posted on Aug, 16 2004 @ 02:35 PM
With their wide receiver corps decimated by injuries, the Miami Dolphins have reached a contract accord with Antonio Freeman, ESPN.com has learned,
and the nine-year veteran will sign a one-year deal on Monday afternoon.
Freeman, 32, has played in 132 games and started in 91 of them, and last Tuesday auditioned for Miami coaches and personnel officials. Although he has
not been in camp this summer, Freeman typically keeps himself in excellent condition and, given his league tenure, should be able to take in the
Dolphins playbook fairly quickly. Most importantly, he will add much-needed relief to a ravaged position.
Financial details of the contract were not immediately available.
The Dolphins lost starter David Boston on Aug. 6 when he tore the patellar tendon in his left knee during combined workouts with the Texans. Boston
has not yet been placed on injured reserve, and hopes to be able to return in November, but that would mean an incredibly speedy recovery from a
severe injury. In Saturday night's preseason game, wideout Kendall Newson, who had claimed the No. 3 job with a superb training camp, suffered a
season-ending Achilles tendon injury.
Even without the Newson injury, the Dolphins probably would have signed Freeman to bolster their thinning ranks. Starters Chris Chambers and Derrius
Thompson, along with backup Terrence Wilkins, are all nursing minor injuries as well.
Freeman played the first seven seasons of his career with Green Bay, moved on to Philadelphia in 2002, then re-signed with the Packers last season.
The former Virginia Tech star, once one of the NFL's most dependable and feared playmakers, has a resume that includes 477 receptions, 7,251 yards and
He has six seasons of 50-plus catches and three years with over 1,000 receiving yards. But since originally departing the Packers after the 2001
campaign, when he was cut for salary cap considerations, Freeman has posted just 60 catches for 741 yards and four touchdowns in 31 appearances.
Even with his blunted numbers over the past two seasons, however, Freeman's average of a touchdown catch every 7.8 receptions is one of the best in
the NFL over the past couple decades. Freeman has been working out at home in Baltimore and in Miami, where he also maintains a residence.
Earlier this summer, he rejected job offers from at least two other teams.