NFL investigation….

    What a joke.

  14. sdsmooth…..
    Ummm. George’s record for the Vikings:
    8-2 with 23 touchdowns
    8.6 yards per attempt and a 94.2 rating
    a 27-10 playoff win over the Cowboys
    loss to Eventual superbowl champs.

    He played just fine with the Vikings. And may have continued to had he not held out for more $$ and not been re-signed.
    But I’ll give you the rest of the ones you mentioned as cast-offs who could no longer play.

  15. Because you have to beat out the guys that are there, and if he can’t beat out Ponder or Cassell, he won’t play. However, he must be awful because I think I could beat out Ponder. And I’ve never played organized football in my life.

  16. Until the Vikings execute their option on Cassel for next year, only Ponder is under contract.
    Not for nothing, all three wins (ouch) were finished by Cassel.

    Bridgewater will be gone in the first two or three picks tops. Mariota took himself out of the NFL Draft next spring. The Vikings have played themselves down to the +/- #6 pick.
    A QB there is likely Carr … which would be reaching just like they did for Ponder, predicted to be second round talent that year. Why reach again? It’s no tlike the solution will be found in free agency. The best option in free agnecy may already be on the roster in Freeman (sadly or not – who knows). Which means the 2014 roster looks like Ponder, maybe Cassel, and another new project? There are other holes worth filling rather than reaching for a QB (again) and even opting on Cassel means you have the SAME TWO GUYS to wonder about at QB in 2014. I can just hear the excitement in the locker room and how giddy guys like Jared Allen would be to re-sign. (Likely gone anyway, unless, big IF here, Frazier goes first.)

    Sooooo … throw Freeman out there after another month of “learning the system” (as if Muschamp’s system is so complex) and see what he has would seem to make too much sense. The guy had a great season and two “good” season’s before culture shock hit the Bucs. Some of it is his own doing I am sure, but he’s on the roster now, find out what he is capable of giving THIS team versus what we already know about the other two.

    The staff might really be admitting that Wilf has already told them THEY are the ones who are done.

  17. sdsmooth, As a Cowboys fan I am highly offended that you’re taking credit for having the worst GM in football.

    Good day, sir….I SAID GOOD DAY!!!

  18. Freeman is NOT the answer.
    And I don’t think Carr is a 2nd round talent, nor do I see anybody in the scouting world saying so.
    Ponder’s issue is lack of quick decision making and a less than powerful arm.
    Heck, I’d even take Johnny Manziel, warts and all at this point to provide SOME kind of passing threat. Just give me someone who can play decently TWO games in a row. (which Cassel has NOT shown himself capable of doing…)

  19. thepftpoet:


    You just need to find a GM that thinks he is valuable. It’s possible. Spielman graded him as a 1st Round prospect when I had a 4th Round grade on him. So now Spielman has to hope he can find a GM that has a differing opinion such that is higher than what Spielman’s present valuation of him is. If he can do that, then a trade is possible. You never know what players some of these GMs want. Every team in the NFL has players that I don’t think are worthy of a roster spot in lieu of other choices they could have made. As long as GMs don’t see things 100% the same way that Spielman does, then he has a possible trade option.

  20. The Packers should really try to get this guy. Now that he’s no longer friends with Braun, their fragile QB will spend more games on the pine ythan on the field.

    Pack should trade straight up Lacy for Freeman, then they’d improve on 2 weaknesses.

  21. Josh Freeman was, and can still be, a quality NFL Quarterback. After Raheem left it was all down hill. I honestly think that Raheem set such a poor example for professionalism that Josh truly doesn’t know how to work, or what it takes to be a Quarterback in the league. He has talent, but he needs to work, or those chances are going to stop coming. Minny is a joke for not playing him though. You give him a few days to get ready, he plays poorly (who wouldn’t?) and you move on. That’s a head scratcher.

  22. Gee Josh, you think it might have something to do with your underwhelming performance against the Giants?

    The Vikings replace you as the emergency QB with Joe Webb, and you don’t know why?

  23. Cassel is 3-1 as either a starter or in significant relief. What the F is all the fuss about?

    Want to know the most telling stat about the effectiveness of Cassel? AD’s best yards per carry are with Cassel this year!

    vs. Pit – 6.1
    vs. Carolina – 6.2
    vs. Chicago – 6.0

    FFS, Cassel may not be Petyon Manning, but at least he can find a open receiver against an 8-man front and force the D out of it to free AP.

