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October 1, 2013 @ 12:10 pm
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BREAKING: Freeman Era Over In Tampa Bay

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released quarterback Josh Freeman on Thursday ending a whirlwind two weeks where Freeman went from being the team's franchise quarterback to an inactive backup forced to watch last week's game against the Cardinals from an inactive players suite.
The Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay era is over.

Freeman was released on Thursday after Tampa Bay failed to find a trade partner. The Buccaneers will be responsible for paying the remaining portion of Freeman's $6.25 million salary.

Buccaneers general manager mark Dominik released a statement just after the news broke.

"We made the decision today to release Josh Freeman. We appreciate his efforts over the past five seasons, but we felt this was in the best interests of both Josh and the Buccaneers."

In 2009, then head coach Raheem Morris and new general manager Mark Dominik drafted Freeman as the 17th-overall pick. The Buccaneers traded up two spots with the Cleveland Browns, making him the first quarterback selected by the organization in the first round since 1994 when the team drafted Trent Dilfer. Freeman was drafted behind Matt Stafford (Detroit Lions) and Mark Sanchez (New York Jets). Morris raved about the decision to draft Freeman calling him “his guy” during his opening statement following the selection.

Freeman would start out his rookie season on the bench before being thrown into the game against New England in 2009 in London before hitting the bye week. The following game, Freeman would make his first career start against the Green Bay Packers in the team’s throwback game. In his starting debut, Freeman went 14-of-31 for 205 yards, three touchdowns and one interception and lead the Buccaneers to a 38-28 victory over Green Bay. He would finish his rookie season 158-of-290 for 1,855 yards with 10 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. 

In 2010, perhaps Freeman’s best year and his first full season as a starter, he lead the Bucs to a 10-6 record after going 291-of-474 for 3,451 yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. That season, he engineered five game winning drives that almost helped propel them into the playoffs.

He would follow his 2010 campaign with a 2011 season that saw his bad side. Tampa Bay finished the season 4-12, ending the year losing 10 straight after starting 4-2 leading to Morris’ firing. In 15 games, Freeman finished 346-of-551 for 3,592 yards with 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. The offense was as inconsistent as Freeman’s play on the field, struggling to reach 20 points in nine of his 15 games.

But Freeman would appear to be on track to become the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be during the 2012 season and under the new Greg Schiano regime. In a new offense, Freeman would break franchise records. He holds the Buccaneers record for most passing yards (4,065) and touchdown passes (27) in a single season. 

However, the promise of building off of a 2012 season quickly collapsed. Under Freeman, the Bucs started 0-3 as the 25-year old former Wildcat product went 43-of-94 for 571 yards with only two touchdowns and three interceptions. He was be replaced by rookie Mike Glennon during the week leading into their Week 4 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Freeman was inactive for the game after being named the backup, then asked to watch the game from a suite and not from the sidelines.

A 2013 season filled with drama and speculation from his benching to his ESPN interview requesting a trade to news leaking out about him being in the NFL’s substance abuse program were all the more reasons for both sides to divorce. And that will be the final memories many will have of a player that was once advertised as being the organization’s franchise quarterback.


Last modified on Friday, 18 October 2013 00:36
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    TE Sudfeld - why not checking him out. Good bet he´s better than Stocker..
  • avatar

    @georgehicks - actually 30 hours made NO DIFFERENCE. The Browns and Bills would prefer to take their chances on anyone but Freeman. I guess they put in a game tape and saw what he brings to the table. There is a long list of players in front of Freeman. NO TEAM wants the guy. The only place he had a chance was Tampa and he didn't want that job.
  • avatar


    What a difference 30 hours makes. Tampa releases the QB, and now the two teams needs QB Buffalo and Cleveland. They would have given something if Tampa still have it rights. But now Josh Freeman can pick and choose. But the bucs made some terrible decisions in the past 4 days. But that is behind now. If they haven't pick another QB up I would now. Plus Tampa should select the best QB available in Rd-1 in 2014 and a TE in Rd-2, and Offensive lineman in Rd-4m a WR in Rd-5. I think that if Gleenon does a good job, someone is going to half to pay for the bad mistakes they made after the start of the season. If Tampa doesn't win more then 3 wins. I'd say Fired GM and the Head coach.PERIOD.go bucs
  • avatar

    On a Semi related note. Has anyone noticed that the Pats released TE Sudfeld? I think he might make a good addition to the team filling Josh's roster spot. 6'7"/240lbs and can block and catch passes. Had to be dropped to make room for Gronk coming back. Got to be better than an injured Crabtree and that other guy we have playing TE - who's not really a TE, but playing because he's a Rutgers guy.
  • avatar

