INDIANAPOLIS — He was the starting quarterback for one of the most improbable wins in Indianapolis Colts history just three seasons ago.
And now, he's decided to hang 'em up.
Josh Freeman has decided to retire from football, according to the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, who made that announcement this past weekend.
"We would like to thank Josh for his work and dedication. He was a consummate professional throughout camp," Alouettes general manager Kavis Reed said, via their team website. "We respect his decision and we wish him the best in the future."
Freeman, 30, was a first-round (17th-overall) pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2009 and would go on to start 59 of 60 games in five years with the team, completing 1,144 of 1,967 passes for 13,534 yards with 80 touchdowns to 66 interceptions.
His best season came in 2010, when he started all 16 games, throwing 25 touchdowns to just six picks and leading the Buccaneers to a 10-6 record. During that year, he would set or tie franchise records for highest quarterback rating in a season (95.9), most fourth-quarter comeback wins (five), most game-winning drives (five) and fewest interceptions in a single season.
After starting three games at the beginning of the 2013 season, however, Freeman was released by Tampa Bay; he would sign with the Minnesota Vikings, where he would make one start the rest of the season.
In 2014 and 2015, Freeman floated around the offseason rosters of the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins, but was unable to make a regular-season roster. In September 2015, Freeman even tried his hand at the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL), signing with the Brooklyn Bolts.
But later that year, Freeman earned what would be his final NFL chance.
The Colts had been decimated at the quarterback position, as regular starter Andrew Luck didn't play past Week 9, veteran backup Matt Hasselbeck — who had started eight games that year — would suffer a shoulder injury and could not finish out the season, and his backup, Charlie Whitehurst, was placed in Injured Reserve.
So the team would end up signing Freeman and fellow veteran free agent quarterback Ryan Lindley — who also hadn't previously played in the NFL that season — the Tuesday before their 2015 regular season finale against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Freeman earned the start in that game, and would end up connecting on 15-of-28 passes for 149 yards with one touchdown and an interception and earning an improbable 30-24 win to finalize an 8-8 season for Indy.
"My goal was to go out and play well enough to win," Freeman said after that game. "Today is about the team coming together and getting a big win despite the odds."
Freeman — the Buccaneers' record holder for career touchdown passes (80) — ends his NFL playing career with 62 games played (with 61 starts) and 1,179-of-2,048 completions (57.6 percent) for 81 touchdowns to 68 interceptions, as well as 205 rushing attempts for 946 yards (4.6 average) and another four touchdowns.