The Bucs should sell the naming rights to the lingering brouhaha between the team and quarterback Josh Freeman. Then at least something good would come of it.
From the team’s perspective, nothing good will come of it today. The organization is trying to figure out how to respond to Monday night’s statement from Freeman, which does nothing to increase his trade value.
Then again, the leaks Freeman implicitly attributed to the team do nothing to increase his trade value, either. But if any leaking of negative information about Freeman occurred, the pin on that grenade was pulled when the team possibly decided to alleviate concerns about the legitimacy of the captain vote that left Freeman without a “C” on his jersey by sharing with the media some of the reasons why he wasn’t voted a captain.
Complicating matters is that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith will be making on Tuesday a previously-scheduled visit with Buccaneers players. Look for Smith, a former litigator, to fire verbal shots at the team, both for the Freeman situation and the still-lingering MRSA controversy.
There’s also a chance players will vent regarding coach Greg Schiano. His tactics have become a common source of player discontent, resulting in a players-only meeting before Week One aimed at funneling the concerns to the team captains and forwarding them to Schiano.
While plenty of players, as best we can tell, have no issue with the quarterback change, issues still linger between the players and Schiano.
In our view, the best way for the Bucs to focus on turning around a bad situation in the locker room and on the playing field is to get rid of the biggest distraction. Schiano may not want to give Freeman what he wants, but releasing Freeman and paying the balance of his salary ($6.44 million over the next 13 weeks) could be exactly what Schiano needs to start the process of cleaning up this mess.
Otherwise, Schiano will be even more likely to be the one getting a buyout of his own in January. If not sooner.