  24. We know why he’s not playing, but you got to give him credit for a decent answer to the question. The star/trib once rumored that Leslie didn’t want him in the first place, and Spielman got him anyway. And then came the Giant’s game.

  25. I bet in the offseason we release Ponder, void Cassel’s 2nd year, sign Freeman to a 2 yr. deal and draft a QB. Otherwise we’ll probably drop all 3 an sign another over the hill QB like Vick an draft a guy. Would like to see freeman last 2 games at least.

  26. cheapglazers says:Dec 5, 2013 3:42 PM

    In 2012, he had had 4,065 yds, 27 tds and 17 ints. Not terrible….

    And in 2013, aka the present, he cannot get north of 50% completion. He’s done as a starter in this league and can now follow the path of his NFL doppleganger: Jason Campbell.

  27. He isn’t playing because of that egg he laid against the Giants. Even in their minds eye of the worst case scenario of how Freeman would perform it was exceeded by Josh by a hundred times. It was the worst performance by a NFL QB in over 30 years and was even harder to watch. Not knowing the play book well enough cannot account for that totally awful play. He was so terrible the Vikings decided he’s done. Pathetic is too nice of word.

  28. He wasn’t ready to play against the Giants that was crappy coaching. He should get to finish the season and see what he can do now. With the time he’s had to learn the offense he can either run it or not. Not against keeping him around for next year as long as the cut Ponder right after the season ends. Cassell has proven to be a capable back up, he can stay or go. Let Freeman have a shot while we groom a 3rd rounder for the future. If Freeman can play excellent, 1st young qb we’ve had since Culpepper, Ponder isn’t a qb. He is just some sort of poster boy.

  29. Perhaps he hasn’t seen the tape of the Giants game. Dude made Joe Webb look like a hall of fame QB.

  30. Though it was an awful showing, I don’t know if its fair to judge him on that one game considering he had about 2 weeks of practices with the offense and get timing and patterns worked out.

    What if the Vikes are just keeping him on the bench to keep his value down? If he doesn’t play a snap the rest of the year, how much do you think he can get from Vikes or another team next year? I would bet its no more than $3mil and would probably get a 1 year deal.

    If he starts the rest of the season and plays badly, it likely wouldn’t change his value. But, if he starts and plays well, his value goes up. If he pulls out a few wins and puts up decent numbers, he’d probably get some longer term offers in the $5-$6mil range. There are several teams in need of an experience qb (Cleveland, Jags, Texans to name a few). Getting a field general for $5-$6mil is cheap by comparison. Heck, even Cutler is getting $8mil a year and his career best is 27tds in one season.

  31. we already no that we will have a new coach and i think we need a new QB for the coach get jack and then talk to bill parcel and ask him what QB looks good to him he seams to know lol bwtf do i know i just have been a fan for 48 years and was a good player back in the day ,no i was not pro but i know what a good coach is so lets start at the top and build the teram right while we still have a hall of fame running back damm.

  32. If Freeman can’t grasp the index card sized playbook of the Vikings then he has no shot of ever being an NFL QB again.
    That being said, they never throw the ball over 25 times a game with Ponder or Cassel yet they threw Freeman in after being there a week and threw over 50 times against the Giants.
    The GM, entire coaching staff, the defense, and the QB position in Minny are a mess. The NFC North deserves better.

  33. 12 million total (7.5mil bonus+4.5mil salary) for ShAaron this year. obviously cheese bay is missing the playoffs; meaning that 15,000 “novelty stock” shares has been used to grow a mustache while riding pine for the last 5 games.
    oh, & if ShAaron has a setback next season (&/or the season after as well), her total salary is 18 million (respectively).
    So, if you wanna compare apples, i think kicking the tires on potential starter might be more beneficial at 3million. Not to mention, Freeman had a terrible game/year Thereby, he’ll be more financially attractive & willing to be a potential starter for the Vikes next season.

  34. Vikings GM thinks he is some kind of Draft Day genius, so he is holding on to the hope that some desperate playoff bound team will offer a third rounder for him if their quarterback goes down. Another possibility is they plan on drafting a quarterback in the upcoming draft and they’ll have Freeeman start on opening day next season and dump him after a few games to let the rookie take over.

  35. 2014 Aaron Rodgers will make sure that the Packers get their money’s worth. That’s a fact. There is no possible way that The Packers have back to back lost seasons.

  36. @strategyexpert:

    I bet you wish the packers had ponder as a backup. You guys maybe couldve won at least one game while rodgers was out.

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