Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to point out that this is nothing more than speculation at this point. That being said, here it is.
Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports is reporting that the Minnesota Vikings are potentially interested in making a deal for embattled Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman. The Bucs have announced that they are going to bench Freeman this week in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, and it appears that the Bucs are pretty much done with Freeman at this point.
Here's the video of LaCanfora making the report. It comes at about the 1:00 mark of the clip.
Now, as I mentioned, this is nothing more than speculation at this point. But LaCanfora does make the point that the Vikings have an early bye week, so if they were to make a deal for someone like Freeman, they'd have that extra time for getting Freeman acclimated to the offense. Also, as LaCanfora says, Rick Spielman apparently liked Freeman a lot coming out of college, and Freeman is still fairly young. He's actually only about six weeks older than Christian Ponder. (Freeman was born on 13 January 1988, while Ponder was born on 25 February 1988.)
Part of the potential difficulty lies in the fact that Freeman is in the final year of his rookie contract. Freeman signed a 5-year contract after being selected 17th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay. The Vikings do have a great deal of salary cap space for 2014. . .they're only committed to about $90 million of spending as it stands right now. . .but Rick Spielman and company would probably have to work out some sort of extension for Freeman in order for a deal to make any sense. To that end, the Vikings would have to make a decision on how much they think Freeman is worth in the long-term.
While Freeman has been sub-par this season, he has been above-average for the most part in Tampa. For his career, he has completed passes at a 58% clip, while throwing 80 touchdown passes to 66 interceptions. Freeman's a big guy, measuring in at about 6'6" and a little shy of 250 pounds, and has a huge arm. Apparently the Buccaneers would be willing to accept a late-round pick for him (according to our friends at Bucs Nation). Of course, as BN points out, there's the issue of this year's salary cap space as well (in addition to the future problems pointed out earlier), unless the Vikings have something else in the works.
Is there a lot to this rumor? Who knows at this point. But Freeman is young enough where he wouldn't completely destroy the "youth movement" the Vikings have been undergoing over the past few years, and he has certainly shown impressive flashes of talent in the past. If all it's going to take is a "late-round pick" to get the deal done, if they could make it work, I don't think I'd be opposed to that at all.