According to Pro Football Talk, quarterback Josh Freeman did not wish to sign a multi-year deal after being cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This way, he could still hit the open market again in March.
However, it is possible that Freeman won’t get that opportunity.
Per an anonymous source, Freeman’s new 1-year, $3 million contact with the Minnesota Vikings does not contain a clause preventing the team from designating him with the franchise tag.
If Freeman was franchise tagged next season, Minnesota Vikings would be able to maintain his rights and prevent him from becoming a Free Agent. It also mean that Freeman would essentially be playing for 1-year, $15 million deal next year–a major raise for the quarterback.
While this scenario is unlikely, with former first-round pick Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel on the roster, it’s not impossible. Ponder has been inconsistent at best during his time with the Vikings, and Cassel was possibly even worse during his previous stunt with the Kansas City Chiefs.
While Freeman’s play was similarly hit-or-miss with the Bucs the past few seasons, he was once viewed as a franchise quarterback and upcoming star. The Vikings are certainly hoping he could become one again, or otherwise they would not have signed him in the first with two other quarterbacks already on the roster.
While it would be an expensive option, the franchise tag would allow the Vikings another year to see if Freeman could right the ship, especially if they have decided to write Ponder off as a mistake. And even though they haven’t said it outright, actions speak louder than words.