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Bucs, Freeman continue on ugly path

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As Mike Erhmantraut once told Walter White, “You are a time bomb. . . .  And I have no intention of being around for the boom.”

The boom is coming in Tampa, from something other than the cannon on the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium.

As expected, the Buccaneers deactivated Josh Freeman on Sunday, whom coach Greg Schiano declared to still be the starter after last Sunday’s loss to the Patriots.  By Wednesday, Freeman was benched.  Since then, it’s only gotten worse.

Freeman refused to talk to the local media during the week.  But Freeman granted an exclusive interview to ESPN.  The Bucs didn’t like it, sparking reports that Freeman possibly wouldn’t dress for Sunday’s game.

Come Sunday, Freeman was indeed inactive, amid reports that he missed meetings during the week.  But he wasn’t on the sidelines.  Coach Greg Schiano called the decision for Freeman to watch the game from a suit “mutual,” and Freeman’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, texted the word “lie” to Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

Also, Freeman once again refused to talk to the local media after the game, violating league policy twice in less than a week.

The public ticking has since subsided, but the boom still looms.  Let’s look at the various possible outcomes.

1.  The Buccaneers keep Freeman through the end of the season.

This is the “do nothing” option, which given the past few days seems far and away to be the least likely.  The Bucs don’t want him on the field — they don’t even want him in position to play due to injury.  Paying him more than $490,000 per week to continue to be a thorn in Schiano’s side will make no sense to Schiano.

2.  The Buccaneers cut Freeman.

This would happen if Freeman agrees to take significantly less than the $6.44 million he’d be entitled to receive as termination pay.  If he’d waive his right to termination pay entirely, the Bucs would cut him right now, we believe.  The question is whether there’s a middle ground between $6.44 million and “nothing and like it” that will get a deal done.

The Bucs also could try to stiff Freeman out of his termination pay.  Under Article 30 of the labor deal, the team can block the otherwise guaranteed obligation by showing that, “after receipt of a written warning from his Club . . . the player failed to exhibit the level of good faith effort which can be reasonably expected from NFL players on that Club.”

A grievance surely would be filed, and the Buccaneers would have to prove a lack of good faith by Freeman.  Even if they lose the grievance, the team would be able to tie up the $6.44 million for months, if not years.

3.  The Buccaneers trade Freeman.

The Bucs would love to do it, but there are no obvious trade partners.  Even if there were, Freeman could make a deal difficult by, for example, refusing to restructure his contract to reduce the salary he’s due to make over the rest of the year or insisting on a long-term contract (and in turn a long-term commitment) from his new team.

Further complicating a trade are the antics of Freeman and his camp in recent days.  Though Freeman has yet to do anything obviously disrespectful or improper, it’s increasingly obvious that the plan is to be just disruptive enough to get Schiano to cut Freeman.

4.  The Buccaneers suspend Freeman.

Under the labor deal, a team can suspend a player for up to four weeks without pay for conduct detrimental to the team.  Since the Bucs are going to pay him anyway if he’s on the team and not playing, they’ll lose nothing other than legal fees if they send him home without pay and defend the move via arbitration.

Of course, that would make Freeman potentially look even less attractive to potential trade partners.

With a bye coming up, the Bucs have some time to catch their breath and formulate a plan.  Ideally, they’d find a way to defuse the situation in the short term, preserving the ability to trade him at some point between now and the Tuesday after Week Eight.

One possibility would be to tell Freeman that, if he behaves for the next month and isn’t traded, he’ll be released after the trade deadline.  Though waiting that long would expose Freeman to waivers, any team claiming Freeman’s contract would have to be willing to pay him $4.49 million for nine weeks.

From Freeman’s perspective, there would be no reason to accept that deal.  He essentially can kill any trade by making demands that scare a suitor away, and he’ll get his full salary from the Bucs whether he’s on the team or not.  The only way to get him to cooperate could be to make him believe that the Bucs will suspend him or try to block his termination pay, which introduces uncertainty and risk into the equation.

Either way, these two sides need to find a way out of the current mess.  With neither party apparently in a cooperative mood, it will become harder and harder to find a win-win solution.

And it’ll make it even more likely that the boom is coming.

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94 Responses to “Bucs, Freeman continue on ugly path”
  1. bigzant82 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:24 AM

    cleveland or jacksonville on lines 1 & 2

  2. 87hollywoodhorn says: Sep 30, 2013 9:27 AM

    this might hurt their chances at a superbowl run

  3. addieboss says: Sep 30, 2013 9:29 AM

    Freeman and Bucs 1st and 3rd and 4th rounders this year to Steelers for Big Ben and the steelers 4th rder. bOOm.

  4. getyourownname says: Sep 30, 2013 9:30 AM

    “Also, Freeman once again refused to talk to the local media after the game, violating league policy twice in less than a week.”


