Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman had a memorable last start in the NFL, and it came against the New York Giants.
It was memorable because it was so bad. In his only start for the Minnesota Vikings, he often looked confused while completing 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards and an interception in a 23-7 loss to New York.
Apparently that ugly Monday night showing didn’t turn off the Giants, who plan on making him Eli Manning’s backup this year.
Freeman, cut by Bucs on Oct. 3 to climax a falling out with then-coach Greg Schiano, has agreed to a contract with the Giants, his agent, Erik Burkhard tweeted on Wednesday. Reportedly, it’s for one year.
Freeman worked out Tuesday for the Giants, who are in need of insurance for Manning, who had ankle surgery last week but is expected back before the season. The Giants also have veteran Curtis Painter and second-year pro Ryan Nassib.
It’s a bit ironic that the Giants are giving Freeman a chance to move forward in his career.
He was signed by Minnesota to a one-year contract five days after being released by Tampa Bay and became the Vikings’ starter two weeks later. He was erratic against the Giants and did not seem to have a grasp of the offense. Despite signing a $2 million deal, he never saw the field again for Minnesota.
Freeman started 59 games over four-plus seasons with the Bucs. The former first-round draft pick threw for 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions in 2010, his first full season as a starter, but has been up and down since.
After an 0-3 start, Freeman was benched, a decision Schiano called “performance based.” Then a series of media reports followed about Freeman missing a team photo and team meetings, being fined and that he was participating in the NFL substance abuse program because of a mistake in his ADHD medicine.
The distractions led to his release after he was replaced by rookie Mike Glennon.