But Freeman has been talking selectively to members of the national media. Most recently, Freeman has told Jay Glazer of FOX that Freeman wants to be traded or released now.
A trade will be difficult, given that Freeman is due, after today, to still make $6.44 million for the balance of the year. Unless the Bucs eat some of the money (or a lot of the money), only a catastrophic injury to a starter for a contending team will result in a deal being done.
One factor working against a release is the reality that, if the Bucs cut Freeman, the departure of Freeman won’t be a factor in the compensatory draft pick formula for 2015. If his contract expires and he leaves as a free agent, Freeman’s exit will be included in the convoluted balancing of free agents who leave and free agents who arrive.
Glazer says the union could soon be getting involved, but there’s only so much the union can do. Seven guys per week are paid to not play. As long as they don’t send Freeman home or otherwise lock him out of the building, the Bucs have the discretion to include him each week in the seven inactive players.
Freeman has the discretion to make it clear he wants out. Which puts the player and the team on a collision course for an ugly separation that will happen at some point before March of 2014.