    “Freeman has yet to do anything obviously disrespectful or improper”

  5. mykl954 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:30 AM

    This time next year Freeman will be sitting on some other team’s bench and Schiano will be browbeating some kids at a Division 2 program.

  6. decimus83 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:31 AM

    I just don’t get this?! What happened?! Has Freeman always been like this . . . no, so what’s the deal?! Is Schiano to blame, but why would he get all riled up over a guy that set franchise numbers just last year, when the offense knew how to play?! Is Freeman just mad he did not get an extension this past off-season?! I seriously do not understand where all this drama came from.

  7. finsguy says: Sep 30, 2013 9:33 AM

    This is exactly why me and the rest of the world HATE lawyers. The man has a contract, Tampa doesn’t want to play him. Fine. Coach can start who he wants and bench him. The article says at best (from the company standpoint) it was a “mutual” decision not to have him on the sidelines, meaning they at least consented.

    So the thought is to threaten to suspend him or withold his pay, even though meritless, so as to try to force him into doing something he doesn’t want to do and is detrimental to him?

    God I hate lawyers.

  8. 49faithful says: Sep 30, 2013 9:35 AM

    Not sure way all the freeman hate the coach is the problem. Freeman may not live up to the hype but this coach doesn’t belong in the NFL

  9. 12444uggg says: Sep 30, 2013 9:36 AM

    Who would want Freeman? He’s not good. Dude is going to be out of the game before long

  10. 6250claimer says: Sep 30, 2013 9:37 AM

    Option 5: Fire Schiano NOW and keep Freeman. It’s obvious this clown won’t last, why delay the inevitable? Can him now, Freeman comes back, the team is reinvigorated, and sanity resumes. Heck I’d have Richie Kotite as my head coach before this nimrod.

  11. hatesycophants says: Sep 30, 2013 9:37 AM

    Are you sure an inactive player is required to meet with the local media after the game?

  12. buddysguys says: Sep 30, 2013 9:37 AM

    i’d fire schiano and freeman…they both stink.

  13. steelerben says: Sep 30, 2013 9:38 AM

    @bigzant82: I’m pretty sure Cleveland is happy with Hoyer right now, all things considered. Jacksonville doesn’t have any incentive to rent a mediocre QB for a year considering they already have a couple mediocre QBs on the roster already. Might as well suck with what you have and get a good drafting position next year.

  14. qdog112 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:39 AM

    Blount, Talib, Bennett, Winslow …. all players Schiano sent packing – all players helping other teams with better records than the Bucs.

    As a Panthers fan, I say keep on doing whatcha doing coach.

  15. flmike says: Sep 30, 2013 9:40 AM

    WHo wil be the Bucs head coach come week 6 Butch Davis or Dave Wannstadt?

  16. jimthebuilder27 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:41 AM

    Schiano may be a prick, but Freeman is an immature jerk!

    He apparently believes that acting like a spoiled rotton brat will get him whatever he wants, rather than being a professional with class. Wish I could behave like the petulant child that he is behaving like, still get lots of money and attention!

    At least Brett Favre had proven something before he became a diva! What has Josh Freeman ever won?

    Oh right, nothing.

  17. coseybedaman says: Sep 30, 2013 9:42 AM

    The Bucs need to pay the guy and let him leave. He has done nothing wrong here and is the furthest thing from one of those “Hollywood problem players”. For some reason Schiano is not a fan and that is fine. Let the guy move on and the Bucs can do the same. Josh deserves his money though. The notion that anyone on that roster other than Freeman “gives them the best chance to win” is laughable.

  18. bucs13 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:42 AM

    Schiano had… interesting relationships with his quarterbacks at Rutgers. Thing is, the NFL is a QB-driven league. Sure, you can get by sometimes with a merely competent QB. But, as the Jags as learning, you can’t Gabbert it up.

    And Schiano has Gabberted this situation up. For whatever reason, he decided that Freeman wasn’t the answer, and this entire mess was foreseeable since then. By the way? Reaching out to Palmer? Palmer isn’t the answer. Drafting Glennon? Glennon is terrible. He will never be the answer.

    Does everyone realize that, say, Freeman is just about the same age as Russell Wilson? And Colin Kaepernick? And Andrew Luck?

    It really is a shame that the Bucs hired a coach that totally destroyed a promising young QB. I’ve watched them throw away talent since Steve Young. Just once, I’d like to have a good QB.

    Fire Schiano.

  19. coseybedaman says: Sep 30, 2013 9:45 AM

    Qdog- you are right about the players he sent packing but even as talented as those guys are he wanted to “clean up” the locker room and image of the bucs. Those guys were problem players in one way or another and that’s why they are on other teams. No one could’ve ever denied Talibs talent but if the guy is suspended every year you may need to move on. They definitely upgraded all those positions you mentioned.

