Schiano says he’s “absolutely not” the source of medical information released about Freeman

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Although an exercise in dueling statements didn’t break out on Monday night after Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman responded to the report that he’s in Stage One of the substance-abuse program, coach Greg Schiano responded in a Tuesday session with reporters.

Per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Schiano said he’s “absolutely not” the source of confidential medical information being released about Freeman.

It’s not a surprising response, and it may indeed be technically accurate.  The Bucs and Schiano would have had no reason to leak anything about Freeman on Monday, at a time when the Bucs are trying to trade Freeman.

The suspicion regarding leaks occurring by or at the behest of Schiano emerged last month, in the aftermath of reports of a players-only meeting that addressed, among other things, concerns about the legitimacy of the vote that resulted in Freeman no longer being a captain.  That’s when negative information about Freeman began to percolate, such as the fact that he failed to show up for the team photo.

“Unfortunately, it appears that some people who may have noticed the [drug] testing at my workplace have made hurtful and incorrect assumptions and chosen to disseminate inaccurate and very disturbing information,” Freeman said in a statement released last night.  That sentence sweeps far more broadly than Chris Mortensen’s report that Freeman is in Stage One of the substance-abuse program, and the leaks that occurred (if Freeman’s allegations are accurate) predated the moment at which the Bucs decided to trade him.

As we understand it, Freeman and his representatives suspect that Schiano or someone working for Schiano began spreading negative information and rumors about Freeman after Schiano’s counting of the captain votes came into question.  If that was the plan, it initially worked; fans and folks in the media realized that players wouldn’t want Freeman to be a captain based on the things that were being discussed and reported.

But now, as Freeman tries to finagle a path out of Tampa with his salary paid and the ability to sign with anyone he chooses, those past leaks (if they happened) have become the basis for an attempt to pressure the Bucs to cut Freeman.

And cut him they should.  Who cares if Freeman gets what he wants?  The Bucs also will be getting what they need — and end to the drama and the distraction, and an opportunity to focus on the players who’ll actually be playing football for the organization.

65 responses to “Schiano says he’s “absolutely not” the source of medical information released about Freeman

  1. Stubbornness is going to sink TB’s season. Hard headed coach, aloof GM, lots of leaks and still not wanting to be done w/ the problem that is J. Freeman.

    But it makes for good theatre & sense I live in Jacksonville, rooted for the Skins all my life & have a crappy fantasy team, I need to quality entertainment this year!

  2. As much as we know Schiano is not ethical or trustworthy, it may not have been him. There is a good chance the Glazers told their PR team to leak it or take a severance check.

  3. And cut him they should. Who cares if Freeman gets what he wants? The Bucs also will be getting what they need — and end to the drama and the distraction, and an opportunity to focus on the players who’ll actually be playing football for the organization.


    I’ve got to admit I whole heartedly agree on this. The Bucs are not going to be able to trade Freeman at this point. And this situation has gone downhill about as quick as any I’ve ever seen. If the Bucs truly want to try and salvage something of this season, Freeman has got to go – now.

    If they don’t want to salvage their season, by all means continue as they have been going. It’s a better circus than we’re getting from the Cowboys or the Jets at the moment.

  4. No one is going to trade for Freeman – they know this already. Schiano and his lackeys are trying to destroy Freeman’s character so once he’s cut and he comes out with all the behind the scenes crap they can just say Freeman is a piece of garbage, he once took Ritalin instead of Adderall.

    There is no doubt that Schiano or one of his buddies leaked the information, why else would it have gotten leaked? This is character assignation.

    Schiano deserves to be fired, like right now, today. He had no business getting a job in the NFL to start with and he’s done nothing to prove that he deserves to stay.

    Schiano, ask yourself, what would Tony Dungy do?

  5. Yeah, cut Freeman now and crucify the Bucs later if he ever becomes a productive QB again. Just like Aqib Talib, who received every chance in the world because of his talent and wound up getting suspended while websites like PFT harped on the Bucs to dump Talib, who like Freeman was in the last season of this contract. Instead, the Bucs traded him for the draft pick that was eventually used to trade up for Lavonte David, but this very own site slammed the Bucs on Monday for trading Talib.

    Only in the media can someone have it both ways. If I’m running the Bucs I’m keeping Freeman or trading him. He’s a paid employee. No one told him to party all week long. No one told him to sleep in and miss the team photo. His teammates told him via a legitimate vote that he wouldn’t be a captain, and yet the media is obsessed with slamming Greg Schiano and blaming him for the demise of Josh Freeman.

    Maybe you should look back to the final season of the Raheem Morris era, where he was partying with players like Freeman off the field and Josh paid him back by throwing 20 interceptions and regressing. You can point the finger at Schiano for a lot of the current dysfunction in Tampa, but Josh needs to own up to his mistakes, bottom line. No more excuses.

