Former first-round Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman, who at only 30 is still younger than many of the NFL’s current starters, has retired amid a comeback attempt in Canada.
“We would like to thank Josh for his work and dedication. He was a consummate professional throughout camp,” Montreal Alouettes General Manager Kavis Reed said. “We respect his decision and we wish him the best in the future.”
Less than three weeks ago, Freeman’s return to football provided an unexpected offseason feel-good story. The guy who once had a 4,000-yard season was giving it another go, more than two years after his last NFL action.
Someone asked me the other day, ‘Dude, are you out of money? Why are you playing in the CFL?’ ” Freeman told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times in early May. “I said, ‘Because I like playing football.’”
Freeman’s quick exit from Canada is a reminder that the CFL features great athletes and significant competition. Former CFL and NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, who arguably was the greatest CFL player of all time, recently explained during a visit to PFT Live the challenges presented by playing in Canada.
It’s important to keep this in mind at a time when many are assuming that Johnny Manziel’s ascension to the starting quarterback job with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be simple or automatic.