Freeman hints at Buccaneer smear campaign

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Buccaneers (for now) quarterback Josh Freeman has responded to the report regarding his status in Stage One of the league’s substance abuse program.

In a statement issued to PFT, Freeman explains that he has a prescription for Adderall, due to ADHD.  Freeman says that, last year, he accidentally took Ritalin instead of Adderall, tested positive for Ritalin, and agreed to submit to unannounced and repeated testing, resulting in his placement in Stage One.

“I have agreed to take, and have PASSED 46 NFL-regulated drug tests over the last year and a half,” Freeman says.

Freeman explains that he has taken the tests at the team’s facility, which apparently raised suspicions from some regarding whether he has a drug problem.  Coincidentally (or not), as the relationship between Freeman and the team has deteriorated, those suspicions have become rumors running rampant through the media.

“Unfortunately, it appears that some people who may have noticed the testing at my workplace have made hurtful and incorrect assumptions and chosen to disseminate inaccurate and very disturbing information,” Freeman says.  “It is a shame that when times have gotten tough, people have chosen to attack the character of others, rather than supporting each other.”
Freeman doesn’t name names, but he’s necessarily referring to people in his workplace.  Given his recent issues with his head coach and given that these rumors and reports have arisen in the wake of those issues, it’s not all that hard to connect dots back Greg Schiano or someone acting on his behalf.
Regardless, it’s becoming even more clear that the Buccaneers need to find a way out of this mess.  The distraction is only getting bigger, and it’s the last thing Schiano needs as he tries to coach his way out of an 0-4 hole.

110 responses to “Freeman hints at Buccaneer smear campaign

  1. How do you “accidentally” take another prescription drug? Did you fill a prescription for a drug you never intended to take and had it lying there next to your real prescription?? Sounds pretty bogus

  2. First of all, how do you accidentally take a drug you are not prescribed to? Secondly, I could see why the team would be alarmed by this. Third, I bet Schiano is smiling at this and that is kinda messed up…

  3. yea right ” accidentally took Ritalin instead of Adderall” when i go and get a prescription i just open the bottle and pop the pills why bother checking they never make a mistake not buying that one josh

  4. We don’t care enough to take sides in this. We just find it entertaining.

    The Bucs’ ship continues to sink.

  5. The best way to get this mess to go away is to fire Schiano. He’s turned a talented roster into a garbage team. He’s mishandled personnel and has lost the locker room. Also, his direction to dive at knees in victory formation has ruffled feathers across the league. Just fire the guy and move on with things.

  6. Stupid cheap Glazers! What scumbags! Don’t treat Freeman the same way you treat everyone else in Tampa. Why are you trying to ruin his life because you think you can’t get away with not having to pay out his contract.

  7. Stick and move Freeman, you are looking good out there. You’re scoring all the points while the other side is getting exhausted. But don’t go for the knockout blow just yet, the other side deserves to experience a slow and painful crumbling demise. The more the Bucs suffer, the stronger your new team will be. So just sit back, kick up your feet, and let’s watch them bleed and see how they manage the mess. It’s more entertaining than half of the lame sitcoms that premiered last week.

  8. Passing a drug test is great and good for you ,,,,passing for touchdowns is what this is about !

  9. How do you accidentally take Ritalin if your argument is that you are using a prescribed drug? Did your doctor accidently prescribe it, and you accidently didn’t notice? Or was it a “I ran out and got some from someone else” kind of thing, because those are the only two options, and the latter is still against the rules. I mean, Ritalin isn’t a big deal.. if Adderall is poor man’s coke, than Ritalin is a poorer man’s Adderall, so its not like he’s getting a buzz here, but still. Accidently? I don’t see that.

  10. The Bucs are a mess, hopefully they get through it, because you don’t want to be paying a CB big bucks for nothing. They have good pieces they just need to meld better.

  11. Of course let’s ignore the MULTIPLE public sightings of Freeman completely hammered in Tampa watering holes.

    And let’s also completely ignore his 47 percent completion percentage and inability to show up with the rest of his team for the team photo.

    I can’t stand Schiano, but I can’t stand someone who’s been given a pass for 5 years and can’t live up to his potential more.

    Fail, Freeman.

  12. I mentioned this earlier, however one MUST have a prescription for ritalin. If he HAD a prescription for it, and it was in his medicine cabinet NEXT to his adderall and he ingested a capsule, it would be “accidental.” Since he made no mention of this being the case, the most logical assumption would be that he took a prescribed medication WITHOUT a prescription , or he took a ritalin prescribed for someone ELSE. Either of these circumstances would be a legitimate trigger for a failed test, and it could be illegal as well. He needs to fully explain if he wants the public to buy and or support his version.