  20. buffobeel42 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:50 AM

    Doug Williams to Mark Carrier is sounding pretty good right now!…..with Lee Roy Selmon on D!

  21. brettto73 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:50 AM

    I love Schiano. Great coach.

    Saints Fan

  22. 407magic says: Sep 30, 2013 9:51 AM

    Fire mike Sullivan the OC. Why in the world would you put a rookie QB in shot gun when you’re on your own 10 yd line?!?!
    the offense that was top 10 last season. With all those weapons this team they shouldn’t be averaging 10 pts/gm.

  23. 1bigtex says: Sep 30, 2013 9:52 AM


    “even though meritless”

    I’m guessing that you’ve always been an employee and never an employer. Josh Freeman has been pouring axle grease on the rails to get run out of town at a higher rate of speed.

    While Schiano appears to be an enormous d-bag who will be lucky to finish the year, you can’t permit Josh Freeman to behave like a petulant child. Josh’s actions bear no resemblance what so ever to what one expects from a team leader.

  24. lgbarn says: Sep 30, 2013 10:00 AM

    People saying the Bucs should just cut him are missing a very important point. If they cut him, they get no draft compensation. If he leaves after the season, they get a draft pick. If they trade him, they at least get a draft pick.

    He is a cancer but the Bucs are looking after their own interest. One other thing, since he is a veteran, his salary is guaranteed so why cut him for nothing.

  25. hallcyon says: Sep 30, 2013 10:00 AM

    Freeman is in the middle of a power play by Schiano against management and being made a scapegoat. This takes press off his coaching staff which doesn’t do it’s best to put players in a position to win. The offense isn’t anywhere near other offenses in the league. Sheridan at time on defense also fails to make adjustments. The camps were not the disciplined oriented ones that Sean Payton or Dick Vermeil put their players through either. This organization isn’t focused on taking on other opponents, but is at war with itself. Thanks a lot Schiano.

    The Jaguars by record are a worse team, but they have far more together than the Bucs.

    Schiano is a Bobby Petrino type at best, an opportunist who puts himself above everyone else. He’s the opposite of Sean Payton who clearly believes in his players and they believe in him with the sole goal of winning. Payton took an Jaguars 2013/ Lions 2008 level talented Saints team to the NFC title game in his first season and won a Super Bowl by the third year. He used the talent wisely and again with Rob Ryan use the personnel to the best of their ability and push them to do even more to develop them. That’s not what the free agent buying Bucs have been doing. And any players who came before are scolded and sent off and used as scapegoats.

    This bizarre unethical behavior as a Head Coach by Schiano is an embarrassment to Bucs and the pro game. He can go back to the college game with Petrino.

  26. stiffmcgriff says: Sep 30, 2013 10:03 AM

    Anybody remember the Jon Gruden vs Keyshawn Johnson ordeal?
    Ended up making him inactive. Then suspended the last few games of the year. Ultimately ending his tenure in Tampa.

    Sounds like Freeman is on the same path.

  27. greenlantern75 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:03 AM

    Option 5a – Install Revis at the QB position. You are paying him like a top flight QB so you might as well use him that way…

  28. TBaySlim says: Sep 30, 2013 10:05 AM

    Freeman is one issue, but he wasnt on the field when d. martin went for a whopping 45 yards on 27 carried, i mean that is un heard of bad. I dont think this team wants to play for the coach in my opinion

  29. beachsidejames says: Sep 30, 2013 10:05 AM

    I hate lawyers too but the player has to live up to his end of the contract too. Publicly disrespecting the team and league rules are part of the contract. Can’t just show up on pay day with your middle finger out. Public relations is part of getting the big bucks. This guy didn’t even show up for the team photo.

  30. norrinradd12 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:05 AM

    Only play is for the GLAZERS to take control of this. Deactivate Freeman for the season and then re-evaluate in February. Schiano and Dominik should not have the job security to jettison and a 25 year old, 6’6 big armed QB with 13,500 yards and 80 TDs. Especially with how Glennon looked yesterday.

  31. hallcyon says: Sep 30, 2013 10:05 AM

    Excuse me: Payton took the team to the Super Bowl in his fourth season (correction, as I said third year 2008).

    Schiano will never win a Super Bowl with the Bucs and his poor handling of players while he makes a grab for more power is beyond pathetic. The man doesn’t embody responsibility at all.

    And suspend Freeman? For what? If I was treated that poorly by an employer I would quit. I may even sue them.

