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NFL Roundup: Buccaneers release Freeman

The SportsXchange

Amid accusations and investigations, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Thursday that they released displaced and displeased former starting quarterback Josh Freeman.

Freeman, who last year became the first quarterback in Bucs history to pass for 4,000 yards in a season, was benched and then declared inactive last week against Arizona after playing poorly in the first three games. The rancorous relationship was evidenced by his watching from a suite on Sunday as rookie Mike Glennon made his debut in a 13-10 loss that dropped the team to 0-4.

The Buccaneers are eating more than $6 million in salary owed to Freeman. A breakup of some sort was inevitable and reports indicate the Bucs offered him for trade but no team was interested.

The last week has been full of accusations, especially by Freeman, who claims the team leaked information that he was enrolled in the NFL's substance abuse program. The NFL Players Association and the league are looking into the source of that leak.

---The NFL will not fine Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson for his hit against Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown during last Sunday's game, according to ESPN.

League executive Merton Hanks reviewed the play and determined the hit did not warrant a fine. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians complained earlier this week that the helmet-to-helmet hit was "illegal." Goldson was penalized on the play.

Goldson has been penalized for a league-high 16 personal fouls since 2009.

---In an open letter to NFL fans, commissioner Roger Goodell emphasizes improvements and continued attention to player safety, including neurological disorders and prevention of head injuries.

In the wake of another suicide -- former Chargers safety Paul Oliver died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, taking his own life in front of his wife and sons in September -- and a forthcoming investigative book that alleges the NFL worked for decades to cover up the connection between football, head trauma and its lasting impacts, Goodell penned a thorough reminder of the NFL's ongoing attention to neurotrauma.

"Increased safety for players has been an essential part of the evolution of football dating back to its early days more than 100 years ago," Goodell wrote. "We are proud that the game is safer and more exciting today than ever, but we are never satisfied. In keeping with our history, we are committed to pursuing a path that ensures the rewards of playing football continue to far outweigh the risks. Led by our Competition Committee and medical advisors, every year we will look for new ways to make the game better and safer."

---Four games into his first NFL head-coaching job, Chip Kelly said Thursday that he has no intentions of leaving Philadelphia.

"I'm the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles," Kelly said for the second time in three days, responding to questions about his interest in the vacant job at Southern California. "I'm very, very excited to be here. I'm not entertaining anything like that. I'm here."

Kelly, of course, is a known commodity in the Pac-12. He helped boost Oregon to perennial contender status. With the Eagles off to a slow start, Kelly's name has been repeatedly connected to USC since Lane Kiffin was fired Sunday.

---Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw is considering season-ending neck surgery, though the severity of his injury remains unclear.

The Indianapolis Star cited a source that said there is "a level of concern surgery might be required" for Bradshaw, who has been out since he was injury Sept. 22 at San Francisco.

The Colts signed the 27-year-old Bradshaw to a one-year deal in June. Because of durability questions -- Bradshaw had multiple foot surgeries as a member of the New York Giants -- his deal is laden with incentives.

---The hit that put Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker on the sideline for several weeks didn't draw a penalty, but the NFL did fine the two New York Jets defenders who tagged him on the play.

Locker, who has a sprained hip and won't play for at least three weeks, said he didn't fault Mohammed Wilkerson or Quinton Coples for his injury. Locker said "it wasn't anything malicious."

The NFL disagreed, fining Wilkerson $15,750 and Coples $7,875 for the play.

---The New England Patriots announced Thursday that they placed defensive lineman Vince Wilfork on injured reserve and released tight end Zach Sudfeld.

Wilfork tore his right Achilles' tendon on Sunday night in the Patriots' 30-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Wilfork went down awkwardly in the first quarter of the game. Sudfeld, 24, joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Nevada on May 3 and played in three of the first four games as a reserve and on special teams.

Earlier in the day, the team signed wide receiver Austin Collie.

---Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe is going from one of the worst teams in the NFL to the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

The Jacksonville Jaguars completed the trade to the Ravens for multiple mid-round draft picks -- fourth- and fifth-round selections in the 2014 draft.

Monroe, the eighth overall pick in the 2009 draft, has started 62 of 65 career games with the Jaguars. He is in the final year of his rookie contract and can become a free agent in March. Monroe steps in at left tackle for the Ravens for veteran Bryant McKinnie.

---The New Orleans Saints will go to Chicago for their game against the Bears a day earlier than they planned because of Tropical Storm Karen.

The Saints will depart for Chicago on Friday because Karen may hit landfall on Saturday.
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