If quarterback Josh Freeman wants out of Tampa badly enough, there’s a potentially quick and easy path.
Per a league source, the Bucs could be inclined to release Freeman if he waives his right to collect the balance of his salary as termination pay.
Every player with four or more years of service is entitled, if on the Week One roster, to collect his full salary if he’s cut during the season. Freeman is still owed $6.44 million of his $8.43 million base salary.
It’s not known whether Freeman would be willing to consider taking anything less than what he’ll get whether he’s on the Buccaneers or not. But if no one is inclined to trade for Freeman due to his salary, his only way out of Tampa could consist of giving up all — or at least part — of the $6.44 million.
Maybe that’ll be the end result. The Bucs and Freeman agree that he’ll get half the money, and the Bucs will cut him loose.
Or maybe Freeman will dig in and say, essentially, “If you want to get rid of me and you can’t trade me, cut me and pay me.”
Regardless of how it happens, it feels inevitable that Freeman will be a former Buccaneer at some point before the end of the 2013 season.