  32. camelknuckles says: Sep 30, 2013 10:09 AM

    People act like Freeman is the only one doing wrong here… Look I didn’t know Schiano was all of the sudden the open book on the subject.. He talked ONCE about it… Then said I’m done talking about it.. Then when Freeman is gone hes gonna say I don’t talk about people that aren’t on the team anymore…I.E Talib Winslow

    The only local media that are venting out loud is Joebucsfan(who blocks people on twitter when he knows he is wrong on a subject lol) because he couldn’t get that precious first Freeman interview.. Seriously who cares? He’ll talk to you when hes ready..He sat down in a controlled interview where he knew what questions would be asked before he had to respond so he didn’t say anything stupid as opposed to the on the fly badgering the local media would have given him.

    This teams problem unfortunately starts with Dominik for hiring 2 TERRIBLE coaches.. Kinda like Pioli can draft and sign players but can’t get a coach to save his life. Can’t expect an AVERAGE Big East coach to be good in the NFL.. Our offense is so vanilla we are starting to look worse than JAX on offense.. We drafted a 3rd round QB(OBVIOUSLY Schianos pick) instead of maybe a 3rd receiver or TE that can catch.. We use our backup RB’s once a game. We run 1st and 2nd downs then throw 3rd.. That was before the Freeman benching too..Pathetic

  33. watdoiknow says: Sep 30, 2013 10:09 AM

    “Freeman and Bucs 1st and 3rd and 4th rounders this year to Steelers for Big Ben and the steelers 4th rder. bOOm.”

    You VASTLY over value Big Ben’s worth. You can not possible have been serious.

  34. budmanjim says: Sep 30, 2013 10:17 AM

    Schiano won’t last the season.. He is a hard headed college coach that doesn’t have a chance of getting an NFL team to adapt to his my way or the highway method of coaching. IMO, as well as many others, he is in way over his head.

  35. godofwine330 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:23 AM

    Josh Freeman is making it easy for them. It would behoove him to from now on tow the line and do everything required. This means talking to the local media – even if to say “No comment.” If he wants his $6.4M. I would do everything asked because they could, and likely will find a reason to not pay him Al Davis Oakland Raiders style, and at the very least suspend him for 4 games without pay. The team is likely working on this now. At the very worst they will tie this up in litigation with his lawyers “going blind on paperwork.”

    What Freeman is doing now is quitting and making it easy for them. If you are going to do it you have to make it hard for them.

  36. meandjuliojonesdownbytheschoolyard says: Sep 30, 2013 10:23 AM

    What’s not cooperative about the Bucs? Freeman gets benched, then ignores local media, talks only to espn in which he demands a trade , then misses team meetings during the week and has his agent contest the head coaches statements publicly. Why should the Bucs do anything to make his life easier when he’s pouting like my 2 year old?!!!

  37. ballboy48 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:23 AM

    @bigzant, I think Cleveland is doing quite alright with Brian Hoyer. Tom Brady said this week, all Hoyer needed was a chance, and he’s showing it. I watched the Browns v. Bengals game yesterday, and Hoyer doesn’t play scared, led them to a few long drives, and knows exactly where to put the ball. The Browns kicker, Billy Cundiff, has a Hamstring issue and missed two field goal. They could’ve easily won 23-6.

  38. xpensivewinos says: Sep 30, 2013 10:24 AM

    Seems like this has gotten to the point where the Freeman issue is a convenient distraction for Schiano to take focus away from not only their record since he became coach, but also how they continue to lose.

    They both need to go.

  39. thegregwitul says: Sep 30, 2013 10:31 AM

    While the players that the Bucs either traded away (Talib, Blount, Winslow) or let leave via free agency (Bennett) have all helped their new teams, however, let’s be realistic; the Bucs just didn’t throw these guys away due to some kind of personal vendetta.

    Talib: He was given chance after chance by all three regimes (Gruden, Raheem Morris and Schiano) because of his talent. He has struggled with injuries and was a member of the Bucs secondary when they were the worst in the NFL, but Talib is a gambling ballhawk that would have continued to be a member of the Bucs if he wasn’t popped for Adderal use. How could the Bucs save face and preach a culture change while further enabling a player who has been suspended multiple times, regardless of his talent. The Bucs now have Darrelle Revis and he has played very well, but it would have been great to have both Revis and Talib. In any event, even New England only offered a one year contract, and Talib is playing to get himself paid. If he stays out of trouble, he’ll continue to shine, but let’s not knock one team for trying to clean up a locker room while praising another team for bringing in troubled players via trade (Talib) or draft (Alfonzo Dennard and Hernandez).

    Winslow: I don’t blame non-Buccaneer fans for not tuning into their pathetic 2011 season where the team lost 10 straight and Winslow was in Freeman’s face anytime he wasn’t given the ball. You could make a strong case that Winslow was both a huge help and detriment to Freeman’s development. For one, he led the team in receptions and was the safety valve the Bucs are currently missing. On the other hand, he was always in Freeman’s ear demanding the ball and Josh forced many of his interceptions to Freeman in the 10 loss freefall. This is another issue of cleaning out the locker room from the ‘nightclub’ mentality that was instilled in 2011.