  6. Schiano has shown himself to be a scumbag and embarrassment to both Tampa Bay and the NFL the first time he set foot on the field. There was an incident where intentionally tried to injure the New York Giants lineman when the game had already been decided. He seemed like the kind of individual that thinks his bodily waste does not have an odor and that he is the King of the Castle in Tampa Bay. If I was the owner of the franchise he would be out the door 5 min. after Josh Freeman left the building himself anyone else vote for Tampa Bay and Jacksonville in the toilet bowl of 2014 next year’s goal is to be a big year for quarterbacks out of college so do both organizations quietly tell the players lose as many as possible games to assure their shot at the first overall pick?!

  7. The drama and distraction will not end as long as Schiano is the coach.

    Please fire the liar …..Toes on the unemployment line .

  8. There is obviously something off with Freeman. He was playing in the Pro Bowl when he was 22 years old. Now he can’t keep his job. A lot more to the story than has surfaced thus far, I’ll bet.

  9. Couldn’t have been Shi, way to busy scheming plays to defend against the “Victory” formation that the Bucs see on a weekly basis!

    Will someone please put a tent on this circus!

  10. Schiano may not have disclosed the information, but I’m pretty sure he was responsible for it.

    The idea that he didn’t know just doesn’t hold water. The Bucs are cutting their own throats by devaluing a player that they no longer want. Freeman may or may not be an NFL caliber QB, but no one deserves to have their name tainted unnecessarily.

    The NFLPA needs to do their job, find out who disclosed privledged medical information, and make them pay for it.

  11. Oakland, Chicago, Green Bay will be the most likely Freeman destinations. All good QB developping coaches or in Oakland’s case Greg Olson was his OC for his best year.

  12. What a clusterfudge this has become. Kind of reminds me of when Ticey was coaching the Vikes.

  13. Wow, this got out of hand rather quickly. This guy is the asses ass. His stupid victory formation blow up, and his “I’m tougher than you” mentality hasn’t worked. Time to re-think your approach bud. Or you’ll be in Tampa as long as Josh McDummy was in Denver.

  14. “Oakland, Chicago, Green Bay will be the most likely Freeman destinations.”

    Cutler would flip his wig. lol

    The Bears don’t have enough cap room though. Isn’t Freeman due 6 mil? I would roll the dice on him provided the cost isn’t significant. He’s young enough, and has had two solid seasons. Cutler is getting too old to think he can turn into something he probably isn’t.

  15. I’m so glad the circus bug has left the Jets and is now infecting the Bucs and the Giants – and Phila is showing symptoms. I thought Tampa might be a good team this year too. I was WAY off.

  16. .

    ”As we understand it, Freeman and his camp suggest that Schiano or people working for Schiano spread the rumors ”

    Understand it from whom?

    How can a reader separate fact from fiction without knowing where the information originates?


  17. My take, if you want out of dodge and yet hope to be picked up as a starter somewhere else, you first have to make it look like your the victim. Poor me.

    You do this by having your agent leak stuff. Try and make the coach, any coach the patsie in all this. Poor me.

    Think about this. The team is trying to peddle this guy and get something in return, draft choices would be the first option. Why would they trash this guy by leaking anything about it and ruin their trade property.

    Would you take a hammer to your car before you drive it to the car dealer to trade it in or wash it and make it look nice?

    IMHO all this stuff is coming our of the agents with Freeman being part of the plan.

    Where the lie is, is that teams don’t know a player is in stage one testing. He is trying to say, oh I was there so often people saw me and figured out what was going on.

    I actually do not like Schiano because he dissed Michigan but I think he is the victim here.

  18. I bought tickets to a game this year, hosting Tampa. I thought they’d be good. Jokes on me

  19. I now understand why Ronde Barber retired when he did. He had more in the tank and could have helped their sorry defense. He saw the handwriting on the wall.

    I’ve got to wonder how Vincent Jackson and Darrell Revis must be feeling lately? They leaves dysfunctional organizations, i.e., the Chargers and Jets to be team mates on another.

    The old saying,”Be careful what you wish for, you might get!”

  20. Even though this may be true, I wouldn’t believe Coach Gregory if he told me water was wet right now. And @henryd3rd, that “sorry” D was the only reason that team was in 3 games this year. Want a sorry D, go up the I-95 corridor where the Jags, Eagles, and Giants defenses all lie.

  21. This story will not go away, and it’s going to get very interesting.

    The NFLPA is going to be all over this, and I’ll be shocked if other authorities don’t get involved.

    I mean, imagine if someone at your workplace, released personal medical information about you? A whole lot of people would get in trouble.

  22. First, you’re an idiot if you think Freeman would release this information himself. 90% of the mongoloids out there won’t read more than the headline and now Freeman is known as a junkie in the general population. This story was leaked by Schiano and his lackeys since they know the public is stupid and now that Freeman is a junkie in their eyes whatever he says is just the testimony of the drug addict. If you’re too stupid to come up with that conclusion yourself you probably spend more time drooling than not.

