After weeks of turmoil, the Tampa Bay Bucs have released Josh Freeman, the one- time heralded first round pick, who was seen by many as a franchise quarterback.
Bucs General Manager Mark Domink contacted all of the other 31 franchises in the league and could not find a team that wanted to trade for the embattled quarterback, according to multiple reports.
It was generally thought no team would offer a deal for Freeman because the Bucs had to trade him after weeks of infighting between the quarterback, the franchise and head coach Greg Schiano.
Freeman will best be remembered for his 2010 season when he led the Bucs to a 10-6 record and threw 25 touchdown passes with only six interceptions.
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For his career, which spanned 60 games, Freeman has thrown for 13,534 yards and 80 touchdowns with 66 interceptions.
The Bucs started 4-2 last year and Freeman was having a career season when things went bad. The team finished 7-9 and a rift between the quarterback and Schiano started to grow.
Things got worse this season when the team started 0-3 and Schiano benched Freeman apparently unprepared or unaware of the public tirade that would ensue. It led to accusations by unnamed sources that Freeman was a malcontent.
The Buccaneers will now be responsible for his $6.4 million contract that he is owed for this season. It was apparently worth it for the organization to eat the money than deal with the negative publicity that was eating away at the team and led to the Bucs being called the laughingstock all of sports.
In recent days, teammates began to come to Freeman defense, which didn’t bode well for Schiano; some felt the coach was behind the negative rumors about the quarterback, including that he was a participant in an NFL drug program.
Freeman was the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, selected behind quarterbacks Matt Stafford and Mark Sanchez.
Buc fans will likely never forget his first NFL start in ’09 when he threw for 205 yards and three touchdowns in leading the team to a 38-28 victory over Green Bay.
After that game he was hailed as a franchise savior. Unfortunately he never reached the potential people expected of him. The Bucs are currently 0-4. Now all the attention falls on Schiano, who is said to be on the proverbial hot seat.