The Minnesota Vikings pretty much wasted $2 million on Josh Freeman after scooping him up in the aftermath of his feud and release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, who was fired on Black Monday, caught a lot of flak for starting Freeman in just one game. I was one of those people who criticized Frazier and the Vikings organization heavily for throwing $2 million at Freeman and scrapping after just one start, especially since it is clear that neither Matt Cassel nor Christian Ponder have what it takes to be franchise quarterbacks. While Freeman has major decision-making issues, he also has the physical tools to be franchise QB.
It looks like our criticisms of the Vikings for not starting Freeman were unwarranted, because there is more to the story. The USA Today’s Tom Pelissero cites four sources stating that Freeman missed “numerous meetings” during his time with the Vikings, and this lack of leadership or desire also marked his time with the Buccaneers earlier this season.
But there are also parts of the report that seem to state that it may not have been Freeman’s fault, because there was a belief among some that Freeman was simply thrown into the fire in that ill-fated start against the New York Giants. As we all saw, Freeman did not know the offense, and the Vikings locker room reportedly lost confidence in him as a starter.
Being late to team meetings and being the last man to the team’s facilities are two things that Freeman has been accused of during his tenure with the Vikings, and he did those same things while with the Bucs. He has talent and was a first-round pick a few years ago, but Freeman might not get another shot to start in this league due to his inability to take things seriously. The Vikings should have given him another shot to start, but Freeman didn’t help his cause.