On Wednesday, we reported that Tampa Bay players held a players-only meeting last week to discuss, among other things, concerns about the voting process that ended quarterback Josh Freeman three-year run as a team captain.
In the wake of that report, another report has emerged regarding an event that happened last week: Freeman missed the annual team photo.
It’s hard not to wonder whether the Buccaneers, who declined comment when contacted by PFT regarding the players-only meeting and the concern that the votes were counted incorrectly, leaked the week-old Freeman photo story to provide a piece of tangible proof as to why players chose not to vote for Freeman.
Freeman didn’t help his cause by responding to a question on the topic from Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune with this: “You know I can’t do Buc non-sanctioned interviews.”
Kaufman separately has tweeted that “Josh Freeman’s tenure with the Bucs appears to be reaching critical mass,” and that Freeman needs a “big game” against the Saints to “stop the bleeding.”
For their part, the Bucs have done a great job of stopping the bleeding regarding last week’s players-only meeting. Kaufman’s article completely ignores it, opting instead to frame our report as something far different than it was.
“That story is 100 percent inaccurate,’’ coach Greg Schiano told Kaufman in response to a story that we never published. We never said that the vote was rigged; we reported only that the players held a meeting and the captain vote was one of the topics raised.
But we can’t blame Kaufman for distorting our report. With power-drunk college coaches like Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban taking advantage of their local stranglehold on the press, the Tampa Tribune needs to play nice with the Bucs or the Tampa Bay Times will get all the access from the former college coach who now runs the show at One Buc Place.