Minnesota thanks you for the memories, Josh Freeman.
Today Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier announced, not surprisingly, that Matt Cassel will start week 17. Former first round pick Christian Ponder will serve as the back-up, and Josh Freeman and his one year, $3 million deal will remain nowhere to be found.
Coach Frazier: “Matt Cassel will start on Sunday, Christian is in the back-up role.”
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 23, 2013
That officially ends Freeman’s brief tenure in Minnesota. As the Vikings have shuffled various mediocre QBs in and out of the lineup in auditions for future roles with the club, you have to feel for Freeman a little. Minnesota had almost nothing to lose if they gave him a shot to re-discover his previous form following an ugly divorce with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Unfortunately the only shot they gave him was with less than a week of practice in front of a national audience. Everybody was humiliated, and he never saw the field again.
Presumably nobody involved in this debacle will be back in prominent roles for Minnesota next season, including all three quarterbacks and the coaching staff. Some people might be persuaded that Cassel has shown enough flashes of success to earn a shot at the job next year. For example, he led all of the NFL in Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) with a 96.3 mark in week 15 when he threw 382 yards and two scores in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Of course Cassel has looked good in a back-up role before…
…just ask the Kansas City Chiefs how that worked out.