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Ex-Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman signs with Vikings

by Fitzgerald Cecilio

Minneapolis, MN

The Minnesota Vikings have addressed their lack of quarterback depth by signing former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman to a one-year contract worth about $3 million.

Freeman's agent, Erik Burkhardt, announced his client's move via a one-word announcement on Twitter.

Including the $2.479 million the Buccaneers paid him at the start of the season and $5.9 million termination pay from the team, Freeman will make more than $11.4 million this year until he becomes a free agent this winter

After the Buccaneers released Freeman, their 17th overall pick in 2009, several teams drew interest, including the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders.

The Vikings add Freeman to a quarterback depth chart that already includes Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel -- who started in place of an injured Ponder in Minnesota's only win of the season.

The Vikings still will list Ponder as their starter, a team source said, though he is recovering from a fractured rib.

"I think Josh Freeman is a good player," a Vikings source told ESPN. "We just have to figure out where things went wrong in Tampa Bay so we can help him. He is too young not to progress."

Cassel started last week in a 34-27 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in London. The team is coming off a bye week as it begins preparations for its Week 6 home game against the Carolina Panthers.

With the addition of Freeman, the Vikings are likely to release third-string QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

In 60 career games, Freeman has thrown for 13,534 yards, 80 touchdowns and 66 interceptions. He is the franchise's leader in career TD passes.

Last season, Freeman threw for 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns. He had two touchdown passes and three interceptions this season before he was benched.


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