  13. Wow desperate times for desperate measures. Didn’t think the glazers would sink this low. Just kidding, obviously it’s believable. This is the way they treat lots of people in Tampa. Everyone hears the stories of how big of scum Glazers kids are. Mommy and daddy gave them a football team and everything. Everyone just wants them out of our town.

  14. evilglazers666 says:
    Sep 30, 2013 10:18 PM
    The Glazers are the lowest form of life on this planet.
    Somewhere in Ohio the Brown family is smiling

  15. That dirty……giving this info to the press shows someone character….if its Schiano he needs to go. I’m no Freeman fan, he play has suck the last couple of yrs but giving the media this type of info is way over the line…..

  16. I used to work with a guy that almost went blind when he accidentally took his dog’s post surgery pain pills. He started complaining about losing vision and only seeing black and white zig-zags. I laughed, realized he was serious, and then drove him to the hospital.

    True story.

  17. I’m becoming more and more convinced the same person posts as Logical, werethesteelers, and probably more.

  18. Ritalin and Adderall pills look nothing alike. Freeman sounds like the Private E-1’s I had in the military when they would get busted on a urinalysis test. Or some dude on an episode of COPS. Freaking liar.

  19. Before Schiano arrived, the Bucs were not great but not bad. Now they are 0-4 and are a media circus. I thought he was supposed to bring discipline! I bet if Schiano got fired today, the team would be better tomorrow.

  20. I actually thought that the Bucs have been drafting very well and doing great in free agency with the exception of losing Michael Bennett. Mark Dominic is a good GM but Schiano is a complete nutcase.

  21. I’m starting to think that Schiano should be subjected to drug testing. What good players with actual options would want to go play for that vindictive clown?

  22. Schiano is an absolute clown. The NFL is way too big of a stage for him. He makes Lane Kiffin look like a genius. Time to go back to a 3rd tier Eastern football power. UCONN has an opening…

  23. So now the piece of crap Schiano and his lackeys are leaking info to the media to further smear Freeman.

    Schiano, please go to jump off the stop of the stadium. You and your crew are bunch of pieces of trash.

    As for the idiots in here talking about Freeman, whatever his excuse how exactly does Ritalin help you more than Adderall? Also see the part about all the test passed. Yeah he’s a real A-Rod you a-holes.

    Do you think Tony Dungy would behave this way as a coach? Hell I don’t even think Gruden, who is a complete piece of trash, would even scoop to trying to bury a player like this. Schiano, please, go to hell.

    Thank you.

  24. Do you tools in here even get the point of this story. Schiano and his lackeys are releasing information on something from nearly 2 years purposely to try to smear Freeman. Are you really that stupid that you don’t get that?

    Schiano is a Jersey piece of trash – and what do you do with trash – you put it in the dumpster – which is what Schiano is doing to every Bucs fan.

  25. Have any of you outside of the Tampa area heard Freeman talk? Dude sounds like he is taking pills by the handful.

    Dude shows up late to meetings and blows off is own QB camp for kids… what a POS.

  26. Ritalin and Adderall are both medicines for ADHD. Although they are yo be taken at different times. So yes you can accidentally take one at the wrong “time” per se. But let’s be honest the bucs are just trying to save face after a dismal beginning. So cut freeman loose but why slander the guy? If you don’t want to pay him find someone to trade him to like Tennessee or Jacksonville.

  27. agreed that it doesnt make sense to accidentally take a different prescription drug. that being said, ritalin and adderall are basically the same thing. Either way, sounds like he is addicted to speed

  28. Glazers operate just like Culverhouse always did. Only care about profitability, winning is secondary, and then they smear everyone who is up for a big contract. 37 years of this and nothing has changed but the people who do the dirt.

  29. Devil’s advocate: What if Freeman, or his people, leaked it? Look at all the venom being spewed at the Bucs organization and Schiano right now. Again, just playing Devil’s Advocate and throwing a “What If?” out there……

  30. walterwhite1976
    Sep 30, 2013, 10:29 PM EDT

    Believe it or not a lot of experts did pick them to win 9-10 gms n make playoffs or at least be on the fringe….granted I thought they were awful from the day they were foolish enough to trade for Darrell “Toast” Revis…but who said that ppl picked them to make playoffs is correct….

