#Bucs QB Josh Freeman was fined at least twice for a total of $31,500. He is appealing. $10,500 was for his unauthorized ESPN interview
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) October 3, 2013
The ugly tussle in Tampa between volatile Bucs’ coach Greg Schiano and struggling QB Josh Freeman has reached stop-the-damn-fight levels. Freeman, who was having his worst season as a pro before getting benched last month, is being painted as the fall guy for Tampa’s 0-4 start, although the Bucs’ aren’t a non-competitive 0-4 like the Giants and Jags, but rather an undisciplined group that has lost three games by a total of six points.
As our Jason Lisk has already written, the numbers show Freeman isn’t that bad of a QB, but pretty clearly, he’s a toxic mix with Schiano, who inherited him when arriving last year from Rutgers. Is it odd that during Freeman’s first four years in Tampa, there was not a peep about him missing meetings or being a problem for the up-and-down Bucs? Andrew Brandt has some fair speculation – following a summer when Joe Flacco, Matt Stafford, Tony Romo and other QBs got rich extensions, Freeman heard bupkis from Tampa, and perhaps went into his contract year with a petulant attitude which has snowballed in the last 10 days. Meanwhile, the Bucs did extend Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, and Darrelle Revis, among others, over the last two years.
Also, a legitimate question was posed by Jason Whitlock last night: If Freeman is such a choir boy, why is only one offensive lineman the lone player sticking up for him? Where are Freeman’s receivers, who presumably loved catching passes from him the last few years?
The Patriots game was when it all came unraveled for Freeman, and coincidentally, that’s also the game when his receivers did him no favors, dropping several easy passes. This year, Freeman’s had 10 passes dropped, which places him tied for 9th in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. One thing to note – two QBs who have also had 10 passes dropped, EJ Manuel and Joe Flacco, have thrown many more passes than Freeman. Flacco: 169 attempts, Manuel 130, Freeman 94.
As for the fine for giving an interview to ESPN, Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports claims that all interviews go through Schiano, so either he approved it, or Freeman said eff it, and decided to call his own number.
Just cut him, Tampa.