    I’m not too sure why Schiano wanted Blount gone, but he is a nice change of pace RB and he was gift wrapped to the Patriots. I thought Blount would complement Doug Martin well, and maybe he would have, but for whatever reason, the team felt Blount was expendable. I did not like this move.

    Finally, we have Michael Bennett. We know that Bennett was nursing an injury which brought his market value down, resulting in a one year deal from Seattle. I think the Bucs wanted him back but didn’t want to commit and I think Bennett preferred the change in coaching, from a military styled guy in Schiano to a more laid back players coach in Carroll. It is what it is. The man was free to sign with any team he wanted and he did just that. The Bucs attempted to save face and justify the loss by pumping up Daquan Bowers, but so far, he has been mostly ineffective.

  40. dolfan13 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:46 AM

    Is it just me? or does all this sound very similar to what the Titans were dealing with a few years back; a.k.a Coach Fisher -vs- Vince Young. In the original dispute I sided with Coach Fisher. Here I think Freeman gets my personal nod. But… I’m a ‘Phin Fan, what do I know?

  41. dolfan13 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:48 AM

    Good news is whomever the Coach is next spring, Teddy Bridgewater will be sitting right there at Numero Uno, for Jax’s pick.

  42. nobby821 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:51 AM

    Pretty sure I just saw Freeman on the Vegas strip dressed as Michael Jackson handing out free drink coupons…

  43. skinsfolife says: Sep 30, 2013 10:51 AM

    Trade Kirk Cousins for Vincent Jackson and Josh Freeman. Done deal. The Skins get a true back up in Freeman and a top tier receiver to compliment Garçon. The bucs get a real starter in Kirk. Done deal. Sign it and move on.

  44. realfootballfan says: Sep 30, 2013 10:53 AM


    I was thinking that last night watching Talib pick off passes. He seems to be the “I want my guys” type of coach and somebody needs to tell him it doesn’t work like that in the NFL. Blount would be a nice change up to Martin instead of running him into the ground every week, but Schiano sent him packing too. He’s going to break with 30 carries a game, Greg.

  45. losangelesbillsofbuffalo says: Sep 30, 2013 10:56 AM

    Hey Schiano,

    It seems like you’re playing a team called “You’re Fired”, and they’re about to take a knee. My bet is you’re going to look like a bush-league hack when it’s all said and done.

  46. rabidbillsfan says: Sep 30, 2013 10:56 AM


    I bet Gruden could take this team to the Playoffs, with Freeman. Key was publicly known as a locker room cancer, Freeman, not so much. Schiano may not have lost the team, but the season is lost, and the fans won’t stand for it. His seat is so hot that Tampa should stay tropical all year round. The worst part is, the team is LOADED. Revis, VJax, Martin, Goldson (whom Schiano ironically hasn’t intervened with on his play) Nicks, MWilliams. As a Bills fan, it’s sickening to see players attracted to teams and coaches like that in FA just to have their “leaders” squander their season. The Bills could easily be 3-1, or 4-0 even with some of that defensive talent they have there! Now, I’m just spitballing here, and off topic, but what I’m saying is Tampa deserves better. If anyybody should be suspeneded for “conduct detrimental to the team” it should be Schiano.

  47. uglyglazers says: Sep 30, 2013 10:57 AM

    Terribile terribile ownership! Please do the right thing and sell the Buccaneers.

  48. bucnblood says: Sep 30, 2013 11:00 AM

    Fire Schiano!

  49. bucforever says: Sep 30, 2013 11:06 AM

    Lane Kiffin is available now. Seriously, how can a team with so much promise and obvious talent begin to crumble so quickly. If this was most any other business, the owner/manager gets the blame and the axe! Just saying.

  50. truths4all says: Sep 30, 2013 11:09 AM

    Freeman’s behavior and tactics are merely making him less and less attractive to even terrible teams such as Jacksonville who still would rather have a headache and locker room cancer like Freeman on their team rather than someone like Tebow.

  51. truths4all says: Sep 30, 2013 11:11 AM

    Its time for the Raiders to make their latest gamble – tell the Bucs that you’d take him on a make good trade. After all, this is the time to find out if the diva Freeman is better than Flynn.

  52. borisbulldog says: Sep 30, 2013 11:13 AM

    cleveland or jacksonville on lines 1 & 2



    CLE already has a Freeman, his name is Weeden!

  53. AngryHumanoid says: Sep 30, 2013 11:17 AM

    As a Patriots fan I’m not sure which I should thank the Bucs for more, the much-needed commanding win last week or Talib and Blount.

