Josh Freeman Drama With Buccaneers Continues
By Allen Kim
The drama surrounding QB Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continues to spiral out of control. The NFLPA is now looking into the recent leak that Freeman had entered stage one of the NFL’s drug program, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Freeman was clearly unhappy when the information leaking out, saying in a statement, “Let me be very clear. I have NEVER tested positive for any illegal drugs or related substances. Further, I have agreed to take, and have PASSED 46 NFL-regulated drug tests over the last year and a half. Since the confidentiality of my medical status has been publicly violated, I am choosing to address this matter so that grossly erroneous assumptions about me do not persist.”
A violation of the Intervention Policy would result in a fine that ranges from $10,000 up to an exorbitant $500,000. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said, "We are sufficiently concerned about what we've heard to begin an investigation."
Tension between Freeman and the Buccaneers organization has been growing for some time now, and things have only worsened ever since he was benched for rookie Mike Glennon. There was some speculation that coach Greg Schiano leaked the information in what was being deemed a smear campaign, but he denied the rumors.
"Certainly that's not what you want to happen at all. But, alluding to the accusations, I don't appreciate that either when someone's accused of something that's not true," Schiano said. "At the end of the day, it's not a good thing, and we need to just keep moving forward beyond it."
It was also revealed by Rapoport that the Buccaneers fined Freeman twice in the last month. The fines are the result of him missing team meetings and for conducting an unauthorized interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
It’s only a matter of time before Freeman is no longer a member of the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has reportedly been exploring every trade option, and they have until the trade deadline on Oct. 29 to unload Freeman onto another team.