When you’re a first round NFL pick and have a certain level of success right off the bat, you know you’re talented and have a chance to leave a lasting mark on the game of football. But for a variety of reasons, Josh Freeman flamed out in Tampa Bay and never worked his way back into the good graces of another NFL team. That’s right — the Alouettes are pinning their hopes on a quarterback who 32 teams have passed on. Heck, even the Ottawa Redblacks who added him to their negotiation list last season ended up dropping him.
But here we are. Montreal is desperate for a stabilizing talent at the most important position in the CFL and Josh Freeman hasn’t found a team who would give him a legit chance in two years. This training camp should be an intriguing one.
Freeman, who was spotted on the Alouettes sideline during a preseason game last season, has decided to take his talents north of the border and see if he can impress in a foreign land. The fans in Montreal are absolutely starved for quarterback consistency. To ask a guy who has questionable work habits and a taste for night life to make it work come Week 1 is, well, a tall order.
Then there’s also the question of whether or not Darian Durant will be given the opportunity to compete for the starting job. Throw Matt Shiltz into the mix and it should be one fascinating competition for the starting job.
Freeman is now 30 years old and has made millions in the NFL. But he is more or less considered a bust based on his talent and initial promise. Is coming to Montreal the best thing for his professional career?
“Hopefully he comes up here, has his mind right and understands how to be a professional…. if you don’t come in here with a professional mindset, especially knowing that you don’t have as much time (commitments) as the NFL, and you don’t do your due diligence with that time, it can be a very short career up here,” said Alouettes running back Tyrell Sutton, on my TSN 690 radio show.
“He definitely has to gravitate to some of the guys who’ve been around here, to get him to understand that there’s a lot of free time that goes on around here, and Montreal is a city that can definitely get you in a lot of trouble. Hopefully he’s put some of that behind him.”
Look, it takes time to learn a new game, with new field dimensions and new rules, not to mention new receivers and a new coaching staff. To me, it’s a long shot that Josh Freeman works out and excels in the CFL, based on everything we know about why he didn’t succeed in the NFL.
Troy Smith didn’t work out. Rakeem Cato didn’t work out. Vernon Adams Jr. and Brandon Bridge weren’t given the right opportunity. Jonathan Crompton was dispatched unfairly. Darian Durant was an over-hyped flop. And now Josh Freeman? Oy, let’s hope he’s become a more studious person and less of a night owl during his two years away from football.
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