On Monday the Chicago Bears hosted free agent quarterback Josh Freeman on a visit to Halas Hall. It is no secret that the Bears are still in search for a quality backup quarterback, though Freeman may have just been a courtesy visit. It is worth noting that Freeman wasn’t the only quarterback to visit the Bears on Monday as former Denver Broncos backup Adam Weber also stopped by for a visit.
Freeman was drafted in the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2009 draft. He would go on to start 56 games over his first four seasons in Tampa, and tossed a career high 27 touchdown passes in 2012. Things would go downhill from there for Freeman and after numerous run-ins with Bucs’ head coach Greg Schiano, he was released in October of 2013. Freeman eventually signed with the Minnesota Vikings and only started one game, going 20-of-53 for 190 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception.
In contrast, Weber signed with the Denver Broncos after going undrafted out of the University of Minnesota in the 2011 draft. Since that time Weber also spent some time on the Buccaneers’ practice squad.
It is the visit with Weber that makes the Freeman visit seem a little less important. Why would the team feel the need to bring in Weber when they had a former starter already set to visit with them on the same day? The answer to that question is this: the Bears had no intention of signing Freeman. As suggested by ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson, a source close to the situation has reported that the Bears have no intention of signing Freeman.
The Bears gave Freeman a look based on his former success, but with a talent-rich draft class ahead of them and little interest in Freeman around the league, the Bears did the right thing by holding off on Freeman, for now. General Manager Phil Emery will be diligent and should go through the NFL Draft in early May before signing a backup for Jay Cutler. There should be plenty of young and talented quarterbacks left toward the back end of this draft and they would come in with a lower price than Freeman.