It is easy to understand why Erik Burkhardt, Josh Freeman’s agent, has become annoyed.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik are trying their best to get rid of Freeman without paying the remainder of his salary. Burkhardt’s client was previously benched because Schiano wanted to play rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. More importantly, personal information about Freeman has been continually leaked.
Not only was Freeman’s voluntary participation in the substance-abuse program, which is supposed to be confidential, recently leaked, but on Tuesday evening, Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud disclosed more details about Freeman’s recent fines by the team (originally reported by SI.com reporter Jim Trotter).
Stroud said Freeman was fined at least twice for a total of $31,500 by Tampa Bay. Freeman was fined $10,500 for an unauthorized interview with ESPN, which he is appealing; penalized for missing a team meal before the Jets game – a buffet at the Hilton Short Hills hotel in New Jersey, and was late to the team bus before that game.
As a result, Burkhardt aired his frustrations on Thursday via Twitter:
AND... Another breach of personal & confidential employee information: releasing info of alleged team violations w associated fines
— Erik Burkhardt (@ErikBurkhardt) October 3, 2013
Can you really blame him for being irritated?
Freeman is an unrestricted free agent after this season, and all of these leaks are hurting his client’s value. Even though Freeman has become a sympathetic figure - most NFL observers have turned against the Buccaneers for this debacle - the constantly unveiling of this private information could work against Burkhardt during negations.
At some point, this circus in Tampa Bay will come to an end, but Burkhardt has every right to be annoyed with the show.