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Bleacher Report – Vikings

“It Was Just A Gut Feeling.” Freeman Ready To Get Rolling With Vikes

By: Aj Mansour |

Minneapolis, MN – It would probably be inaccurate to say that the Minnesota Vikings of today are doing things the old fashioned way. I wasn’t around but I’m pretty sure that Vince Lombardi never escorted their star player via black SUV as television helicopters hovered over head. And I don’t recall John Madden ever sending a private jet filled with team leaders to a players home town to convince him to give it one more go. Well add another new-school tactic to the list for the Vikings.

A starting quarterback on an NFL team gets into a spat with his head coach, gets fined, gets suspended and ultimately released, all before week five and just in time for the Minnesota Vikings to swoop in and take a stab at him.

Meet Josh Freeman, a fifth year starting quarterback formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Monday evening Freeman, who is the all-time leader in Tampa Bay with 80 career touchdown passes, arrived at Winter Park where he officially signed his one-year deal with the Vikings and proceeded to hop on a conference call with the local media with his new boss Rick Spielman by his side

“At the end of the day, you have got to follow your heart,” Freeman said of his choosing the Minnesota Vikings. “Something about it felt right in my heart, it was just a gut feeling.”

Freeman, 25 years old, started 59 games for the Buccaneers over the past five seasons including the first three of the 2013 season before running into a severe difference of opinion with Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano. One week later, Freeman was benched and a week after that he was cut outright by the Bucs.

With a multitude of options on the table, Freeman looked around for an organization and an opportunity that would be the best fit for him.

“I felt really comfortable with the conversation I had with Rick Spielman and Coach Frazier,” Freeman said. “My main focus was where can I go to really better myself the most. What place is going to let me just go in and work? That’s something that I know I get with Minnesota.”

While the potential of what Freeman brings to the Vikings has fans clamoring for the new acquisition to get on the field as soon as possible, the reality of the situation is that Freeman is jumping into a three man pool that is now occupied by four bodies.

It will take at least two weeks for Josh to get a grasp on Bill Musgrave’s offense meaning that this coming Sunday will see Christian Ponder (if he’s healthy) or Matt Cassel get the start against the Panthers. After that, it’s completely up in the air.

Speaking to the media Monday afternoon at Winter Park, head coach Leslie Frazier did tip his hand a bit saying that looking for Josh to start in the future “is a part of the equation.”

“When we talked with him that was definitely on the table,” Frazier continued. “We’ll see how he progresses and how well he picks up our offense.”

On the surface, the addition of Freeman seems to spell out the end of the starting run for Christian Ponder. But does that mean that Ponder’s run with the Vikings has come to an end? Not according to coach Frazier.

“I think Christian still has a bright future here with our football team,” Frazier said during his weekly press conference Monday afternoon. “It may not look like that on the surface, but Christian is a professional, he’s going to work as hard as he can every day to prepare and get back out on the field and help our team win.”

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman also joined Freeman on Monday evening’s conference call and said that the team would make a counteracting move sometime on Tuesday to finalize the addition of Freeman to the Vikings. While Spielman did say “as of right now [the Vikings] do not intend to make any moves with the quarterbacks,” that could all change tomorrow. There aren’t too many teams in the league that carry three quarterbacks let alone four on one 53-man roster.

Stay tuned to KFAN and for the latest on the Josh Freeman situation and the repercussions that it may bring to this Minnesota Vikings’ roster.

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