The New York Giants finally signed Josh Freeman in the wake of Eli Manning‘s ankle surgery.
Freeman was previously unable to latch onto a team during free agency. Then, along came the Giants. Manning recently underwent surgery to repair an ankle he had injured in the final game of the 2013 season. His timetable for a return is supposedly about six weeks.
Freeman joins Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib as New York’s current healthy quarterbacks, who will compete for the team’s No. 2 role.
Freeman’s career on the NFL stage has taken some wild twists and turns in just five short years. He was drafted by the Tampa Buccaneers in the first round of the 2009 draft. Freeman played in ten games in his rookie season, flashing talent while also experiencing some classic rookie growing pains. He threw 18 interceptions to just ten touchdowns.
In 2010, Freeman had the best season of his career, finishing with a passer rating of 95.9, tossing 25 touchdowns and throwing only six interceptions. He was a two-time NFC Player of the Week performer and named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.
The 2011 season proved to be a step back in the quarterback’s development as Freeman threw for 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. However, he did surpass 2010’s passing yards total (3,592) and also finished with a better completion percentage (62.8).
In the following season, Freeman played extremely well. He eclipsed the 4,000-yard mark for the first time in his career and also finished the season with a career-high 27 touchdown passes.
And then there was this past season. The 2013 fiasco was something that Freeman should try and use his short term memory to try and overcome. Freeman was benched after three straight losses to start the year. He reportedly missed the team’s photo and was not voted as a captain by his teammates, which is pretty rare for a first-string quarterback. Freeman was soon released and scooped up by the Minnesota Vikings.
In his only start with the Vikings, which coincidentally came against the Giants, Freeman was a train wreck. He completed 20 of 53 pass attempts, threw for 190 yards, had no touchdowns and tossed one interception. He finished the game with a QBR of 18.9. Yeah, it was even worse than it sounds.
However, none of these recent struggles or catastrophes stopped New York from taking a chance on him. Freeman is a mobile quarterback, who has rushed for nearly 1,000 yards in his career, giving the Giants a potential threat they haven’t had in a long time.
Freeman is not expected to do more than compete for a backup position but the signing seems a bit surprising given New York’s first-hand look at the quarterback’s recent failures.