Bucs continue to be unable to get out of their own way on Freeman

AP

If the Buccaneers have a plan for dealing with the aftermath of benching quarterback Josh Freeman, we’re not sure what it is.

We’re not sure they’re sure, either.

Six days ago, the former franchise quarterback officially fell out of favor with the franchise, removed from his starting job and, by Sunday, lanced from the active, game-day roster.  Already paid more than $490,000 to not play, the Buccaneers are now trying to find a way to unload the remaining $6.44 million by trading him.

And by calling every team and asking if they want to trade for Freeman, the Buccaneers hardly are operating from a position of strength.

If/when (when) they don’t find a trade partner, they’ll have three options:  (1) hope a starting quarterback suffers a serious injury in the next four weeks; (2) cut Freeman and pay the balance of his base salary (currently, $6.44 million); or (3) try to build a case for a suspension without pay for conduct detrimental to the team, or disqualification for termination pay.  (Per a league source, the Bucs have not yet provided the written notice warning him that he risks losing his right to termination pay by failing to show the required “good faith” in his employment.)

The smart move after Monday night’s unexpected turn for the worse would be to cut Freeman, pay Freeman, close the books, and move on.  Give him what he wants in order to get what the Bucs need.

But the Bucs appear to be intent on continuing to push the issue, clumsily trying to build a case to keep all or part of the money they owe him.  The latest twist came Monday, when as Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported the Bucs told Freeman not to attend a team meeting, creating the impression among teammates that he’d skipped it.

After the latest twist broke, G.M. Mark Dominik said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, that Dominik excused Freeman from the 7:45 a.m. ET team meeting because coach Greg Schiano wanted to talk to Freeman about the events that transpired Monday night.

That makes no sense, and it’s starting to make Dominik look like George Kokinis to Eric Mangini, an ultimately toothless figurehead who is doing whatever the coach tells him to do — no matter how ill-advised it may be.

Given today’s development, it appears that Schiano wants to provoke Freeman into doing something that can be characterized as conduct detrimental to the team, so that Freeman can be suspended and up to four of those $490,000 game checks can be withheld.

But it all seems to be backfiring.  The players now seem to be getting wise to what’s going on, making the distraction even bigger and the urgency to move on from Freeman even greater.

Still, the Bucs (i.e., Schiano) continue to refuse to give Freeman what he wants, even if it’s what he so desperately needs.

104 responses to “Bucs continue to be unable to get out of their own way on Freeman

  1. Uh …Schiano said today , he is not comfortable crossing paths with Freeman at the facility …. Lol There goes any leverage the bucs didn’t have to begin with… I am glad it’s all backfiring and Demaurice Smith was at the facility today….. Grievances will be filed .

    FIRE SCHIANO and Mark Dominik !!

    Fans are embarrassed !

  2. Seriously. At this point, just release him and get ready to fire Schiano after the season is done. This was laughable awhile ago, now it’s just getting old.

  3. They can “Keyshawn” him. Thats when Jon Gruden suspended Keyshawn Johnson rather than trade him. I think it is 4 games out from the end of te season. Who cares. Freeman is a loser, quit making him out to be a victim, no matter what Deumig says.

  4. Isn’t there a 4th option – shut him down and send him home with pay? Isn’t that what they did with Keyshawn?

  5. How many more articles about this middle of the road bum. I believe you are vastly over estimating the football publics concern for Freeman in particular and the Bucs in general. Mediocrity never paid so well……..

  6. What are the rules on a compensatory pick? If you lose it by cutting the player then there is no way they should cut him. I think its been said the Bucs will be awarded a third round pick if his contract is not extended at the end of the year.

    I suspect all the nuances revolve around not ruining the compensatory pick.

  7. Good Lord, just cut the man and move on.

    Ever since those leaks about how Freeman missed the team photo and whatnot, it’s all had the appearance of Schiano and the Bucs throwing Freeman under the bus. Whether or not he deserves it, free agents and draftees are going to notice this, and who wants to go play for a team where getting on the coach’s bad side means he’ll go out of his way to destroy your reputation and employability?

