A call to Vikings fans: would you want to see Josh Freeman in purple?
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
With the Vikings on bye this week, news is quieter locally on the NFL front. But there's another team on bye this week that Vikings fans are watching carefully.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The whole Josh Freeman saga is a weird deal, as it appears a formerly competent quarterback turned ineffective and lost his coach's confidence almost overnight. Andrew Brandt of the MMQB Josh Freeman" href="http://mmqb.si.com/2013/10/02/josh-freeman-greg-schiano-business/" target="_blank">wrote a piece detailing the frayed relationship between Freeman and head coach Greg Schiano. It's enlightening and got me thinking a bit more seriously about this trade - or release - speculation.
Brandt suggests several reasons for the schism (his word, not mine). Among the reasons are: Freeman's five-year contract, which expires after this season; certain players being jettisoned because they're not "Schiano men"; and behavioral issues, including missing a team photo and a mixup with Freeman's Adderall prescription.
Because of the minimal leverage Tampa Bay has in trade talks, Brandt concludes its unlikely Freeman will be traded. That leaves the Bucs with two options: keep Freeman on the roster and attempt to navigate an awkward co-existence; or terminate his contract, pay him his remaining salary and let him go sign with another team.
As Brandt says,
Neither option is a good one for the Bucs; the latter option is preferable to Freeman (which probably means it is not preferred by the Bucs).
For reasons that may never be entirely clear, the relationship between the Bucs' starting quarterback the past four seasons and the team's head coach seems irreparably damaged. For the good of both sides, it is time to move on. However, as with many divorces, there are no perfect options. Meanwhile, the polluted relationship between the deposed quarterback and empowered coach continues, with the welcome bye week momentarily slowing the downward spiral of a season barely a quarter way through.
So I pose a question to you, Vikings fans.
If he's let go, would you want to see the Vikings sign the estranged signal caller?
Alternative include sticking with the Christian Ponder-Matt Cassel arrangement, drafting a quarterback in 2014 (Teddy Bridgewater? Brent Hundley? Tajh Boyd?), or hoping a free agent like Jay Cutler hits the open market this offseason.