Saturday, June 16, 2007

Freeman Signed -- to Retire

Remember Antonio Freeman? The guy with the fifth most catches in Packers history? The guy who played a good chunk of the 1996 championship with a cast on his broken left forearm? The guy who made that miraculous catch on his back, in the rain, on Monday Night Football at Lambeau in 2000 to win the game in overtime against the ViQueens? The guy most of us thought was already retired?

Yeah, that Antonio Freeman.

Freeman was last signed in 2004 by Miami but was released during training camp. Other than the Dolphins (no playing time) and playing for the Eagles in 2002 before one last year with the Pack in 2003, Freeman was always a a Packer. And that's why he wanted to retire as one. The Packers signed Freeman yesterday to make that happen.

Freeman was not always the fastest receiver on the field, but he was one of the most sure-handed, reliable, and wiliest receivers the team has ever had, as evidenced by catching 431 passes in his eight years with the Pack, making him number five on the team's all-time receptions list. "Free" was also Brett Favre's favorite receiver during the mid-90s Super Bowl runs, and led the Packers in receiving from 1996-99.

Glad to have you back, "Free." Even if it is only so you can retire. Next stop for Freeman will be the Packers Hall of Fame, where he will then become part of a fine quintet of the Packers' all-time reception leaders along with Sterling Sharpe, James Lofton, Don Hutson and Boyd Dowler. Now that's fantasy football!