    Just kidding, it’s Talib and Blunt I’m more thankful for. If you cut players like that and they go to other teams and are successful: the problem was the coaching.

  54. evilglazers666 says: Sep 30, 2013 11:25 AM

    Toes on the line.

  55. lildead says: Sep 30, 2013 11:33 AM

    The problem here is the coaching. In 37 years there has been 33 different starting qb’s on this team. Due to the lack of coaching no qb Will ever be able to progress on this team. Freeman was not the problem here, he was a 9th ranked qb in the NFL last year and now all of a sudden he isn’t the guy to lead this team…..

  56. eaglelover1 says: Sep 30, 2013 11:34 AM

    “Though Freeman has yet to do anything obviously disrespectful or improper”

    Yet there are yahoos on this page stating he is acting “childish” for not talking to LOCAL media. The dude was benched and deactivated…..why should he talk to club reporters who only want to rub salt in the wound?

    I swear some of these so called fans of a sport really now nothing about the sport….

  57. ijahru says: Sep 30, 2013 11:35 AM

    Missing meetings is a violation of his contract. The Bucs would have the right to suspend him. If I don’t show up for work there are consequences. As Jessie Pinkman would say, Freeman is a B!tch

  58. finsguy says: Sep 30, 2013 11:36 AM

    @ 1bigtex
    “even though meritless”

    I’m guessing that you’ve always been an employee and never an employer. Josh Freeman has been pouring axle grease on the rails to get run out of town at a higher rate of speed.

    While Schiano appears to be an enormous d-bag who will be lucky to finish the year, you can’t permit Josh Freeman to behave like a petulant child. Josh’s actions bear no resemblance what so ever to what one expects from a team leader


    No, I have had employees, but when I say meritless I mean in the legal sense and in the context of the agreement with the players. He may be displaying Diva behavior and trying to get out as best he can but unless he is not showing up or not meeting agreed conditions (which doesn’t appear to be the case) then suggesting the team threaten to withold his pay and even though they expect to lose to tie it up for “months or even years” in order to force his hand into accepting less than he is due is total BS.

  59. immafubared says: Sep 30, 2013 11:37 AM

    Freeman came into his own playing for a black coach that encouraged him and helped him out. Exit that coach and enter new white guy who is a authoritarian. Not a good change.

    I think Freeman decided a while ago he can’t play for him and his attitude has rippled through the team, so much so, that he was un-captained by the team, not Schiano.

    Freeman pretty much knows that he can be that thorn in their side but to not cross any lines. There is still a lot of money to be paid regardless.

  60. skinsfan4 says: Sep 30, 2013 11:38 AM

    There’s still an NFL team in Tampa?

  61. jwil007 says: Sep 30, 2013 11:38 AM

    bigzant82 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:24 AM

    cleveland or jacksonville on lines 1 & 2

    Bengals on line 3……Dalton Sucks!

    Make the trade Mike or this town is about to explode…. Dalton with the least amount of pressure in the league thru weak 4 and he sucks….


    Want to come play in Cincy???? We have talent we have defense WE NEED A QB!!!!!!!!!!!!

  62. dell52 says: Sep 30, 2013 11:41 AM

    Breaking Bad reference. Tight yo

  63. whitdog23 says: Sep 30, 2013 11:41 AM

    he watched the game from a suit??

  64. fergenator says: Sep 30, 2013 11:48 AM

    All reminds me of what happened in Denver with Josh McDaniels….fire this clown of a head coach before he dismantles any talent you have left….because you don’t have a John Elway in the wings to fix things.

  65. alstottwastheman says: Sep 30, 2013 11:49 AM

    Love all the schiano haters. Everyone was so quick to believe that he must have rigged the captain vote, but now that clearly wasnt the case, even the players were sick of Freeman. No idea why Freeman gets every benefit of the doubt when he’s done nothing for 5 years, both before and after schianos arrival.

  66. pongonfl says: Sep 30, 2013 11:50 AM

    Notice how the teams kept all the leaverage to black ball a guy to screw him out of his contract.
    You would think all that would have been fixed after the eagles screwed over TO so bad.

    Its the same man, what ever has changed about him has been changed by that organization.

  67. leatherhelmets says: Sep 30, 2013 11:53 AM

    The Bucs should draft Heismanberg, because Teddy is probably going to Jacksonville (or LA or London).

  68. gojags says: Sep 30, 2013 11:55 AM

    I am very worried about the bucs that they would beat us for Teddy Bridgewater sweep stakes.

  69. h8glazersgobucs says: Sep 30, 2013 11:59 AM

    The Glazer’s strategy to try and blackball Freeman so they wouldn’t have to pay him is not surprising. I live in Tampa too. They do this to every vendor in town and make everyone eat cost.

