The Buccaneers’ decision to sever ties with quarterback Josh Freeman comes with a decision not to attempt to block Freeman from receiving the full amount of his base salary.
Per a league source, the Bucs won’t fight Freeman’s entitlement to the $6.44 million that remains on his $8.43 million base salary for 2013.
Under Article 30 of the labor deal, every player with four or more years of service is entitled to receive the balance of his base salary as termination pay, if the player is on the roster as of Week One. The team can block termination pay only by showing that the player “failed to exhibit the level of good faith effort which can be reasonably expected from NFL players on that Club.”
The Bucs won’t be making that argument in this case. As a result, Freeman will receive his $495,000 paycheck for this week (even when there’s a bye, the player gets 1/17th of his annual base salary). After this week, he won’t continue to receive game checks; instead, he’ll be able to make a claim for termination pay at any point after the end of the regular season and before February 1.
If/when (when) he makes the claim, Freeman will be entitled to receive $5.95 million.
Since the effort to block termination pay doesn’t come until after the season ends, the Bucs wouldn’t have created any additional distractions for the 2013 season by fighting Freeman. Regardless, the team has decided to move on — even though he’ll get all of his $8.43 million, plus the ability to keep whatever compensation he earns from another team.