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Josh Freeman: 'I still view myself as a starting-caliber QB'

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Josh Freeman thinks he can still be a starter. (USATSI)
Josh Freeman thinks he can still be a starter. (USATSI)

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Josh Freeman has played 61 games in his five-year NFL career, and he's only not started one game. And Freeman doesn't see why that streak shouldn't continue.

"I still view myself as a starting-caliber quarterback," Freeman said from Giants offseason workouts, via NJ.com. "I love the situation because I have the opportunity to be around a guy that really had a lot of success, year after year and continues to win and get his team to the playoffs consistently. It's a really, really cool opportunity."

Even though he's only making $795,000 for the season (with $55,000 guaranteed) -- to compare, he made about $8 million from the Buccaneers last season, and after he was released, he signed a $2 million deal with the Vikings, where he put in only one game of work -- he's right. This is a good opportunity.

Especially since Eli Manning and his surgically-repaired ankle likely won't be a factor in practice until training camp. That should mean plenty of reps for Freeman (along with fellow backups Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter), and it very well could help repair Freeman's reputation. Teams, after all, weren't exactly falling over themselves to sign the free agent Freeman this offseason.

It's hard to believe how far Freeman's stock has fallen since this time last year. After butting heads with then-Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay released Freeman in favor of playing rookie Mike Glennon. Then, after signing with the Vikings, Freeman started one game, completing 37.7 percent of his passes for 190 yards and an interception in a 23-7 loss to the Giants.

Freeman termed that an "awful game," and he certainly wasn't wrong about that.

"Looking back, maybe not as prepared as I'd like to have been for the situation, or as much as I thought going into the situation," Freeman said. "But like anything in your past, it's an experience to learn from."

What about what happened with Schiano in Tampa Bay? Anything you can learn from that?

"I wouldn't say [it was a personal thing], and I really don't want to get into all the details that situation," Freeman said. "It's just players in every situation where a guy gets cut obviously just didn't fit in with the way the organization was going. That's what I'd like to chalk it up to."

Either way, Freeman now has another new chance to establish himself as the starting quarterback he thinks he still can be. And if Manning plays as badly as he did at times last season, who's to say that perhaps Freeman wouldn't get that shot in 2014?

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