  70. dolphinatic1109 says: Sep 30, 2013 12:00 PM

    An to think I had high hopes for this kid coming out of college

  71. james1755 says: Sep 30, 2013 12:11 PM

    This just in: Freeman withdraws trade request after finding mini bar in inactive suite.

  72. clssylssy says: Sep 30, 2013 12:12 PM

    Since when was not talking to the press a bad thing, especially given the circumstances? Remember, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t talk at all?” Given Freeman’s creditials and franchise records, I agree that a different coach could take this team to the playoffs with Freeman. It would appear that the Bucs franchise is imploding and Freeman is the handy scapegoat to take attention away from the real issues in management, conveniently setting him up not to get paid (possibly to offset the other financial woes created by Goldson’s habitual violator status and impending franchise penalties). The Cards probably wouldn’t have won with Freeman, so have to say a big “thank you” to an organization who is shooting themselves in the foot. On the other hand, this has a certain familiar ring when recalling the Whisenhunt/Leinert personality “issues”. Bottom line, the coach wants “his guy” as the leader…has little to do with anything more than organizational politics!

  73. granadafan says: Sep 30, 2013 12:27 PM

    Potential employers are going view Freeman very very cautiously, if they even consider him at all. He’s already earned a rep a cancer and an immature malcontent. Shiano may be a jerk, but Freeman can’t control that. He can only make his own decisions by doing what the team asks/instructs him to do. Let the onus fall on the team, not him. Freeman is only hurting himself.

  74. bucfandango says: Sep 30, 2013 12:30 PM

    It was reported that Freeman’s brother tweeted pictures of him and Josh, blasting out of the stadium, racing to the liquor store and then celebrating the Bucs loss yesterday, consuming large amounts of alcohol at their little after party.

    If that isn’t conduct detrimental, what is?

    Nevertheless, Schiano needs to go now, with his offensive coordinator.

    Please hire Chucky back. Pay him whatever he wants.

  75. prrbrr says: Sep 30, 2013 12:31 PM

    The trade partner is Philadelphia. Vick is struggling bad and Freeman is the type of QB that with some coaching would do well in Kelly’s scheme. He sure as heck can’t do much worse than Mike right now. Ship Foles or Barkley off somewhere, like Tampa. It’s a perfect match

  76. onebucplace says: Sep 30, 2013 12:33 PM

    The issue is Schiano is a piece of trash. Freeman had a good year last year, he threw for over 4000 yards and had 27 TDs to 17 INTs (for the record 17INTs was a good year for Favre). Also the INTs might be a little more than you’d want, but if you take away hail marys and tips that number is closer to 12 INTs which is completely acceptable.

    The issue is that Freeman isn’t a rah rah guy, he’s a quite leader – sort of like how Ronde Barber was (and who forced Ronde to retire?). Schiano expects his QB to be have big man on campus complex and to sit in the pocket and not run around like it’s 1984 – this makes sense since his offense is from 1984.

    Schiano has no business being in the NFL. If you take away his DII wins he wasn’t even a .500 coach in college and he was 20 games under .500 in the Big East. The guy is a lair and has done nothing with a team filled with talent. The best situation for all involved would be if he leap from the top of the Skyway Bridge.

  77. Nick says: Sep 30, 2013 12:47 PM

    finsguy says:

    No, I have had employees, but when I say meritless I mean in the legal sense and in the context of the agreement with the players. He may be displaying Diva behavior and trying to get out as best he can but unless he is not showing up or not meeting agreed conditions (which doesn’t appear to be the case) then suggesting the team threaten to withold his pay and even though they expect to lose to tie it up for “months or even years” in order to force his hand into accepting less than he is due is total BS.

    It’s “total BS” unless you want to pay out less money, which… makes sense if you are in management on the team.

    It’s a pretty standard negotiation tactic. Guy wants his money, we can tie up his money for a while in league/bureaucratic red tape, so if you take less money we will give it to you. If you’re not taking this approach you’re costing your employer money, plain and simple.

  78. jthomascronin says: Sep 30, 2013 1:05 PM

    Once can be an isolated incident, twice is getting into habit territory, and three or more times is distinctly a trend. Multiple players have been run out of town because they weren’t ‘Schiano men’. Freeman is just the latest.

    And in a vacuum, all the players gave the organization a reason to move on from them. However, there seems to be an obvious pattern: a hardass, taskmaster-ing prick that has zero NFL pedigree of winning takes his personal flamethrower and makes a borderline untenable situation a thousand times worse.

    This situation is bigger then Josh Freeman. I don’t care who they get to step in. Schiano MUST go–he must go immediately; in fact, should be gone ALREADY (and yes, the mere thought of this man and his lack of coaching acumen makes me go ALL CAPS).