  31. Don’t fire Schiano yet – the Pats could use a couple more Buccs cast-offs to go with Talib & Blount!

  32. To be fair to Freeman, about 2 years ago there was an adder all supply shortage. His pharmacy could have arranged with his doctor for a change to Ritalin. He probably would know, but might not realize they fall into different drug exceptions.

  33. Adderall and Ritalin *both* require prescriptions and are *both* prescribed for ADHD. Since the league approved Freeman’s prescription for Adderall, it’s entirely conceivable doctors may have prescribed *both* drugs to Freeman at one time with league approval for Ritalin either lapsing or never pursued once doctors switched Freeman to Adderall. If true, this would *not* mirror ex-Bucs Eric Wright and Aqib Talib, who were suspended by the league for unprescribed or unapproved use of Adderall.

    Otherwise, it seems crazy for anyone at One Buc Place to destroy/lower Freeman’s trade value by impugning his character – unless inmates *are* running their asylum.

  34. Shiano benched an under performing player, specifically stated that the decision was because of performance. He didn’t make Freeman miss meetings or fail to prepare. The hatred towards the coach is completely unwarranted in this case.

  35. For anyone who is asking how can you accidentally take a pill you where not prescribed… sound silly! Who says he was not prescribed both!? Omg! More than likely he takes Ritilin in the offseason and takes Adderall during the season. Ritilin literally puts you down, you stop doing everything, Adderall allows you to still focus and function. Both treat the exact same thing ADHD!!! I have worked with kids that take both and you can tell the difference when they take Adderall vs Ritilin

  36. @abninf:

    you say:

    “Ritalin and Adderall pills look nothing alike. Freeman sounds like the Private E-1′s I had in the military when they would get busted on a urinalysis test. Or some dude on an episode of COPS. Freaking liar.”

    Ok…first, you do understand, first, that Adderall and Ritalin come in various forms and come in various concentrations and come in various colors, shapes and textures, right? You also do realize that both drugs are used to treat ADHD? They are simply used pending on which pathway is responsible for the deficit in the pharmacological pathway. You, many times, must try both to figure out which pathway is the actual problem. So, it would be very much normal for people to have both pills, especially an athlete with all sorts of people trying to remedy the situation quickly.

    This also screams of smear, exactly what Freeman is saying.

    Schiano should be fired, period.

  37. I think its deeper than ADHD, possibly Aspergers….which is a great thing to have if you are a QB and everyone around you understands, terrible thing if people around you are not supportive.

  38. I remember a time, less than 2 years ago, when all the hype was Josh Freeman… I remember everybody making fun of the Lions for taking Matt “Glass” Stafford. I remember the countless playoff games for Mark “Captain Check Down” Sanchez and how everybody said he was great. Then, Matt got healthy.

    I’m not saying this to be a prick. I’m simply saying, all these guys are young. I never thought Sanchez was good, but Freeman is. He has proven he has it. He may need a change of scenery and the Bucs may need to move on as well.

    All I know is that in less than 2 years he’s gone from being the best young QB in the game to a joke. The only thing that has changed is the coaches. Sorry, but both QB’s can’t be wrong…time to actually look at the joke coaches.

    Just for the record, despite what everybody may say. Freeman is actually the best QB the Bucs have ever had as a starting QB. That’s simply fact…his stats show it…it’s not even close. So how does a guy go from that, and a franchise savior, to this? Simply, coaching…..the same reason you can have one of the better rosters in the NFL and still be 0-4… coaching.

  39. That was obvious to some people from the beginning. Schiano has clearly never liked or wanted this guy as his QB but was too weak in character to tell his team this, instead trying silly college tactics of undermining him so that he would have an excuse to ship him out. Freeman hasn’t handled this sjituation well either, but Schiano has a reputation that precedes him on these matters.

  40. Drugs or not, he is clearly not a very good QB! Feel sorry for the fans in TB that they have to deal with a bunch of spoiled athletes. We had them also in the likes of Cutler and Marshall and have never been happier than since their departure.

  41. Living in San Diego and being a fan of the AFC West Chargers, I’m about as emotionally and geographically removed from the Bucs as can be, but for some reason I’m strongly on Freeman’s side here.

    Distraction for an awful season so far.

  42. Rather amazing that football players are soooooo different that such a high percentage of players greater than the percentage of the normal population claims to have ADD.

  43. Why would the Bucs smear a bad quarterback with a bad attitude? All that does is decrease his already non-existent trade value and make it even more difficult for the team to get something in return for him.

    With logic like that, it’s no wonder Freeman can’t read defenses.

