The last time the Giants saw Josh Freeman, he was putting together one of the ugliest quarterback performances we've seen in long while for the Minnesota Vikings on national television — 20/53 for 190 yards, an almost incomprehensible 3.6 YPA and a QBR of 6.1.
Apparently, that audition was good enough.
The Giants inked the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter to a one-year deal on Wednesday, bringing him in to compete for the No. 2 job with Curtis Painter (yikes) and last year's fourth-round pick Ryan Nassib.
It's hard to know exactly how to feel about the move. One the one hand, it can't really hurt — the Giants were in the market for a backup quarterback (just why that is, however, is another question, given Nassib's presence on the roster) and at this point Freeman was the best available with the most starting experience.
And he did show flashes, however brief, during his time in Tampa — it wasn't too long ago he was putting up 25 TDs to just six picks in 2010. He's got a massive arm and some athleticism to go with it, and there just aren't too many reserves in the league with that sort of potential. On a low-risk contract, why not take a flier?
Well, because a lot of time has elapsed since we last saw that potential, and a whole lot of red flags have popped up since then. Holding his acrimonious departure from Tampa against him probably isn't wise, given what we know about the authoritarian antics of Greg Schiano.
Still, though he was unfairly thrown into the fire in the Meadowlands, it's telling that he was seemingly unable to beat out Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder (the first-round pick Minnesota was so lukewarm on they brought a new quarterback into the fold mid-season) for the starting job.
Part of that may have been Leslie Frazier mismanaging players and getting cold feet following that Monday Night Football debacle. But it's also worth mentioning that there was virtually no market for Freeman's services until this week. Sure, a deal for a backup quarterback won't wreck your season, and if Freeman ends up having an impact on the 2014 Giants they're in deep trouble regardless. But it's hard to see how this makes them a better team, even slightly. If you're expecting a diamond in the rough, or even trade bait, you'll probably be disappointed.