Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman (12) laughs during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Packers defeated the Vikings 44-31. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Is the thus far unsuccessful Josh Freeman Experiment headed toward being scrapped altogether? You have to wonder after today’s news concerning Freeman’s status. Mike Florio reports that the Vikings plan to deactivate Freeman for Sunday’s game, and will elevate Matt Cassel to the backup position behind Christian Ponder.
This represents a demotion for Freeman, who was listed as the #2 QB last week while Cassel was deactivated. All this week we were led to believe that a competition existed between Ponder and Freeman for the starting job but this development leads us to question whether Freeman was ever seriously considered as the starter for today’s game.
It’s easy to read ominous signs into Freeman’s demotion, but then again this could just be a bit of practical thinking on Leslie Frazier’s part. If Freeman is indeed still struggling with his mechanics, it makes sense to sit him down entirely and have Cassel active in case Ponder should stumble.
To me this move is probably about lack of confidence in Ponder as much as it is about Freeman’s development – or lack thereof – but I understand if people see this as another sign that the Vikings made a mistake bringing Freeman in. Right now the whole thing looks like a terrible personnel misstep. A misstep that must be pinned entirely on Rick Spielman, the guy who allegedly never messes up when it comes to picking talent.