    Headline would have been so great with "Shiano" or "Shianomik" instead of Freeman.. Just disrespect for this Shiano lead organization, it´s horrible the Glazers havent stepped up yet (Dominik could get another chance if he replaces Shiano with a real HC)
  • avatar

    I just saw we cut Ahmad Black... Week 2 First play of the game Brees approaches the Center, sees 43 on the field and then stares down 43's zone and hit's it for a big gain. Fast forward to the final Saints offensive play. Brees approaches Center, sees 43, stare's down 43's zone and hit's another big gain to put his team in FG range. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ahmad Black take your 4.84 forty time, your ability to show up just after the catch is made, and clear waivers like I know you will and go beg Rah for a job. Good luck.
  • avatar

    I predict we win 50% of our games for the rest of the year because our D is so good. That would force the Glazer's to stand pat. Then we will watch another offseason where the GM ignores our weaknesses (well he'll address one of them with the best trade/FA he can get and ignore the rest). We will then go on to win 4-6 games in 2014 and then FINALLY be rid of the scourge that has hampered this franchise since the 2002-03 season know as Dominik. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PS: Bye bye 2009 draft class. You are, sorry were, what many of us predicted you to be.
  • avatar


    Schiano is Ray Perkins2 but worse sir.I hate that the Glazers are so quiet on this situation.38 years and no franchise QB.It is hard to be a Bucs fan most seasons.
  • avatar


    Again, good luck Josh. I cannot believe Schiano stated that it is the choice of the players to run against the victory formation. If players get together and inform the HC that they don't want to then Schiano will remove the play. So, according to our Coach, our defensive players have no sportsmanship or class. Of course, all that object will be with joining Talib, Milliner, Bennett, Black, Freeman, Blount, and the list will continue.
  • avatar


    Good luck Josh Freeman. You now have a better chance to make a Super Bowl. When H C mentioned missing pictures, the teams shock of ur captionasy loss and holding a meeting, you got benched before Arizona because u would have won that game. Schiano then wouldn't have his man. This organization is run more poorly and with a worse record then with a great coach Raheem who was just not ready or prepared for the position. Please Glaziers do not let this H C be any part of rebuilding, he won't be here long enough and his mess will continue to haunt this organization for a decade.
  • avatar

    Dominic owns this circus & it has played out as a worst-case-scenario. Well almost, at least Freeman is finally gone. But to end up being forced to release him for nothing...? How does this happen? I'll be intently watching the investigation from here on out. Whoever is responsible for the leaked info needs to be sued, and if it is anyone employed by the team, fired and sued. Coaches and players alike. My gut tells me that I need to immediately reverse course in my past support of Coach S. There are things I liked, but this season has become too damning.
  • avatar

    Coach's way or the highway. I like it. Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better. Tow the line, be accountable, and execute the gameplan Bucs. This team is full of talented players and the Bucs are 2 games out of the wild card with 12 to go. IT IS TIME TO SHOW THAT TALENT VINCE JACKSON.
  • avatar

    Coach's way or the highway. I like it. Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better. Tow the line, be accountable, and execute the gameplan Bucs. This team is full of talented players and the Bucs are 2 games out of the wild card with 12 to go. IT IS TIME TO SHOW THAT TALENT.
  • avatar


    this team still has problems and for all of you who believe different dom and greg need to go dom has also been here for five years he sucks.glennon moves like a tree and will get destroyed. penn is a turnstile, yeah could have been 3-1, guess what a could have won powerball reality is reality
  • avatar

    How long do the fans have to endure this piece of Jersey trash Schiano? Send his dumbass back to college, he has no business in the NFL. Freeman will continue to have an NFL career. Schiano will not.
  • avatar

    Finally over! I hated watching Freeman. Divisive druggie. You got your money after your greedy lawyer/agent leaked your medical condition. Seeya. Beware any team that brings him in. He will kill your franchise.
  • avatar

    Good luck Josh ...I wish you the best. I'm happy the Bucs organization decided to do this ...it was best for the Bucs and best for Josh and he deserved to be treated better by this organization for being a loyal player the past 5 years prior to all of this drama. I still blame Schiano for this mess but now I'm willing to say lets see how this plays out. Lets get back to concentrating on football. If Schiano can't turn this around (which to be honest I don't think he will) then he'll have no more excuses and be out there door as well.
  • avatar

    god, i cannot stand schiano and his childish antics. fire him.
  • avatar

    schiano sucks as a coach.... he is a micromanaging, no talent bully. good luck to josh freeman. good luck to domininick. good luck to the glazers. good luck to my bucs. fire schiano now. he sucks.
  • avatar

