Published October 06, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – Josh Freeman is headed to Minnesota.
Freeman's agent, Erik Burkhardt, revealed the move in a one-word tweet Sunday night, saying: "Vikings!!!"
Freeman was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, a week after being benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon. The winless Bucs made the latest move during their bye week after general manager Mark Dominik contacted every other team in the NFL in an unsuccessful attempt to trade Freeman, a 4,000-yard passer a year ago and the team's career leader with 1,144 completions and 80 touchdowns.
Coach Greg Schiano benched Freeman after the 25-year-old completed only 45.7 percent of his passes and posted a league-low quarterback rating of 59.3 through three games.
Freeman is owed the remaining $6.25 million on the contract he signed as the third quarterback selected in the 2009 draft behind Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez.
Freeman threw for 4,065 yards, 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 2012, but his inconsistent play down the stretch contributed to the team losing five of six games and failing to make the playoffs for the fifth straight year. He led the Bucs to a 10-6 record — though not a postseason berth — while throwing for 25 TDs and just six interceptions in his first full season as a starter in 2010.
The Vikings (1-3) also were off this week.
Christian Ponder, the team's first-round draft pick three years ago, struggled mightily at quarterback in the first three games of the season, all losses. He threw five interceptions and lost two fumbles and didn't get much help from an offensive line that couldn't keep the pressure off of him, or open holes for Peterson.
Matt Cassel took over in the last game while Ponder rested his injured ribs, and he gave the struggling unit a jolt. Cassel brought some much-needed rhythm and timing to the offense while throwing for 248 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-27 win over Pittsburgh in London.
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