  44. Frankly even if he is prescribed adderall, I don’t buy that he has ADHD. I think he, like many over privileged athletes who are subject to drug testing, get an intentional false diagnosis so that they can legally abuse a drug that replicates how they want to feel without them being able to get in trouble for it. Which frankly, wouldn’t be so much of a problem if they just let them smoke weed once in a while.

  45. For decades Ritalin was the primary drug used to treat ADD/ADHD but got a bad rap because of the ignorance on the part of the general public. In recent years a number of new drugs have come out but have various side effects and it is not uncommon for a patient to have trials until the best one is found often times leaving them with partially unused prescriptions which could accidentally get mixed up. I hope the players association and the NFL punish severely the individuals responsible for this smear campaign and Josh Freeman then brings civil action against them. Only when people are held accountable for their irresponsible behavior will they think before shoot off their mouths.

  46. I’m pretty sure the statement he filed never said that he took it on accident. From the looks it if he took probably used somebody else prescription, don’t act like none of you have never done it before, and got linked to cheating so that’s where the “error” comes in. In every day life nobody would say anything but when you play a professional sport it’s a different beast.

  47. This is getting a bit ridiculous now. Greg Schiano is looking more and more every week that he has no idea what he is doing in the NFL, but this is just out of line. You may not want Freeman on your team, but trying to throw him under the bus like this proves that you are a no nothing.

  48. stlunatik says:
    Sep 30, 2013 10:21 PM
    after Sanchez and Freeman walk into the bar, Sam Bradford joins them….

    meanwhile Ponder is at home wondering why he isn’t invited

  49. Maybe he is the one that gave Adderall to Aqib Talib and Eric Wright…allegedly. They were former Bucs who were suspended for having Adderall in their system. Did he give Adderall to them since he is (was) in their locker room?

  50. It doesn’t make sense that the Bucs would lower his trade value by intentionally leaking a story like this.

    There has always been stories in Tampa about Josh being immature and having his priorities out of whack. Having Raheem Morris as his first head coach did him no favors.

  51. I’m on Freeman’s side on this one. I with the KID, the BEST of luck and hope he goes to a professional NFL team, turns his life around and becomes a great QB in the NFL. Young people can only do so much in toxic environments. I would like to see him get the chance to play underneath someone like QB’s used to be able to do for a few years. Does anyone think Brett Favre had no impact on Aron Rogers????

  52. secondly, it has been PUBLISHED in local media how Raheem Morris would go partying with players after games. What a great example to set as a HEAD COACH for a 21 year old just graduated college NFL QB. KC, pick him up, he’s from the midwest where people are just better overall in general, Andy Reid is a great coach, and he’d be a premium backup to Alex Smith and eventually could take over.

  53. Its not that hard to think you coukld accidentally take Ritalin on place of Adderall.

    They are both Prescription meds for the same disorder.
    Many people who are on Adderall were previously on Ritalin and could own some of each.

    Im not saying its a mistake you couldnt avoid, but its pretty easy to imagine it happening if someone was careless or distracted – like an ADHD patient.

  54. How do you take the wrong medicine by mistake?

    Well both are used to treat ADD and Freeman was in the process of switching medications at the time.

    And it’s called Attention Deficit Disorder for a reason. Work it out geniuses.

  55. I remember the day Schiano was hired, I was floored because he did next to nothing at Rutgers and he was a jerk at the college level.

    Rumor has it that the Bucs hired him because he cost a lot less money than a qualified coach. The adage, “You get what you pay for” applies here.

    Freeman is nothing special but he does deserve the same treatment as any other NFL player and its clear he is not getting even that.

  56. Not to be on this guys side but Dr’s give samples of similar medications all the time . He could have taken it not knowing it would ding.

  57. wtfchiefs says:
    Sep 30, 2013 10:29 PM
    I used to work with a guy that almost went blind when he accidentally took his dog’s post surgery pain pills. He started complaining about losing vision and only seeing black and white zig-zags. I laughed, realized he was serious, and then drove him to the hospital.

    True story.

    Thank you. I work at a hospital, in the financial area, and it’s staggering how many we still see that say they took something they thought was something else and it made them sick. People simply don’t pay attention to the medications they take in this day and age. I bet he had little to no understanding of Adderall until the league phoned him a few weeks after borrowing something thats not adderall from a buddy or something.

    I don’t think his story is unbelievable at all. Crazy dumb but not unbelievable.

