The Josh Freeman/Greg Schiano circus continues to be the No. 1 topic surrounding the Buccaneers this week, and new information that came out late Wednesday won't help the hoopla die down anytime soon.
While the debate continue about who is to blame in the Josh Freeman/Greg Schiano rift at One Buc Place, new reports came out late Wednesday that Freeman has amassed five fines totaling $35,000 so far this season for various reasons.
In a report by SI.com reporter Jim Trotter, it was revealed twice the Bucs fined Freeman in the last month, including once in the last week, for conduct detrimental to the team. The violations include missing at least a team meeting and participating in an unauthorized media interview with ESPN last week.
Sources said Freeman plans to appeal the fines and the fines sets up a potential scenario in which Tampa Bay can suspend Freeman without pay according to SI.com.
Late Wednesday evening Tampa Tribune Bucs beat writer Roy Cummings tweeted, “The Josh Freeman saga continues. Freeman fined $35,000 since opening day for five violations of team rules including two on opening day.”
Cummings added via Twitter, “Freeman missed team meal and was late for team bus on opening day. Other three fines were levied this past Mon. for violations last week. Bucs coach Greg Schiano only issued Freeman a warning after he missed the team photo shoot on Sept. 30 and reduced first two fines, and NFL CBA calls for Freeman's first two infractions to total fines of more than $12,000 but Coach Schiano reduced fine total to $4,000.”
Freeman was benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon last week and the Bucs have made it clear they have moved on from their former 2009 No. 1 draft pick. Freeman was scheduled to be the No. 2 QB according to Schiano last week, but was demoted to third string and forced to watch the team’s last home game against the Cardinals from a suite for inactive players.
On Tuesday Schiano told the media that he doesn’t think the problems with Freeman are having any effect on the team.
“I think we have a strong locker room,” Schiano said. “How can I tell you if there’s any one percent effect on the team? I don’t sense that. I think we have a football team that’s very angry with how we started the season, and we’re trying to get it rectified. That’s what this week is.”
Other players in the locker room continue to say the Freeman situation is not a distraction but on Wednesday offensive tackles Donald Penn’s outburst says differently.
“Man, are we going to talk about the Bucs and football?" Penn said. "This Freeman stuff, it’s like – are we going to talk about the Bucs, do you want to know about what we need to do going against Philly or anything about that, because this Freeman stuff is getting old. Like I said, y’all media are trying to bring it down. Y’all are still talking about it. How long has it been? It’s over. Y’all are still talking about it. Ain’t nothing we can do about it now. So why are you guys still talking about it? That’s what I mean about y’all – the media – are trying to bring him down. It’s still an issue. It’s still a big thing. I’m tired of talking about it.”
What once was a season full of optimism from fans and management has turned into a national embarrassment with no end in sight. The Buccaneers have their bye-week this Sunday and with the players
scheduled off for four days, chances are the front office will be
furiously working to find an option to finally end the Josh Freeman era
in Tampa Bay completely via trade or even an outright release.
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