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New York Giants release Josh Freeman

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Josh Freeman's NFL career is probably over at this point. A pretty shocking development for a once promising talent.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Freeman has been released by the New York Giants.

The player who had one of the best seasons a young quarterback has ever had in 2010, who set franchise records (with very inconsistent play) in 2012, who was once seen as the clear future of this franchise. That player was just released from a team that had signed him to be a backup, for slightly more than veteran minimum salary.

I repeat: the New York Giants did not want to pay Josh Freeman just a bit more than veteran minimum salary to stick around this season. In fact, they didn't even want to pay his offseason expenses to stick around through training camp.

I don't know what happened to Freeman, but something, somewhere, went wrong. At this point it's not just that he's inconsistent, that he failed to develop. When three teams quit on you over nine months' time, when you can't find anything but a minimum salary roster spot and you can't even hold on to that for more than a few months, you're actively showing teams that you don't belong in the NFL anymore.

This has to be one of the quickest falls from grace I've ever seen a quarterback go through. This wasn't Jamarcus Russell or Ryan Leaf or Blaine Gabbert being a gigantic disaster from the get go. This was a player who showed tremendous promise and produced at least one great season with a lackluster supporting cast. The closest comparison I can think of may be Rex Grossman, but even he stuck around in the NFL for over a decade.

Along the way, in his career, at some point, Josh Freeman lost something. It isn't talent, because he's always had that. It didn't used to be work ethic, but it sure looks like that is what he's lost. Whatever it is, it isn't the Buccaneers' problem.