    Yeesh. Darrelle Revis’ team is full of drama and yet he didn’t cause it. Who’da thunk.

  8. I think this site is going down the rabbit hole. So much speculation treated as fact because it’s reported by peers in the media, while Freeman’s personal issues and horrid on field production is somehow the byproduct of Greg Schiano’s treatment, because of course, Josh Freeman isn’t responsible for Josh Freeman.

    Understand that these are lives that you are leveraging for page hits. At the end of the day, the best solution for the Bucs might be to cleanse themselves of Freeman, Schiano and Dominik, and I’m sure in a year or so if Josh Freeman bounces back, this very same site will criticize the Bucs for letting Freeman go without getting anything in return. How do I know it’ll happen? Because it’s happening now with Aqib Talib, PFT Planets defensive player and humanitarian of the year, who this site said on Monday the Bucs were foolish to get rid of, yet when he was a member of the Bucs, PFT led the charge to slam Talib at every turn. You can’t have it both ways, unless you’re the media of course.

  9. Message to the Bucs:

    You can not win the Freeman mini-game at this point sans Freeman shooting himself in the foot. You can only minimize the fallout damage. Now act wisely for once and make the best move of all available options. That means you have to trade somebody else other than Freeman and get creative in negotiating your best exit strategy. Time is ticking, and every passing day is going to leave you in a weaker position than the previous day.

  10. Why would any team want Freeman at this point ?

    Between his poor play, his horrible attitude and his far too high guaranteed salary any team would have to be nuts to take him on.

    The Bucs should suspend him for 4 games for conduct detrimental and then if he keeps playing games like missing meetings after he completes the suspension suspend him again.

  11. If he hasn’t already, Schiano is going to lose the locker room. This is just a disaster. From someone who isn’t a Bucs fan, this just makes the organization look dumb. If they don’t fix this fast, what FA is gonna want to play for this guy?

  12. Schiano needs a good firing. Freeman wasn’t a problem before he got there and neither were any of the other 100 problems that seem to exist since he arrived.

  13. Schiano doesn’t have the give and take attitude to be able to coach entitled professional athletes.

    They demand to be treated like professionals. Schiano only knows how to boss around young men.

    Not exactly a good fit.

    Freeman has run his course and someone will give him another chance next year. Schiano will be coaching in some college rah-rah town next year.

    Lets hasten the outcome and sack them both.

  14. Lol There goes any leverage the bucs didn’t have to begin with…

    ____________________

    LMAO Love that line. Nicely done!

  15. Move on. Cut him. Let schiano steer the ship. If TB lets him, he will produce a winning franchise. Making rash or drastic mgmt decisions every few years is the flaw here. Freeman can go away. Replace him. Keep schiano. Build.

  16. I think the idea of Lovie taking over is a perfect fit…give Schiano 4 more games and then make a move if hes not righted the ship

  17. Schiano is such an idiot. Can you imagine what the other players think of their coach now? Guarantee this debacle costs him his job, probably from the NFL as a whole. He was too much of a coward to deal Freeman before the season started, and it backfired, badly.

  18. bucfansouthtampa says:
    Oct 1, 2013 9:00 PM
    They can “Keyshawn” him. Thats when Jon Gruden suspended Keyshawn Johnson rather than trade him. I think it is 4 games out from the end of te season. Who cares. Freeman is a loser, quit making him out to be a victim, no matter what Deumig says.”
    **************************
    You deserve Schiano. In 2 years he has decimated a franchise that had just gotten off the mat. Morris should have been retained and given an opportunity to repair the team.

    But after a bad year that followed a good year, he had to go. Now this clown has fired many of his best players and ruined the desire to play for the ones left.

  19. Greg Schiano has accomplished two amazing feats that no one thought could be done in today’s NFL. He’s made the Jets locker room look healthy by comparison and their coach, Rex Ryan, look like Coach of the Year. You out-crazied the Jets.

    Coach Schiano, although the good people of Tampa are turning on you, Woody Johnson owes you one.

