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NFLPA to investigate Freeman leaks

DeMaurice Smith AP

We reported last night that the NFLPA is “coming after everyone” who may have been involved in leaking to ESPN the news that Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman is in Stage One of the league’s substance-abuse program.

On Tuesday, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith delivered the same message, with different words.

“We are sufficiently concerned about what we’ve heard to begin an investigation,” Smith said after meeting with Tampa players on Tuesday, for a session that was scheduled before Freeman and the Bucs found themselves in an ever-disintegrating feud.

“We have a collective bargaining agreement that mandates and protects confidentiality and privacy,” Smith said.  “If we believe that any member of the team management or anyone from the league has deliberately taken steps to thwart that privacy and to breach that confidentiality, this union will take every step and file every grievance and pursue any law to rectify that.  We believe that it’s important to maintain the confidentiality.”

It’s unclear how the information got out.  Per multiple league sources, teams don’t know when their players are in Stage One of the substance-abuse program.  So the specific leak from Monday may not have come from the Bucs.

But the leaks that led to talk of drug use possibly came earlier, when Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano found himself accused of Enron-style accounting regarding the captain vote.  The Bucs had every reason then to begin to spread not-so-positive things about Freeman.

Hopefully, the NFLPA will be able to piece together exactly when and how (and if) a smear campaign was launched against Freeman by the Bucs, or by someone else.

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22 Responses to “NFLPA to investigate Freeman leaks”
  1. garyman1 says: Oct 1, 2013 6:03 PM

    For once I agree with Smith… the league has a substance abuse program and this should have been confidential information.

  2. docboss says: Oct 1, 2013 6:04 PM

    I am thinking this will cost Tampa a draft pick if anyone connected to the organization in any way did this.

  3. blackandbluedivision says: Oct 1, 2013 6:06 PM

    Could have come from Freeman himself?

    Set the team up to make them look even worse.

  4. donnymacjack says: Oct 1, 2013 6:10 PM

    This team has a cancer that is festering and growing. They need to radiate it right now and it likely starts with the HC and flows through both players and FO personnel.

  5. beavertonsteve says: Oct 1, 2013 6:10 PM

    …and if the “leaker” is determined to be a card carrying member of the NFLPA, a teammate who was sick of Freeman and leaked the info? What then? Will the NFLPA crack down on one of it’s own?

  6. NotoriousKDV says: Oct 1, 2013 6:16 PM

    It doesn’t make much sense for it to come from Tampa. They would obviously prefer to trade him and get something in return rather than release him and get nothing back and having info like this leaked to the public would hurt, not help their chances of trading him. So most likely this info came from another team, probably one that’s interested him him and would like to see Freeman released so they could get him for next to nothing.

  7. theauger says: Oct 1, 2013 6:17 PM

    I’ve been saying all along that the leak likely came from someone associated with Freeman or his camp. Or a teammate who knew the dirty dirty about Freeman & grew tired of his antics.

    It just didn’t make sense that this leak came from the Bucs.

  8. natelan69 says: Oct 1, 2013 6:21 PM

    I love unions.

    United, the workers can bargain with the corporation.

    Divided, the worker will be abused and enslaved by the corporation.

    History has proven it repeatedly.

    And that’s why corporations (and easily trained Republicans) hate unions.

  9. jthomascronin says: Oct 1, 2013 6:25 PM

    I agree with donnymacjack. The coach is a cancer on the organization and needs to be excised immediately.

  10. commonsensedude says: Oct 1, 2013 6:38 PM

    Easy investigation. Just dial #69 on Chris Mortensen’s cell phone and then wait for Schiano’s phone to ring.

  11. dartwick says: Oct 1, 2013 6:41 PM

    blackandbluedivision says: Oct 1, 2013 6:06 PM

    Could have come from Freeman himself?

    Set the team up to make them look even worse.

    Essentially no.

    It hurts Freeman more than it hurts the Bucs no matter how you look at at – and and this point it is hurting the Bucs.

    As noted above it could have seemed helpful to the Schianos camp to leak this – early on.

    Also Schiano isnt not exactly Machiavelli. Hes all attitude, emotions and ethic – its quite possible that he made an unwise move and tried to knock down Freeman because he was unhappy.

    On the other hand a a person in the cross hairs will almost never say something bad(and unlnown) about themselves due to emotion – its not human nature.

    But it could have been another player.

  12. kd75 says: Oct 1, 2013 6:52 PM

    Freeman is taking the same drugs that half the people in my office take.

    The other half are alcoholics or potheads.

    At least he’s not on Steroids. That would be wrong…

  13. mjmistretta says: Oct 1, 2013 7:02 PM

    I live here and heard from my friend who’s girl friends friend was dating Josh, she said he had a real bad drinking problem, at the time when I heard this back in March, I did not believe it, this is now looking to be the the sad truth of more wasted talent in pro sprorts.

  14. harrisonhits2 says: Oct 1, 2013 7:08 PM

    Numerous other players have had similar info leaked the past few years.

    Why is Freeman all of a sudden some special case that makes the NFLPA want to “investigate the problem”?

    They haven’t said dick about other players so violated the last few years. Smith has a horrible record and has seemed nothing less than incompetent for the job.

  15. toybkshr says: Oct 1, 2013 7:30 PM

    I agree with total confidentiality, but there’s only
    one way the culprit(s) will be found out, and that is if the people that reported it (Mortensein for one) reveal their sources, and that ain’t gonna happen.

  16. vegasdestroyer says: Oct 1, 2013 7:33 PM

    Someone in the NSA leaked it. They hear everything.

  17. TheWizard says: Oct 1, 2013 7:51 PM

    The players are paid, in essence, by the fans.

    No fans, no mega contracts.

    The more info the fans can get, the better.

    Want confidentiality? Don’t abuse substances.

    And I was an abuser myself at one time so it’s not a “holier than thou” approach.

  18. dhillca says: Oct 1, 2013 8:41 PM

    He’s a homely man isn’t he

  19. justanotherdummy says: Oct 1, 2013 10:22 PM

    I feel a bit badly for Freeman, it appears he is getting a raw deal and somebody in the organization leaked something that shouldn’t have gotten out. If the Bucs think he can’t play, then, fine, just cut him and let him be on his way. But on the other hand, I hope this investigation goes nowhere and the NFLPA ends up looking stupid, again. Smith got the players a bad deal during the last round of CBA negotiations, and I like watching him fail, over and over. When are the players going to fire this chump?

  20. chi01town says: Oct 2, 2013 7:09 AM

    Tampa did this to Freeman and they
    will have to pay.

  21. chi01town says: Oct 2, 2013 7:23 AM

    Tampa has been angry with him for a while now and everybody knows that. the team found a away to get him off the field first. NO SUPPORT!
    then they went after his MONEY! and last was the TRADE TALKS, where Freeman NOT ONLY had intrest but he almost knew where he was going and Tampa was STILL going to have to pay Freeman to play some where else and they knew it. So they pull out some DIRT on the man and somebody was mad enough to let it go. NOW TAMPA IS GOING TO PAY

  22. pftmaniac says: Oct 2, 2013 9:47 AM

    Please, oh please, let the trail lead to Schiano so the Bucs can fire him “for cause” and refuse to pay the remaining 3.5 years (~$10.5 million) on his contract. Maybe they can even salvage Josh Freeman as a player for the Bucs. Everybody loves a good comeback story!

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