NFL Notes: Josh Freeman signs with Vikings

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NFL Notes: Josh Freeman signs with Vikings
October 7, 2013, 12:00 am
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Three days after he was released by the Buccaneers, Josh Freeman agreed to a deal with the Vikings late Sunday night. (USA Today Images)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Josh Freeman is headed to Minnesota.

Freeman's agent, Erik Burkhardt, revealed the move in a one-word tweet Sunday night, saying: "Vikings!!!"

Freeman was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, a week after being benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon. The winless Bucs made the latest move during their bye week after general manager Mark Dominik contacted every other team in the NFL in an unsuccessful attempt to trade Freeman, a 4,000-yard passer a year ago and the team's career leader with 1,144 completions and 80 touchdowns.

Coach Greg Schiano benched Freeman after the 25-year-old completed only 45.7 percent of his passes and posted a league-low quarterback rating of 59.3 through three games.

Freeman is owed the remaining $6.25 million on the contract he signed as the third quarterback selected in the 2009 draft behind Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez.

Christian Ponder, the team's first-round draft pick three years ago, struggled mightily at quarterback in the first three games of the season, all losses. He threw five interceptions and lost two fumbles and didn't get much help from an offensive line that couldn't keep the pressure off of him, or open holes for Peterson.

Matt Cassel took over in the last game while Ponder rested his injured ribs, and he gave the struggling unit a jolt. Cassel brought some much-needed rhythm and timing to the offense while throwing for 248 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-27 win over Pittsburgh in London.

Jaguars: Rookie OT Luke Joeckel out for the year
ST. LOUIS -- Jacksonville rookie offensive tackle Luke Joeckel will miss the rest of the season because of a broken right ankle.

Joeckel was injured in the first quarter of a 34-20 loss to the Rams on Sunday. He was taken off the field on a cart.

Joeckel got his leg rolled up by Rams defensive tackle Kendall Langford at the end of a 1-yard carry by Maurice Jones-Drew. He was selected by the Jaguars with the second pick in this year's draft.

"I saw it happen and it's unfortunate," said quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who also left the game with an injury. "It wasn't pretty."

Jones-Drew said he was to blame.

"It's tough when you were the guy that probably hurt him, too, which was me," Jones-Drew said. "You never want to run up anyone's back like that. He was doing so well. He was coming along."

49ers: Willis sits out again
SAN FRANCISCO -- All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis missed the 49ers' Sunday night game against the Houston Texans because of a strained groin.

Willis also missed the NFC champion Niners' 35-11 win at St. Louis on Sept. 26 after getting hurt the previous week against the Colts.

Willis, who practiced in a limited role during the week, worked out on the field at Candlestick Park on an unseasonably warm October afternoon, then met with the training and strength staff in the end zone shortly before inactives were announced.

Also inactive was cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who missed his second straight game with a knee injury. The 49ers are without linebacker Aldon Smith for the second straight game while undergoing treatment for substance abuse.

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