Josh Freeman‘s career hit another low this past week, as the New York Giants released him Friday afternoon. This move was made after the Giants were awarded offensive tackle Rogers Gaines from the Chicago Bears. The release from the Giants continues the downward spiral of Freeman’s career.
Freeman was brought in as an extra training camp arm, as Eli Manning was not expected to be ready to participate in OTAs. Instead, Freeman lasted only six weeks with the Giants, partly due to the fact Manning recovered so quickly from his ankle surgery. Manning put in a full day’s work as a full participant in practice for two consecutive days. With Manning able to take part, Freeman was no longer needed.
Freeman was a first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009, but it has been quite a fall from grace for him since. He is only two seasons removed from a season in which he threw for 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions to go with 4,065 yards. In his sophomore year, he also had an outstanding touchdown-to-interception ratio of 25-to-6 in 2010. While Freeman clearly has the capabilities to succeed, he has had his problems recently that have caused him to begin his fall into obscurity.
He had a tumultuous finish to his Buccaneer tenure, as his relationship with former Buccaneer head coach Greg Schiano eroded to the point the two had public conflicts. Freeman’s work ethic has been called into question, but how he was treated by Schiano is not normally how a coach goes about treating his starting quarterback. Freeman and Schiano are also part of an NFL and NFLPA investigation, as health-related information about Freeman, amongst other damaging information, was released as their relationship continued to fall apart.
He was quickly picked up by the Minnesota Vikings after the Buccaneers cut him, but was only able to make one start, which came against the Giants. The Giants battered him, hitting him 13 times and deflecting eight of his pass attempts. He did not make another start on the season.
Freeman is now back to where he started, as a free agent without many options. The market was quiet for Freeman prior to the Giants signed him, so it is hard to imagine his market heating up much more now after plenty of teams have already filled quarterback needs through the draft and free agency. It has been quite a steep drop-off for Freeman, but if given a fresh start he may be able to rekindle some of the magic that made him succeed previously. The question is who is willing to give him that shot?