Quarterback Josh Freeman has been released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to ESPN.
The embattled QB and Coach Greg Schiano have been at cross purposes all season, with Freeman benched in favor of Mike Glennon a week ago. On Sunday, he was deactivated, with Dan Orlovsky backing up Glennon.
Along the way, there have been allegations have Freeman missed a team photo session and did not attend meetings. Most troubling was confidential information that surfaced last week, indicating that Freeman was in Phase One of the NFL’s drug program. Schiano denied being the source of that information and the NFL and the NFL Players Association are looking into the leak.
“We made the decision today to release Josh Freeman,” General Manager Mark Dominik said in a statement on the team’s website. “We appreciate his efforts over the past five seasons, but we felt this was in the best interests of both Josh and the Buccaneers.”
Freeman, a first-round draft pick in 2009, had asked for his release and the team had tried all week to trade him. There were no takers and the winless Bucs, who have a bye this weekend, made their move.
“Just because this may not be the place for Josh doesn’t mean his career is over,” Davin Joseph, the Bucs’ union representative, told the Tampa Tribune on Wednesday. “He has all the tools in the toolbox and it’s all about finding the right fit. He’s worked his tail off here. It’s not uncomfortable right now. It’s going to be uncomfortable if there’s a point where he’s no longer here. Tampa Bay and Josh Freeman are like rice and beans, almost.”