    Second, henryd3rd, Ronde didn’t retire – he was forced out by Schiano. He never got an offer to return and was told by the team he wasn’t going to get an offer, this is pretty much public knowledge for anyone that follows the team.

  23. Good thing he clarified this as “absolutely”, that just changes everything and offers a lock-down of integrity and credibility. I don’t know why any person ever offers any affirmative responses to any question without using the word “absolutely”. How will we know when people really mean what they say if you don’t say it with absolute attitude? Such a conundrum.

  24. Regardless of who is responsible for this leak, it’s a total bush league move. The NFLPA needs to crack down on these leaks, it seems like details of supposedly secret actions involving players routinely seem to get leaked to the media and that should stop immediately.

  25. I suspect the leak is from Freeman’s Camp. He wants the ability to select his next team (whatever that ends up too be) and still get his pay from TB that they would owe if cut. That works out for him and TB doesn’t get anything in return, like they would for a trade. Motivation usually leads one to the source.

  26. All the people saying the Bucs should stand firm and hold onto him or trade him – he costs too much.

    You can either:

    1) Give up a draft pick for him and pay him $6 million to maybe play for you this year – when he is a free agent at the end of the year.

    2) Wait for Tampa to end this circus and cut him and then sign him for the veteran minimum.

    Now the draft pick compensation for Freeman may be what Tampa is obsessed with, but they need to move on from that. No one will trade for the guy because of his salary – end of story.

  27. In 2009 the Glazers forced out
    Jeff Garcia
    Micheal Spurlock
    Derrick Brooks
    Warrick Dunn
    Joey Galloway
    Ike Hilliard
    Cato June
    Phillip Buchanon
    Brian Griese
    Matt Bryant

    because they were in so much debt.

  28. “Unfortunately, it appears that some people who may have noticed the [drug] testing at my workplace have made hurtful and incorrect assumptions and chosen to disseminate inaccurate and very disturbing information,” Freeman said in a statement released last night.

    Yeah, I don’t see Freeman using or knowing what the word “disseminate” means. These lawyers who write these statements have to know how aburd they sound when they *claim* their client wrote it all by themselves.

  29. @cheapglazers.

    Lets see what happened to this list of players once they were released in 2009.

    Garcia – signed with the Raiders, backup to JaMarcus Russell and then went to the Ohmaha Nighthawks.

    Warrick Dunn – Retired after 2009 Season

    Michael Spurlock – bounced around to several teams. Not an impact player anywhere he went.

    Derrick Brooks – Cornerstone of the franchise, but tried out for Pats after release and retired. Greatest Buc ever, but was at the end of his career.

    Joey Galloway – played 1/2 season with the Pats before getting cut, signed by Pittsburgh. Then signed and cut by Redskins in 2010. Retired

    Cato June – signed by Houston – I/R, signed by Chicago – Waived and replaced by practice squad player.

    Greise – retired after 2009

    Buchanon – signed with Detroit for 1 season. signed with Washington, suspended then retired.

    Hillard – retired after release

    Bryant – signed by Falcons and still playing.

    I hate when fans use players like this to bash the Buc’s franchise. What did they do? they got rid of players who would never really play in the NFL again, or for 1 more season before retiring.

    A KICKER is the only player still in the league.

    And while Brooks should have been allowed to play and retire still wearing a Bucs jersey, he was finished, and the team had to move on.

  30. It’s been clear for some time that Schiano wasn’t keen on Freeman.

    Since the Bucs organization hasn’t taken this bull by the horns, I conclude that they (either Schiano or Management or both) want this smear of Freeman to continue with the goal of saving money now that everybody and god knows that Freeman has no future there. Doesn’t it usually come down to money?

  31. Coach Shi will go down with the “Pirate Ship” like all those before him – Skinny Vinnie (Glennon) ain’t gonna save him from walking the plank! It’s a Bucs life Shi.

  32. If Freeman is placed on waivers, wouldn’t the team that claimed him be assuming the restof his contract? If nobody wil claim him, howis Tampa going to trade him?

    If I were Tampa though I would suspend him if his insolance continues. I would not reward that behavior.

  33. I was there for 0-26 (yea I’m that old) and a die hard Bucs fan, but I’ve got to say I don’t understand how a team that is this irrelevant has captured this much print over this much drama. Bring back McKay (may he RIP)!

  34. There are only three possible sources for the Freeman leak:

    1) NFL league office
    2) Greg Schiano
    3) Bucs front office

    Unless you believe someone in New York has it in for Tampa or Freeman or both, you can rule out option 1.

    Option 2 is a possibility, because Schiano is a jerk.

    Option 3 is also possible, because Schiano hasn’t been fired.

    Whoever the actual leaker is, the Bucs aren’t doing themselves any favors. What free agent is going to want to sign with Tampa after what the team did to Tynes, and now Freeman?

    Even if Schiano didn’t leak it, it would benefit the long term viability of the Bucs to make him the scapegoat and fire him.

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