Former first-round pick Josh Freeman is working to resurrect his football career by trying to earn a roster spot with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League.
Freeman, who has not played in the NFL since appearing in one game for the Indianapolis Colts in 2015, was one of six quarterbacks to participate in the Alouettes’ passing camp at the former site of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ spring training complex in Vero Beach, Fla.
“Someone asked me the other day, ‘Dude, are you out of money? Why are you playing in the CFL?’ ” Freeman told the Tampa Bay Times. “I said, ‘Because I like playing football.’ ”
Freeman, 30, was the 17th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2009 NFL Draft. He started all but one game from 2010-12, throwing for a career-high 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2012. But his once-promising career flamed out beginning the following season, when he was benched after three games for Mike Glennon.
He was released on Oct. 3 and signed with the Minnesota Vikings. Freeman was named the starter for Week 7, but had a dismal showing on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants. He was later diagnosed with a concussion and never played again for the Vikings.
Freeman was released by the Giants and Miami Dolphins over the next two years without playing for either team. After a brief stint with the Brooklyn Bolts of the FXFL in 2015, he started the final game of the 2015 season for the Colts.
This is now Freeman’s second attempt to resurrect his career in the CFL. He attended the Calgary Stampeders’ Florida minicamp last year and an open tryout for the Alouettes. He was added to Montreal’s negotiating list on Jan. 9 of this year and signed a two-year contract three days later.
Freeman, who isn’t married and has no children, breeds snakes at his home in Kansas City and said he simply misses the competition of playing football.
“I mean, you can go to the gym and, like, play basketball as hard as you can,” Freeman told the Times. “But you can’t really compete. You don’t sit and prepare all week to go kick some kid’s (butt) in basketball. What kind of loser is that?”
Former Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman is the coach of the Alouettes, and said nothing has been promised to Freeman. So why is Freeman toiling in a CFL passing camp and willing to head to Canada after not playing for two years?
“Oh, 100 percent. It’s like a fun league,” Freeman said. “I’m excited. It’s a new challenge. In all honesty, I thought about going back to school. Last year. No. Shoot, when was it? Last year? No, after the Colts year, I was kind of like, ‘Oh, shoot, man.’ I kind of got tired of the roller coaster. … I got tired of not having consistency.”
–Field Level Media