    I think the posting from jongruden is right on the money. I have run companies as a CEO, and if my staff had acted to its employees like this, I would be fired, as well as many others too! I love sports - I have followed all Tampa teams for many years, through good and bad times..... and there have been MANY bad times. However, the last few weeks have just made us into national embarrassment. We are a laughing stock and as much as it pains me to admit, it is time for me to walk away for a while. No more support from me, Mr. Glazer. Do you remember the times when Tony Dungy and his staff acted with class - do you remember when Jon Gruden excited us with his pure passion for the game? We just do not know how good we have it until you hit the rock bottom - guess where we are now!! I believe in second, third, and damn it, even forth chances. When Dom & Coach are gone, and we are picking 3rd in the draft next year, I will be back, excited, optimistic, dreaming of good times. Until then .....
  • avatar


    That's it nodda? No G M survives whiffing on a first round Q.B.. Top it off he helped select Shiano. They just put their career's in the hands of 23 year old Napoleon Dynamite!
  • avatar


    Only supremely disruptive players are fired in the middle of a season. None of us knows what happened. You have to believe Josh did not handle this as a mature adult. Like for instance when Alex Smith lost his startling QB position to Colin Kaepernick. Smith was on the sideline, in meetings, and practice helping him. No pouting and petulance. No fines for conduct detrimental to the team. When someone is so disruptive to an organization you have to cut it out like a cancer before it can spread!
  • avatar


    I'm happy the BUCS final move away from Freeman. Now, the pressure is on Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano to win football games. I see the BUCS going into that Thursday night game against Panthers 0-6. Unless Greg Schiano change the way he coaches in the fourth quarter, the BUCS will be lucky to win 3 or 4 games this year. I do wish them the best and I want the BUCS to win every game they play. Greg and Mark should have traded Josh during the off season do to Greg knew he could not win with Josh the way he wanted to. That means Greg and Mark only can blame each other. At the end of the season, if they do not win 7 or 8 games, they both will be able to join Josh Freeman. I believe that the BUCS will have a new GM and HC at end of the season. I hope I'm wrong.
  • avatar

    Josh, choose wisely. Even being #2 isnt a bad deal with some clubs. Broncos, Eagles, Chargers, Jets.... heck any club is better than this dumpster fire.
  • avatar


    Well Greg......You're next! I suspect more and more players and fans will contract MRSA; which now stands for Mega Resistance to Schiano's Antics. I know I'm starting to itch for a new coach. Someone please lance this boil on the butt of this once proud franchise. Sickening!
  • avatar

    Ha Haaa @ MRSA
  • avatar


    PFT is reporting that the Bucs will not contest Freeman's separation pay. That means the Bucs will pay the remaining 6.44mil owed on Freeman's contract. And Freeman is free to double dip - that is get paid from a new contract as well as receive the money owed by the Bucs because there was no offset language in the original contract. I knew as soon as the black suits from the NFL and NFLPA started to parachute into OBP to conduct an extensive investigation of a breach in the NFL drug policy that the word was going to come from upstairs to end this soap opera. Billionaires don't like negative press and abhor the word "investigation". Glad it's over, now go try to win a damn football game!
  • avatar


    Good luck Josh, Fire Schiano, beat Philly, GoBucs!
  • avatar

    Glad the saga is finally over, but no sympathy from me for either side. Freeman gave us some good times and hope that we finally had found our true gunslinging franchise QB. However, through a combination of our coaches ineptitude and Freeman's personal issues, it didnt happen. Such is life. But what I wont do, is feel sorry for him. He gets paid how much guaranteed this year? The reason we couldnt get anything in a trade for him was because nobody sees this guy as a legit franchise QB. If you listen to any of the guys that study film for a living and dont spout 'hes got so much potential" 5 years after his rookie year, the tape speaks for itself. Hearing just today that Freeman was late to team bus in Week 1 and missed the team meal is simply inexcusable to me. That happened before all the drama with him and Schiano became public. I dont care about the leaks anymore because in reality, Freeman wasnt the guy. Manning, Brees, Brady, Rodgers....never heard of them ever having a story like the countless ones we heard about Free in the past few months. Its over. Freeman its been real, but we got real football business attend to. May not pretty the balance of this year, but we cant afford to sit around waiting for you to step up and be a leader, improve your game, and take this team to the next level. Best of luck to you. Would love to see our DEF go up against you at some point...
  • avatar


