Report: Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman excused from team meeting; players are suspicious

Anwar S. Richardson
Shutdown Corner

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik’s attempts to get rid of quarterback Josh Freeman and avoid paying the rest of his salary continues to make their organization look absurd.

While benching Freeman in favor of Mike Glennon was a questionable decision, Schiano banned Freeman from the sidelines of Tampa Bay’s previous game against Arizona, but said the arrangement was a mutual decision. Freeman’s agent later categorized Schiano’s explanation as a “lie.”

Then medical information about Freeman being in the NFL's substance-abuse program was leaked earlier this week, which forced the quarterback to admit he had ADHD. Freeman said he took Ritalin rather than Adderall, but voluntary admitted himself into “NFL Program” and has passed 46 drug tests. The leaking of Freeman’s medical history has led many to believe someone within the Bucs' organization revealed the information, although Schiano denied any involvement on Tuesday.

However, the NLFPA is currently investigating how Freeman's medical history was leaked.

Now Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reports Freeman was told by the team not to attend a meeting on Tuesday and remain in the training room. Glazer said, “There is suspicion among players that Freeman was told to stay in the training room to create speculation that he blew off another meeting.”

After Glazer story broke, Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud reported Dominik excused Freeman from the meeting because Schiano wanted to speak with the quarterback about what transpired this past Monday.

Of course, if Schiano wanted to speak with Freeman, all the coach had to do was call his quarterback. Asking Freeman to miss a meeting is suspicious because he is still a member of the team, and conspiracy theorists will note that if the quarterback does something detrimental to the squad, Tampa Bay can suspend him without pay. Skipping a team meeting would fall into that category.

The relationship between Freeman and Schiano is damaged beyond repair, and it makes more sense to release the quarterback and pay his salary than continuing this public relations nightmare. If Freeman cannot stand along the sidelines during games, and his presence at team meetings are no longer required, it makes little sense to continue embarrassing him just to avoid paying the rest of his salary if he is released.

Right now, everything the Bucs are doing with Freeman appears absurd.

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