With Eli Manning healthy enough to participate in this week’s OTAs, the Giants have continued to clear out their excess of quarterbacks. The team announced today in a press release that it has released Josh Freeman, who was signed earlier in the offseason to provide spring depth and potentially compete for a backup job. The Giants used Freeman’s vacated roster spot to claim offensive lineman Rogers Gaines off waivers from the Bears.
Freeman, 26, was Tampa Bay’s full-time starting quarterback from 2009 to 2012, but saw the wheels come off last year and was cut by the team. In his first four seasons, the former 17th overall pick completed 58.8% of his passes and tossed 78 touchdowns to go with 63 interceptions, as well as throwing for more than 4,000 yards in 2012. In 2013 though, Freeman’s completion percentage in four starts with the Bucs was just 45.7%, a number which declined even more after he joined the Vikings and performed poorly in his lone start.
The Giants picked up Freeman a little over a month ago, and gave him $55K in guaranteed money (via a signing bonus), but the former Kansas State QB was never viewed as the favorite to win the No. 2 job behind Manning. Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter remain on the roster, competing for that backup role, and Rusty Smith was also signed to provide offseason depth, though he has since been cut as well.
Freeman won’t have to clear waivers, so he’ll immediately become an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any team.