TAMPA, Fla. — Josh Freeman’s problems go beyond a missed team photo.
The bizarre situation involving the demoted Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback keeps getting worse. According to the Tampa Tribune, Freeman has been fined more than $35,000 by the team for multiple missteps in recent weeks. The fifth-year veteran received three fines of $10,410 each for violations committed last week, including conducting an unauthorized national television interview on Sept. 26 and two missed meetings last Friday.
The fines mean the Bucs could try to suspend Freeman without pay later and free them from contributing to part of the quarterback’s salary if he’s traded.
The report also says Freeman was absent for the team meal before a Week 1 game against the New York Jets and arrived late for the team bus to MetLife Stadium that day. Freeman was fined $2,500 for missing the meal and $1,500 for being late for the team bus, though he could have been fined $10,410 for missing the team meal and $1,950 for missing the team bus under the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Before his benching, Freeman admitted to missing the team photo on Labor Day before the Bucs voted on team captains. Freeman was not fined for that misstep, the report says, but he was warned future missed team functions could result in fines. Freeman wasn’t voted a team captain this season for the first time in three years.
Freeman was benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, a third-round pick, on Sept. 25. Freeman completed 43 of 94 passes for 571 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in three starts this season.
Outside of the national television interview, and a strong statement released Monday in which he admitted to living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder after his leaked medical information revealed he’s a Stage One participant in the NFL’s drug program, Freeman has remained quiet. Now more than a week after the former starter’s benching, the saga is starting to wear on some in the Bucs’ locker room.
“Man, are we going to talk about the Bucs and football?” offensive tackle Donald Penn said Wednesday, when asked about Freeman.
“Are we going to talk about the Bucs? Do you want to know about what we need to do going against Philly (in Week 6) or anything about that? Because this Freeman stuff is getting old.”