The Buccaneers' relationship with quarterback Josh Freeman has reached a toxic level.
Freeman was benched after an 0-3 start. He hadn't played well, but this was brewing for a while with coach Greg Schiano. Then the Buccaneers sent quite a message by moving Freeman all the way from No. 1 to No. 3 for Sunday's game, making Freeman inactive against Arizona.
Part of that may be that, as NFL.com reported, Freeman missed multiple meetings this week.
Oh, and #Bucs did, in fact, make Josh Freeman inactive after he missed more than 1 team meeting this week.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 29, 2013
And Freeman went on ESPN's pregame show and said it's time for him to move on from the Buccaneers.
"No question," Freeman told ESPN on "Sunday NFL Countdown." "It's uncomfortable to say, and it might not sit well, it might not feel good, but the bottom line is I am me as a player. I can't worry about everyone else."
There have been multiple reports this week that both sides would be fine with a trade. Freeman is just 25 and will be a free agent after the season. He has played well before, but not this season.
Freeman completed just 45.7 percent of his passes for 571 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Freeman said about his benching that, "I think it came down to production," but said he didn't agree with the move to start rookie Mike Glennon.
"He's a good player but at the same time I can't pretend to even be inside Coach Schiano's head," Freeman said to ESPN.
Freeman explained that when he missed a team photo, the power went out in his house and his alarm clock had reset. He said he felt bad about it, and took it harder than his teammates.
Freeman said his benching "made some guys uncomfortable," among his teammates, and although he'll never be comfortable as a backup, "I have to try my best."
The relationship between the team and player is obviously over, it's just a question of whether the Buccaneers can trade him, if they'll feel so strongly they'd release him, or if Freeman will walk away at the end of the season.
"I'm frustrated, kind of angry, don't really understand the decision, but I'm not the coach," Freeman told ESPN. "I don't make personnel moves. I don't make those decisions. That's his job to do."