Josh Freeman Signing Doesn't Instill Tons of Confidence For New York Giants

By Evan Slavit
Josh Freeman
Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

For only the second time in the Tom Coughlin-era, the New York Giants have added a high-profile name to their quarterback depth chart. Both times the player has come in as damaged goods — in 2008 it was David Carr, and now Mike Garafolo is reporting the Giants have agreed to terms with embattled quarterback Josh Freeman. Neither move was a risky one, but they aren’t much of a confidence boost for the fanbase either.

Carr was a former No. 1 overall pick for the Houston Texans but had flamed out horribly. He later took a role as a backup for the Carolina Panthers and did more of the same when pressed to duty. But the Giants decided to sign him, using him as their only backup to the indestructible Eli Manning.

Carr never saw major playing time — thankfully — and this past offseason the Giants decided to go with Curtis Painter instead. Painter was re-signed earlier this offseason, making the Freeman move seem redundant. No, Painter isn’t a great option, but neither is Freeman.

Freeman was a first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who managed to pass for over 4,000 yards in a season and lead his team to a 10-6 record. But despite an improving supporting cast, Freeman was never able to duplicate that success. He infamously feuded with former Bucs head coach Greg Schiano last year, and his leadership qualities came into question.

Early into the season he was released and subsequently picked up by the Minnesota Vikings. He managed to have one of the worst performances by a quarterback in a Monday Night Football game against the Giants. In the game he threw 53 passes for 190 yards, completing only 37.7 percent of his attempts with an interception. He never saw the field for the remainder of the season.

As bad as that performance was, there was always the chance he was unprepared and unfamiliar with the scheme and the players. But that shouldn’t excuse his horrid accuracy or the fact that no other team felt it was worth taking the risk this offseason. Even Matt Schaub and Mark Sanchez garnered more interest.

It’s certainly not a risky move for the Giants. It’s likely only a one-year deal, and it gives them another body in camp if Manning’s recovery takes longer than expected. It just makes you wonder how comfortable they are with Manning’s health and, more realistically, Ryan Nassib‘s development — a player they traded up for to draft in the fourth-round.

In the end it’s a small move, fitting for this part in the offseason. It just does more to make you worry about the quarterbacks already on the roster than be excited for the one who’s just been added.

Evan Slavit is a New York Giants writer for Follow him on twitter @EvanSlavit, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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