    I have moved on to hockey.
  • avatar

    @buctebow: Is this really happening to this extent? Or, is this another joke from the Schiano book of funnies? How can anything of this magnitude even happen? There are mics on the sidelines anyway. And, players are constantly interacting with the media in the locker rooms. I guess it's how you look at it? I'm totally on the fence about Schiano.But, this is a bit much.
  • avatar


    Bones I simply asked the question. Also I am not sure what extent has to do with it? I would not want to work under those conditions.
  • avatar


    Well Freeman wasn't a Schiano man and Schiano gets rid of everyone who is not. The media reports an atmosphere of fear and distrust, coaches eavesdropping in the locker room, videotaping players on the sideline. So we have oppression, spying and purges. Does this sound a lot like Stalin? Everyone had to toe the party line, he had secret police and KGB spying for him and then instituted the blood purges where he killed off all of his opponents. It is hard to be a Bucs fan today.
  • avatar


    ya know, it takes a special kind of effort to be labelled the worst...anything really....that we've ever seen in Tampa Bay....with all due respect to coach Perkins and coach Wyche and coach Bennett and coach Williamson....coach Schiano has you all beat for the worst coach in Buccaneer history...not only cannot he not win games, can he not actually coach during a game, but his efforts with Freeman (and with Talib, K2, and Blount in particular who have proven he was wrong about them) are extremely difficult own goals to score...so well done coach, you really are the #1 at something....
  • avatar


    My gut reaction was that Schiano needs to be fired. But then I realized the only way to get anything out of this season now is to Tank for Teddy (Bridgewater). Thus, Schiano needs to stay as he is clearly the Bucs best bet at getting the #1 overall pick.
  • avatar


    Needed to end but shouldn't have ended this way. Nevertheless, I wish Josh well but I'm a Buc and psychologically I've already moved on. I will have no further commentary about Josh Freeman as it relates to the Bucs. We are stiil an 0-4 team with a difficult schedule ahead and my focus will be squarely on Schiano and wins and losses - the final denominator. I hope we win, but win we must or this isn't the only farewell we will see at the Bucs. As Horse whinny's in a previous post - just win baby, just win!
  • avatar


    I wonder if Bill Polian would consider coming out of retirement? Maybe he could then entice Bill Cowher to come out of retirement and accept a huge challenge. They should still follow up on where the leak came from on Frees medical records. That cost the Bucs dearly. Will they receive any kind of compensatory pick in 2014 for losing Freeman?
  • avatar


    @jrwilson...no!
  • avatar


    Hey coach,,, What Rutgers QB are you bringing in???? You Dumb @ss!!!!!
  • avatar

    I have been a Bucs Fan since 1985 and this is the most miserable yr I have suffered thus far, at least 1985-1990 you knew those teams sucked and had little talent. This team lacks a head coach and a qb so it doesnt matter who plays safety or corner, the Glaziers need to take charge of their team fire Schiano, Dominick and promote Wanstedt immediately as interm coach till they can find the coach of their future. I'm all for the "suck for Luck" approach to get the best qb available in the draft unfortunately there is another Bucs Team already doing that in Jax. I am going to stop posting on here until this team gets rid of Schiano I can't bring myself to support this coach or team any longer untill something changes.
  • avatar


    And with the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select...
  • avatar


    @a-bomb....is the answer Bo Jackson (dohhh)....as a side note do you realize that our franchise has picked in the top-10 for about half the drafts....one bright spot is that for the next 50 years, no matter how bad things get we can always say "at least it's not as bad as when that Schiano guy was in town....whatever happened to him anyway...."
  • avatar


    So is the coach going to be next??? Good Luck #5
  • avatar


    oh and "well played Mr Dominik"...now not only did you get no trade done for Freeman, but you got no compensatory pick either...you got zilch for our 1st round pick from 4 years ago (and no other pick from that year is left)...one more great stat to add to your resume...speaking of which, you should probably start dusting yours off now....
  • avatar

    No trade value bro. Zero. Dom had no options. He was cornered. Cant put this on him. Have to be realistic on this point.
  • avatar


    We need a new poll quickly....how long will it take Freeman to get picked up by another team....a) before the end of the day; b) tomorrow; c) next week; d) offseason; e) never.....
  • avatar

    EastEndBoy: Why does that matter? Understand the anger but who cares. Not our problem anymore. Doesnt prove anything when someone picks him up on league minimum salary as their backup, emergency QB. No risk to that team making the move.
  • avatar

    Freeman highlight video, he did make some unbelievable plays.. Mike Williams is a beast!! http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1794885-how-josh-freeman-became-greg-schianos-public-enemy-number-one
  • avatar


