The Josh Freeman saga has come to a close in Tampa Bay this afternoon after multiple media outlets report the team has granted him his release. What does this mean for Freeman and his future? It means he now has options and the freedom of choice towards his attempt to rebuild his name in the NFL. What does this mean for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? It means there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered.
The strangest part of this whole story is the way the Tampa brass handled the quarterback. After demoting him last week, he was quickly shuffled down the depth chart to third string and made inactive this past weekend. Next came the “leak” that he was in stage one of the NFL drug program (Freeman admitted to being diagnosed with ADHD and has an exemption form the NFL to take Adderall.) What seemed to be the final page of this saga was when he was “excused” from a team meeting earlier this week. There were rumors going around the media that by this point that Freeman has already lost the locker room. What stands out to me here is a few things. The talk of Mike Glennon taking over during the preseason was the first clue that new head coach Greg Schiano was not pleased with parts of the team he inherited. As the season began, those rumors did not go away. A few weeks ago there was a report that All-Pro corner back Darrelle Revis was not happy with the way Schiano ran the team. Now coming from the laid back atmosphere that Revis had experiences in the Jets organization, this complaint was quickly swept under the rug. As far as this “leak” goes, I am in no way involved or know anyone involved within the Tampa Bay organization but something smells funny to me. The key point here is Tampa is willing to pay Josh Freeman $6.2 million to go away. $6.2 million to have the freedom to sign where ever he wants, if someone offers him a spot, and continue his career as soon as he signs on the dotted line. I don’t know Freeman, I’ve never met the guy… but to me that seems like one hell of a deal for him. Does the NFLPA and their investigation into the leak have something to do with this? I would like to think so. Now just because he was released this afternoon, does not mean this investigation is over. But it does seems like it could soften the blow delivered by the NFL if Tampa is found guilty on any level. So could they be protecting their future by cutting ties with their past? Seems like it. This could all be a smoke screen put out by the Freeman camp to help him attain his release. But if it proves to be something more than that, if the Bucs not only leaked his voluntary participation in the drug program but tried to turn his team against him by asking him to skip meetings and spreading rumors, then who would want to be a part of that organization? Who would want to put their body on the line day in and day out for a program that would attack one of their own players? The NFL is a family, and each player treats each teammate like a brother. This whole situation just seems to be spinning out of control for a franchise that is now heading towards a rebuilding stage once again. As for Josh Freeman, there are more than a few teams out there who need help behind center and while Freeman needs some work, he definitely is a better option in more than a few situations.
Possible Destinations include… Jacksonville, Cleveland, Minnesota, Tennessee, Oakland
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