Josh Freeman is coming: So what does that mean, exactly?


There probably won't be any helicopter chases involved, a la Brett Favre's triumphant arrival and not-so-triumphant return to Winter Park, but wayward quarterback Josh Freeman is expected to touch down at MSP International sometime around 11 a.m. Monday.

Vikings fans rejoice?! Ponder fans weep? Cassel fans grin and bear it? McLeod Bethel-Thompson fans go back to playing World of Warcraft?

(Oh, wait, that's for Chris Kluwe fans.)

Anyhoo, there ain't no room on the Vikings Love Boat for four QBs, even if Bryant McKinnie is no longer taking up space by hosting the party. So, who goes? Who knows? But that doesn't stop a whole lot of people from speculating.

"Freeman must get up to speed with the offense, which would make it difficult for him to start Sunday against Carolina," points out the very logical Chip Scoggins at the Star Tribune. "Matt Cassel still seems like the logical choice to start because he played well in relief of Christian Ponder against Pittsburgh in guiding the Vikings to their first victory."

"Despite signing Freeman, the Vikings are not shopping Christian Ponder or Matt Cassel, according to a league source," reports Sean Jensen at the Pioneer Press.

Besides, Freeman isn't exactly an upgrade from Ponder, if you look at the nearly meaningless statistic of QB ratings this far into the young season. Freeman has completed just 45.7 percent of his passes and posted a passer rating of 59.3 during Tampa Bay's winless start. Ponder's QB rating is 65.9.

But we've decided that stat is meaningless. What will Freeman - a one-time Pro Bowler - bring to the Vikings? Wins? Uh ... maybe. Here are the three quarterbacks' starting records, according to 1500 ESPN:

Cassel: 30-33 [.476]
Ponder: 12-17 [.412]
Freeman: 24-35 [.407]

"When it comes to quarterbacks, much is made of their 'psyche,'" offers Vikings Update. "The Vikings should have a psychologist on staff to put in some significant 'couch time' with the Vikings quarterbacks."

Trent Dilfer of ESPN thinks Freeman is getting a better deal than the Vikings, mostly because the dude gets to play with Adrian Peterson:

Another ESPN scribe thinks the move puts Ponder "on notice": "This is now a three-way race for the team's starting quarterback job, and though it could still end with Ponder as the No. 1 quarterback, the days of the 25-year-old having a presumptive hold on the job appear to be over."

USA Today reports "a person with knowledge of the Vikings' thinking confirmed the deal and said they'll keep their other three quarterbacks – Ponder, Matt Cassel and McLeod Bethel-Thompson – on the roster for now, though they'll discuss making a move with Bethel-Thompson."

The Strib's Jim Souhan puts it into simple pass-me-the-hot-wings-pundit terms: "Freeman is problematic. He was inaccurate and error-prone this season. He missed a team photo and battled with his head coach."

But wait, Souhan has more. "This part is important: The coach he battled with, Greg Schiano, may be an idiot."


CBS Sports looks on the bright side: "The move is good news for Oakland Raiders starter Terrelle Pryor. The Raiders were believed to be strongly in the hunt for Freeman, but now that he's in Minnesota, Pryor won't have to spend the rest of 2013 looking over his shoulder."

Good news for ... the team that didn't get Freeman!

Hey, wasn't Freeman battling some NFL drug issue, you might ask? Wasn't that floating around last week?

Freeman promptly released a statement saying he has an approved exemption to use Adderall to treat ADHD but that he made a mistake and switched to Ritalin, which resulted in a positive test. In his statement, Freeman said he’s passed 46 drug tests since voluntarily entering the program.

Whew, okay, that seems acceptable.

Will it work? Not according to Yahoo! Sports, which lists "Five Reasons Why Josh Freeman Will Not Succeed with the Minnesota Vikings."

Patrick Reusse prefers to look at the deal in terms of the views of the team's GM: "General Manager Rick Spielman would have to suspend his ego and basically give up on Christian Ponder, the quarterback that he made a reach to draft at No. 12 overall in the 2011 draft."

And that day, apparently, has come. Or not.

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