After a rather lackluster performance by Matt Cassel against the Panthers on Sunday, the Vikings organization has handed over the quarterback reigns to Josh Freeman, who recently arrived from a tumultuous situation in Tampa Bay.
Freeman will make his debut on Monday Night Football, where the 1-4 Vikings will take on the 0-6 Giants. This makes Freeman Minnesota's third different starting quarterback in their previous four games. Talk about a fluid situation, huh?
Let's face the facts; the Vikings' season is a sinking ship with little hope of recovery. The young, talented defense is giving up 31.6 points per game, coming in at 30th in the league. In the first 5 games, Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel averaged 7.0 yards per attempt, a 78.9 quarterback rating, and 2.5 touchdowns per game. Quite frankly, that's not getting it done, and the front office didn't give Freeman a one-year, $3 million contract to ride the bench. Here's Frazier on the decision:
""The time that he's put in, how well he's adapted to our system, and I like his work ethic. He's done enough for us to say we want to give him this opportunity — which is something we had in mind when we acquired him. We think now is the time."
I've been praising Spielman and Co. for the Freeman signing and am pleased to see him get the start. His incorporation in the starting offense comes at a perfect time against a struggling Giants defense on a national stage. If Freeman plays well on a possibly-abridged playbook, fans will rally around him and proclaim him savior. If he struggles, he'll be blasted by the media as the mediocre player he's been the past two years, but given the benefit of the doubt as a fresh face in a new system. No one's saying Freeman can singlehandedly right the ship, but he has the ability to make the 2013 more than a disaster and give Vikings fans a quarterback of the future.
Ponder, according to reports, will remain the backup while Cassel slides to third-string. Freeman, your time is now. Make the most of it and prove the doubters wrong.