    So Freeman is gone; Schiano's having players taped on sidelines to see who cares about the outcome of the game; the players don't seem to care...... Wow. It is great to be a BUC fan. Two more losses and I predict Schiano is toast. Is it time to discuss the draft yet? Actually, the BUCs will win some games. -- just enough to remove us from contending for the top QBs. GO BUCS, help me wake up from this bad dream.
  • avatar


    The Bucs organization suks a$$ ! Josh had to get benched but if he had a coach that played to his strengths and a QB coach that taught the fundamentals I think he would have been playing better and the bucs would have been winning. I wish you the best Josh, it is sort of sad you are gone. What the Bucs really need to do is cut out the cancer that is Schiano !!! Completely incompetent Big East college football coach. How did he get this job ? Oh yeah, nobody else would take it.
  • avatar


    pinkstob, just buy jerseys of former Bucs for life like Selmon, Brooks, Alstott, Barber, etc.. and you'll never be at fault. I remember when Dunn left via free agency and I cut off the Dunn name on the back so it was only a 28 jersey.
  • avatar


    That's good advice Buc-Up, thanks!
  • avatar

    Fairwell JF5.. You deserve better!!
  • avatar

    Alright Schiano, it's put up of shut up time!! You got your wish Freeman is gone. No more excuses.
  • avatar


    dud there will be no put up , which this stuff and rookie QB we wont win 2 games
  • avatar


    Good luck Freeman. Thanks for the good games you did give us, they were exciting. Two years and three months ago I bought this throwback Freeman jersey and I got my wife that Talib jersey thinking they were the best two players on the team so they would be around for the long haul. Now they're both gone. Did I screw up or did Dominik/Schiano? I think it's my fault on Freeman and Dominik/Schiano's fault on Talib.
  • avatar


    pinkstob, just buy jerseys of former Bucs for life like Selmon, Brooks, Alstott, Barber, etc.. and you'll never be at fault.
  • avatar


    I really want to give the Glazers a little more credit here....but, either they just don't care about this franchise (because they are bizillionaires and have better things to be doing) or they are being totally blinded to the reality of the situation....either way, would someone please tell the pool boy at the club that Mr. Glazer is needed back at the office as his pitbull has torn apart the couch, carpet, and plants....is eating all of the food in the refrigerator...and has the staff backed up in a corner, scared for their lives....would he please remove the pibull!
  • avatar


    Okay so now lets talk about beating the Eagles. No excuses from the Coach; just win baby just win.
  • avatar

    Salary from the previous years plus 6 mil to go. And, still young enough to get his alleged condition successfully treated and return to playing ball. One more disgruntled hunter. Remember what Dungy, the Morris lead Redskins defense and the Cards field goal kicker felt after putting their feet in our butts? I love my Bucs and wish Freeman all the best. Farewell Man!!
  • avatar


    Hopefully now the articles can start to discuss football from now on....
  • avatar

    Is this still a legitimate NFL franchise? Time to start studying the draft... AGAIN. Wouldn't shock me at all to see Freeman follow in Young and Dilfers' footsteps. Spend $100 million on veteran defensive backfield only to start grooming a rookie at QB... Stellar game plan, Dominick. Talib looks great in NE, Blount looks pretty good as well... Winslow is way more productive than any current Buc TE... Keep lopping the talent off the roster only to fire Schiano at the end of the season. This should be the final nail in the coffin for Dominick as well. e
  • avatar


    About time they end this circus. Schiano needs to be next!!!!! This organization is in disarray, and I am very disappointed. I am truely thinking of giving up my season tickets until this organization gets serious about winning. You brought in all these great players, but have a coach that cant coach grown men. I really believe that 99.9% of fans would love for this organization to go get Lovie Smith. He could actually take this talent we have and make us a playoff team year in and year out.
  • avatar


    Now you (media) won't have Richard Nixon...er, I mean Josh Freeman...to pick on anymore! :-) He'll probably end up on a Super Bowl team like former Bucs QBs Steve Young, Trent Dilfer and Doug Williams.
  • avatar

    When is the Schiano era in TB gonna be over!?!?!? Remember this statement: Josh Freeman will win again in this league and the Bucs will look stupid once again...
  • avatar


    agreed
  • avatar


    Does this mean he gets paid the 6mm?
  • avatar

    Yep, and whatever the next team will pay him this year as well...guess who won this drama...Josh Freeman
  • avatar


    Yes he does. Unless another team claims him off of waiver. Zero players from the '09 draft on the team. Unbelievable.
  • avatar

    Wow... Good point about the '09 draft. e
  • avatar

    Not really. Just means that Dom's first try at drafting was on par with pretty much every draft of the GruAllen era. He has a much improved track record since, with 11 of the current starters being Dom draft picks.
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