  20. What does Steve Deumig know about Freeman? He loves to flap his gums but never steps foot inside the facility.

    Don’t forget: you can’t spell Deumig without DUI!

  21. So happy Raiders are no longer the most dysfunctional franchise. Turning this ship around – slowly but surely.

  22. I remember being on this exact site & questioning the wisdom of the Schiano hire and spending top dollar for all those high-priced free agents. @onebucplace and @buc4life cursed me and my ignorance up and down, guaranteeing years of dominance to come.

    HOW’S IT TASTING NOW, BOTTOM FEEDERS????? YOUR TEAM IS A LAUGHINGSTOCK!!!!

    PFT, please keep these articles coming. They do my heart good.

  23. Schiano is an idiot if he doesn’t see this blowing up in his face. He’s as good as gone and seems to be the only one who doesn’t get it.

    Freeman at this point doesn’t matter, bad hire from the get go.

  24. “… it appears that Schiano wants to provoke Freeman into doing something that can be characterized as conduct detrimental…”

    So now you know Schiano’s motivations? Do you have any proof of this kind of accusation?

    See that’s the problem, the media like you, joebucsfan, Steve Duemig, Shaun King, etc. trying to make EVERY LAST THING some sort of ISSUE with huge implications as if you were watching a soap opera. I’ve never seen such a pathetic display.

    You make a statement, be a man and back it up.

  25. What free agent in their right mind would want to be part of this organization at this point

  26. In some cases; no one is right. This seems to be one. Hard to see how this ends up resulting in anything positive.

  27. In spite of how poorly Freeman has played since 2010, Schiano has got this team going nowhere.
    If there’s any truth to this article that the players are of the belief that Schiano is sabotaging Freeman, then the team will implode even more than they have so far. Ugly situation.

  28. Cut Freeman and FIRE Schiano! Don’t make the fans wait until the end of the season to fire this clown. Just think, instead of dragging their feet on an “exhaustive search” like they did for Schiano they can have actual head coach lined up with REAL NFL experience. The fan disgust in Tampa is at a rolling boil.

  29. I can’t buy your speculation. If his teammates were under the impression he skipped the meeting, he probably did. They talk/text/see each other at the facility. Dominik’s reason for excusing Freeman makes no sense at all. It looks like, for whatever reason, that Dominik is covering for Freeman on this one. Maybe to salvage any possible trade value, or maybe to ease the attitudes of some teammates. Possibly even because he disagrees with the decision to bench Freeman last week (supposedly came after a long talk between GM and HC) Who knows? Or he could be taking heat off of Schiano by saying he excused the absence if Schiano told Freeman to stay away.

    Regardless of what the reasons and details are, there is a hot mess brewing in Tampa and if they do not decisively fix it soon, it will boil over out of control for the rest of the season.

  30. Goodell needs to earn his money by stepping in and telling the Glazers to rectify this embarrassing situation. Even the moronic Bucs fans don’t deserve this soap opera. Maybe they do, come to think of it.
    Either way, the “Sheild” is being tarnished by the complete dysfunction of this franchise. Come on Roger, do your thing!

  31. Freeman is no prince, BUT it seems to me that the real problem is that Schiano wants to be a Type A prick of a collage coach in the mold of ‎Bob Knight and is letting his pride get in the way of smart business.

  32. Freeman is a victim of a college coach that won’t be there long. I hope Freeman gets another chance somewhere. He’s a Kansas City kid and really a good person.

  33. Freeman is victim to a college coach wrecking the organization that won’t be there long. I hope Freeman gets another chance somewhere. He’s a Kansas City kid and real good guy.

  34. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cardinals who ironically have Carson Palmer who the Bucs supposedly wanted (why, I don’t know) end up being his landing spot.

    His game reminds alot of Roethlisberger, and he thrived most when he was allowed to extend plays during his first full season starting.

    Palmer is clearly done at this point of his career, and maybe Arians can try to fix that problem by getting Freeman in the fold.

