Josh Freeman has a new team, the Minnesota Vikings have a new young quarterback and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have moved on.
Freeman’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, revealed the move in an exclamatory one-word tweet about his client Sunday night: “Vikings!!!” Burkhardt then confirmed to The Associated Press in a phone interview that the 25-year-old agreed to a deal worth $3 million for the rest of the season.
Giving Freeman that much money for only 12 games signals a big step away from Christian Ponder in Minnesota. Freeman was released by the Buccaneers on Thursday, a week after he was benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon.
The Vikings didn’t comment on the move. They were scheduled to reconvene for practice on Monday morning.
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The winless Bucs released Freeman after general manager Mark Dominik contacted every other team in the NFL in an unsuccessful attempt to trade Freeman, a 4,000-yard passer a year ago and the team’s career leader with 1,144 completions and 80 touchdowns.
Freeman is owed the remaining $6.25 million on the contract he signed as the third quarterback selected in the 2009 draft behind Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez. Coach Greg Schiano benched Freeman after he completed only 45.7 percent of his passes and posted a league-low quarterback rating of 59.3 through three games.
MANNING PASSES MARINO
Peyton Manning has passed Dan Marino for second place on the career passing yardage list.
The Denver quarterback threw for 414 yards in a 51-48 victory over Dallas on Sunday, moving past the former Miami star. Manning has 61,371 yards to 61,361 for Marino.
Brett Favre is the leader at 71,838 yards with Green Bay, the New York Jets and Minnesota.
Manning needed 404 yards to tie Marino and looked like he wouldn’t get there with the Broncos cruising over the Cowboys in third quarter. But a Dallas rally forced him to keep throwing, and he broke the record on a 13-yard throw to Demaryius Thomas when Denver was getting in position for a winning field goal in the final 2 minutes.
Manning’s four touchdowns give him 456 in his career. Favre holds the record in that category, as well, with 508 career touchdowns.
Jacksonville rookie offensive tackle Luke Joeckel will miss the rest of the season because of a broken right ankle.
The No. 2 overall draft pick in April was injured in the first quarter of a 34-20 loss to the Rams on Sunday. He was taken off the field on a cart.
Joeckel got his leg rolled up by Rams defensive tackle Kendall Langford at the end of a 1-yard carry by Maurice Jones-Drew … Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick left the game against the New York Giants with a left hamstring injury.
Vick grabbed his left hamstring while gaining 13 yards on a running play in the second quarter. He finished that series and began the Eagles’ next possession, but left after one incomplete passNick Foles replaced Vick in the 36-21 victory … Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews left the Packers’ 22-9 win over Detroit after the third quarter with a thumb injury.
Matthews sacked Matthew Stafford on the last play of the quarter to push the Lions out of field-goal range. He jogged to the locker room with a trainer and did not return.
The Packers also lost starting linebacker Brad Jones to a hamstring injury … Broncos cornerback Chris Harris sustained a concussion and didn’t return for the second half of Denver’s 51-48 victory against the Dallas Cowboys. Denver also lost starting middle linebacker Wesley Woodyard because of what coach John Fox said after the game was a neck injury.