  58. How do you accidentally take something you weren’t prescribed? If it was never written for you, It shouldn’t have been in your house, therefore it couldn’t have accidentally fallen down your throat and into your bloodstream. Just admit the real truth, you experimented with the drug to see if it would help with your game, you got caught and stopped… for the time being.

  59. At this point its does not matter whi is to blame. This all falls on the owners. They have allowed this team to be a mediocre team for far to long. This coach quarter back bickering should have been squashed right away. Someone needs to step up and take control. Of this team. Tampa fans deserve a better run franchise. If you don’t care about this team sell it and go run your soccer team. Enough is enough. We are talking about grown men bitching instead of the team playing football.

  60. The only reason he is saying it’s ADHD meds is because the NFL is bound by rules that prevent them from releasing the name of the drugs they tested for. That is why you see every athlete state it was ADHD meds. They can’t be called out even when they are lying.

  61. when a leak like the one about freeman occurs, it is helpful to remember who benefits from the release of the information, or inthis case, who would gain by smearing freeman.

    the most likely candidates all work for greg schiano. not the hundreds of people in the building.

    and to the dude calling himself me and juliojones, go listen to the song again. you might want to rethink your handle; not that theres anything wrong with it……

  62. It’s amazing to see how many people are falling all over themselves to defend Freeman and attack Schiano in all of this. Schiano isn’t the one who blew off Freeman’s youth camp. Schiano isn’t the one who blew off the team photo. Schiano isn’t the one who is out until all hours of the night partying in South Tampa instead of prepping for the next game. Schiano also isn’t the one who responded to his first little bit of career adversity by blowing off team meetings and media obligations by running away and pouting. And those are only the things we’ve heard about.

    Schiano was brought in to change the culture and attitude of a team that was a complete dumpster fire at the end of 2011. Just over a year, he took a defense that was one of the biggest jokes in the league to one of the better ones. Considering all of the other parts he has in place on offense, imagine what Schiano could do with a quarterback that wasn’t always wasted.

  63. Unless Freeman has compounding evidence that the Bucs are throwing him under the bus, I’d suggest to him to keep quiet. He already has a slim chance of catching on with another team. If he goes on a “smear campaign”, no other team will want anything to do with him. He’s already looking like he could be a locker room issue along with the stories of his bar escapades. He just needs to stay quiet and lay low until they’re able to trade him or cut him.

  64. The Glazers are the lowest form of life on this planet.

    Meanwhile, Manchester United is again one of the best in the Premier League.

  65. Its not yet clear, but some are smelling a HIPPA violation.

    If so, someone is in big trouble. HIPPA violations are big time serious problems.

    Was the source at team headquarters?

  66. bennyb82 says:
    Sep 30, 2013 10:03 PM
    First of all, how do you accidentally take a drug you are not prescribed to?
    It could be that once diagnosed as having ADD, he was given a few samples of Ritalin and Adderall – maybe 5 or so of each – and he picked up the wrong sample bottle. That would explain the “accidentally” part. But these guys know what is and isn’t banned and have to make certain they are taking the right thing.

    This whole train wreck shows why college coaches are often ill-prepared for the NFL. The QB change should have taken place behind closed doors, with regular communication between the coach/front office and the player/agent, with the goal of keeping the locker room together.

  67. Normally I would say if the team wanted to get rid of him they wouldn’t be revealing this type of info.
    It hurts their ability to market him. Nobody will pay top dollar for damaged goods.
    On the other hand this is the Bucs.

  68. realdealsteel says:
    Oct 1, 2013 12:09 AM
    Schiano is an awful person for what he’s done. He doesn’t deserve the privilege to be in the NFL.

    What has he done? Benched a poor performing QB. That is just awful!

  69. Trust, Belief and Accountability.

    Freeman broke the trust by not showing up to meetings, and team photos.

    Accountability is what Freeman earned by playing poorly.

    Belief? Sure doesn’t act like someone who believed in the system.

    I liked Freeman, but this season I’ve just been screaming at the TV everytime he took a coffee break before throwing the ball or dumped it into the ground. Schiano, told them what to expect. If you actually look at the coaches demeanor and comments through this he has done all the right things. I’m not a huge Schiano fan, but he is much better than Rah Rah, and he’s getting hammered by idiots who dislike him because he upset that old Giants coach.

  70. Mixed feelings. On the one hand you can argue he’s entitled to privacy. On the other, you can argue that anyone making that much money, in the public eye, as a professional athlete, forfeits that right in exchange for the riches they get. Besides, what if you’re the team owner that’s considering trading for him. Aren’t you entitled to know stuff like this before you spend millions on him?

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