  35. Yeah Schiano doesn’t like Freeman and yeah he wanted to bench him all along, but Schiano is not a dummy he is not going to risk he professional career on a QB he’s already benched.

    Schiano is very questionable as a coach, and it very hard to like. But he stand to gain nothing by leaking this info, but could lose everything.

    Do I think the leak is in the building? yes, do I think their being told to leak the info from Schiano? No

    I do know this Freeman is not dumb either and this has helped him look better (even though he’s about 60% at fault for all of this), and he knows any negative report that comes out at this point people will just jump at the chance to bash Schiano and the Bucs. So why not leak it your self when your trying to get your release.

  36. Wow. Makes me glad to be a Giants fan. Embarrassing the fans with terrible play is one thing, embarrassing them with terrible play AND diva power-trip melodrama is another thing entirely.

  37. I moved to Tampa in 1984. Had no interest in the Bucs because of the Culverhouse follies and the no desire to win, just bring the money. That changed when the Glazers and Fr, Dungy came along. The Glazers are great owners. Schiano is destroying the brand with his ego and intransigence.

    He is not an NFL coach. We have talent, many Pro Bowl players, but they can not be happy with the latest Buc’s carnivals. Schiano needs to go. We have these several Rutgers players ? Hello?!

    Schiano is an obvious egomaniac whose primary qualification is he looks like a football coach.

    If a change is to take place, there is no need to go to the latest young flavor of the month. There are experienced proven winners available that would command the respect of our Pro Bowlers. Perhaps Brian Billick as GM, Lovie Smith as coach ? We shall see.

  38. This whole affair, seems a shame that everyone involved is a so-called adult. Money makes people act funny, I guess.

  39. There is one solution for the Buccaneers. Keep Josh Freeman but get him a real NFL coach. Freeman has shown flashes of brilliance over the past 5 years and, as a Bucs fan, I believe in the guy. What I don’t understand is why a dipshizz like Greg Schiano still has a job. He is clearly the most incompetent coach in the NFL. He and GM, Mark Dominik, need to be put on a bus headed anywhere but Tampa. He is destroying the team. With the roster the Bucs have, they should be 3-1. Under Schiano, they have a circus clown that just doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  40. Huh? I just don’t get it. How are thy trying to get him to do something wrong? The media is crazy. 1st they jump on the attack Josh bandwagon and now its attack Schiano while they actually don’t know much besides jumping to conclusions, throwing darts to see if they stick, and circling the wagons to have any kind of move made. None of this is even newsworthy. Qb plays like crap. Coach isn’t behind qb for many reasons including crap play. Qb sits, whines, qb is now off the sidelines. It happens its nothing new.

  41. Freeman is a good Kansas City kid. This is all the works of a college coach who will be out of a job soon.

  42. Freeman should be cut by Friday at this rate. The Bucs will fire Shi after going 3-13 & hire a bum. They’ll draft another bust, complain about ticket sales & the show will go on under the circus tent. At least we have the Rays!

  43. Freeman is a cancer to the team and any future teams. Blaming Freeman’s crap football QB skills and his zero leadership abilities on Schiano is bizarre.

  44. Didn’t Gruden sign a 5-year extension in 2008 before he got fired at the end of the season? Maybe I’m off by a year, but if not, and I can’t believe I’ve been so beaten down I’d actually want this… but if Gruden is still under contract bring him in. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH and I HATED Gruden, but he’s a choir boy compared to the complete piece of Jersey trash that is Schiano.

  45. I love the fans that have no heart and soul for others. Great world we live in. People spew all their hardcore opinions like they’ve never made any life mistakes they wanted someone to give them another chance. Freeman is a very young man in a highly paid profession. Not everyone is taught life skills and we all need second third and fourth chances. Lastly no one even truly knows what he did it’s only rumors at this point. My goodness such big talkers. God have mercy.

  46. And STILL so many of you continue to blame the player? Really? You are seriously blind. You must be Repub…nevermind.

    You’re right. It is the player’s fault. All of this. Just…wow. If the team had any direction they could have screwed him over and made it look legit, now there is no way. They are creating an uncomfortable work environment and doing a poor job at hiding it. This hurts the current team, future free agents, and unfortunate draft picks that will have no say in going to such a clusterfudge of a team.