    This will go down as one of the worst hires in NFL history. Ten years from now when I’m reading Bill Simmons or his newfangled equivalent, the ‘Rod Rust’ division will be named the ‘Greg Schiano’ division. His name will, and should, a cautionary tale.

    This is a turning point for this franchise. Schiano cannot be allowed to coach another game. If he does, then I give up on this franchise and will just assume he has compromising photos of one of the Glazers.

  79. steeelfann says: Sep 30, 2013 1:06 PM

    Its funny because, the biggest thing that you always hear regarding Freeman’s problems over the years is that he is very immature. This whole thing is playing out as rumors have framed it over the years.

  80. jthomascronin says: Sep 30, 2013 1:09 PM

    By the way, you know what Mike Ermantraut also famously told Walter White: “I chose a half measure when a full measure was needed”.

    Josh Freeman is, at best, a half measure Mr. Dominick.

  81. greg285 says: Sep 30, 2013 1:20 PM

    Terry Bradshaw make the best statement about Josh Freeman and his benching! I concur with him 100%! Freeman had 4 years to prove he’s a capable starting QB in the NFL and has failed! Nobody’s fault but his own….

  82. onebucplace says: Sep 30, 2013 1:33 PM

    I enjoyed Terry Bradshaw in Cannibal Run but it’s been all downhill from there.

  83. wvucolumbus says: Sep 30, 2013 1:34 PM

    harD to say what’s wRong with Freeman, bUt I’m beGinning to get Some ideas.

  84. onebucplace says: Sep 30, 2013 1:35 PM

    DAMNIT! I ruined my own joke.

    Cannonball. Cannonball. Cannonball. Cannonball.

    Boy now I know how it feels to be Schiano with everyone hating you and knowing that you’re an ass.

  85. thelastpieceofcheese says: Sep 30, 2013 1:47 PM

    Freeman and a number one pick to Oakland for Matt Flynn.

  86. kalib933 says: Sep 30, 2013 2:06 PM

    Read today’s Pewter Report. Freeman was never the problem. Fire Schiano. Keep Freeman.

  87. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 30, 2013 2:23 PM

    Freeman is Mike. Schiano is Hank. Doug Martin is Walt.

  88. jthomascronin says: Sep 30, 2013 2:23 PM

    I just had the dumbest idea ever: What do the Bucs need organizationally?

    Consistency, an even-keeled demeanor, unimpeachable character, credibility in the locker room, a proven winner, knowledge of the organization, and someone that can teach fundamental, disciplined football.

    Who checks all those boxes, you ask? One Tony Dungy–make a godfather offer Glazers.

  89. thesportgenius says: Sep 30, 2013 2:47 PM

    Schiano is about to get “Kiffined.”

  90. realfootballfan says: Sep 30, 2013 3:12 PM


    If Terry Bradshaw said that, he must have a short memory since most Steeler fans thought he needed to go through his first 5 years in the league.

  91. mutantman87 says: Sep 30, 2013 4:42 PM

    prrbrr says:Sep 30, 2013 12:31 PM

    The trade partner is Philadelphia. Vick is struggling bad and Freeman is the type of QB that with some coaching would do well in Kelly’s scheme. He sure as heck can’t do much worse than Mike right now. Ship Foles or Barkley off somewhere, like Tampa. It’s a perfect match

    Actually, Michael Vick has thrown 5 TD and only 2 INT, averaging 9.1 yards per attempt right now, second only to Peyton Manning and ahead of Aaron Rodgers. That’s very efficient. Unfortunately, none of that matters when your defense gives up 34.5 ppg (31st in league). What if Vick had played like this earlier in his career? I wonder what could have been when I see him play now.

  92. mobuccsfan says: Sep 30, 2013 6:35 PM

    Fire Schiano and OC Sullivan, release Freeman, damage is done and I tend to agree–he had his chance and hasn’t shown anything, and fire Dom. Then, for the love of all things–sell this team. Ownership is terrible and doesn’t care about winning anymore. Clearly, as displayed the last six to seven seasons. Been painful to be a Buccaneers fan.

  93. scalfor3 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:24 PM

    Schiano has made a lot of…ahem, questionable decisions in his short tenure, but Josh Freeman is not blameless here. Do you Bucs fans on here defending Freeman really think he’s your franchise QB? Guy has always had the talent, but he’s had four years to prove his worth. The fact that he has almost no trade value speaks volumes about his play. Also, acting like a immature dink doesn’t exactly help your case to be a starter somewhere else, Josh.

    Don’t get me wrong, Schiano has handled the situation in the worst way possible, but you’re crazy if you think Freeman was getting a big contract to stay in Tampa past this year, regardless of Schiano.

  94. MyTeamsAllStink says: Oct 1, 2013 11:31 AM

    firing Gruden really has worked out well for Tampa hasn’t it?

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