By Eric Schmidt

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have apparently seen enough of QB Josh Freeman and have made the decision to move forward without him. Freeman was benched this morning in favor of third-round rookie Mike Glennon out of North Carolina State. Glennon has been linked to Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano since he was recruited out of high school. Schiano lobbied for Glennon to attend Rutgers. Freeman’s future is in doubt at this point and it’s likely the Buccaneers would entertain trade offers. Would the Minnesota Vikings be interested in Freeman?

The Vikings find themselves 0-3 heading into a game played in London this Sunday with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Quarterback play has been lacking for the Vikings this year. The jury is still out on Christian Ponder, but he’s not doing much to help his cause. In three games this season, Ponder has five interceptions and has been sacked 10 times.

There is a chance that the Vikings might start free agent QB Matt Cassel this week. Ponder is dealing with a rib injury suffered last week against the Cleveland Browns. Cassel might jumpstart the Vikings offense this week.

After filling in for an injured Tom Brady with the Patriots, Cassel parlayed a solid season heading into free agency into a $63 million dollar contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. Cassel struggled in Kansas City while the franchise dealt with front office and coaching issues. His best season came in 2010 while throwing 27 touchdowns and 6 interceptions while Charlie Weis was the offensive coordinator.

The Vikings need to determine whether Ponder is going to be the starter moving forward or whether he is just a few steps above Blaine Gabbert. Enter Josh Freeman. Freeman has his own issues, if he didn’t, the Buccaneers would have extended his rookie contract in the offseason.

Cassel will turn 32 prior to next season. He inked a two-year deal this past offseason worth $7.4 million with an option for a third year. Freeman has turnover issues, but so does Cassel. Last season he threw 11 interceptions and lost six fumbles on a team that posted the worst record in the league.

Since Freeman is headed towards free agency at the end of the season, the Buccaneers might be open to just about any offer in order to get something in return for him. Tampa might be open to a fifth or sixth-round conditional pick for Freeman.

On the upside, Freeman has the physical size and some mobility to play in the NFL. He has made 60 career starts. He set team records for passing yards (4,065) and touchdowns (27) for the Buccaneers last season. In 2010, he threw 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He is just 25.

On the downside, he regresses at times. He finished last season with 25 turnovers. In the last six games, he has thrown four touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

For a low draft pick, the Vikings might be wise to trade for Freeman and see what they might be able to do with him.

 

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