  47. bucfansouthtampa says:
    Oct 1, 2013 9:00 PM
    They can “Keyshawn” him. Thats when Jon Gruden suspended Keyshawn Johnson rather than trade him. I think it is 4 games out from the end of te season. Who cares. Freeman is a loser, quit making him out to be a victim, no matter what Deumig says.
    —————————————————-
    So I guess you haven’t been reading about The Bucs’ smear campaign against Freeman. That’s okay. Reading isn’t for all of us.

  48. Fans are embarrassed!

    ———–

    As they should be. Fans such as this southoftampax got their shinny new lynching ropes last Christmas and are itching to use em on someone like Freeman, no matter what the truth.

  49. Isn’t worrying about salary implications more in the realm of the GM (i.e. Dominic) than something Schianno should/would be worrying about rather than fixing an 0-4 team?

  50. Seems to me that Coach Schiano and Mark Dominik are the ones guilty of conduct detrimental to the team. If the Bucs keep this up, I wonder if Freeman should consider pursuing a defamation of character lawsuit against them.

    The Bucs should just cut their losses, pay what they owe Freeman, and move on.

  51. If they can’t trade him, they should cut him. Yes. It’s 6 million but since it looks like they will pick in the top 5 in 2014, I don’t think that 6 million is going to come in handy later this year. Freeman is a sunk cost at the point, cut your ties if he can’t fetch a conditional 7th round pick.

  52. I expect Freeman will be out of Tampa before the next game, but what a circus this has turned into!

  53. Gotta love the tightwad Glazer’s, milk Manchester U for all it’s worth and then do the same to the Buc’s!

    It’s just Billionaire owner’s trying to keep it real!

  54. this is becoming uglier by the day…a coach who rules by intimidation with military style dictatorship is all of sudden “afraid” of crossing paths with his former starting QB? I thought Greg Schiano was supposed to some kind of jersey tough guy, but he appears to be a florida fruitfly….

    this is embarrassing. I think if they dont want Josh Freemen, they should just do what the Eagles did with TO back in 2006…they can suspend the guy for the season, pay him his salary, then release him at the end of the season….I guess they are concerned that if they cut him, he will end up in New Orleans, Atlanta or Carolina and he can give up all the Bucs secrets to their divisional opponents.

    I see this ending badly for the Bucs, and Schiano and the GM are both going to get fired at the end of the year

  55. I understand why no one at Rutgers cared when this chump left.

    If Freeman can’t play QB anywhere, someone should give him a look at TE. Only Nebraska and K-State offered him as a QB, his other elite offers wanted him at TE.

  56. The Bucs have no case to suspend Freeman for conduct detrimental to the team. However, they probably have a case against Schiano for his behavior and antics.

  57. Add onions, a little pepper, stir the pot. National media has moved on till something actually happens. Wonder where all these Freeman supporters were when Testeverde, Dilfer, and every other quarterback that struggled in Tampa needed support.

  58. “Greg Schiano is an honorable man, a great coach, husband, and leader. We support Coach Schiano and all of his Josh Freeman and victory formation attacks.
    Please consider his future employment by the Tampa Bay Bucs for years to come.”
    -Signed,
    The New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers.

  59. If I was a Tampa fan, I’d be embarrased by my team right now.

    This a disgrace. Cut him or trade him. Simple.

    Nobody wants him so cut him and as Teddy KGB would say “Pay dat man his money”

  60. Why does everyone say cut him its simple? First if this guy is the one leaking this stuff and creating this havoc, why cut him and give him automatic 6.2 mil pay check and he can go to any team he wants and you get nada in return.

    The Team will trade him first if they can for a draft pick or two and or try and get some pay relief. The last resort is they will cut him but not until the trade deadline in three weeks.
    You owe a guy 6.2 mil no matter what so why is there a hurry.

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