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Bucs Release Josh Freeman

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released quarterback Josh Freeman on Thursday, the team announced.

The team tried to trade the quarterback but was unable to find a taker. By releasing Freeman, the Buccaneers are obligated to pay the quarterback all $6.2 million he was owed in remaining salary this season.

Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik contacted all 31 of the NFL’s other teams in an attempt to trade Freeman, sources said.

Freeman, who was taken 17th overall by the Buccaneers in the 2009 draft, was benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon prior to Tampa Bay’s 13-10 loss to Arizona on Sunday. In 60 career games, Freeman has thrown for 13,534 yards, 80 touchdowns and 66 interceptions.

Last season, Freeman threw for 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns. (He is the franchise’s leader in career TD passes.) He had two touchdown passes and three interceptions this season before he was benched.

The NFL Players Association is investigating how Freeman’s presence in Stage 1 of the league’s substance-abuse program became public earlier this week. On Tuesday, Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano was asked by reporters if he was the source of the information and answered “absolutely not.”

In a statement released after the initial reports of his presence in the substance-abuse program Monday night, Freeman said he has a prescription for Adderall to treat ADHD but that last year he inadvertently took Ritalin, which triggered a positive test. As a result of the positive test, he submitted to frequent drug screenings and placement in Stage 1 of the program.

He said he has passed 46 league-administered drug tests, but Monday’s disclosure could have undermined the Buccaneers’ attempts to trade him.

Freeman was fined twice in the past month for conduct detrimental to the team, according to an report. The website reported he will appeal the fines.

A team captain the previous three seasons, Freeman was not elected as one this year. Schiano has denied reports that he rigged the voting to keep Freeman from being selected and later revealed the quarterback had overslept and missed the team’s annual photo session.

Since his 10-6 season in 2010, Freeman is 11-23 (.324) as a starter. Among players with at least 20 starts over that span, only the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ Blaine Gabbert (.192) and theSt. Louis Rams‘ Sam Bradford (.317) have lower winning percentages, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Freeman was the third of three quarterbacks selected in the first round in 2009, following top overall pick Matthew Stafford by the Detroit Lions and Mark Sanchez (No. 5) by the New York Jets. With Freeman’s benching, only Stafford remains a starter.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen contributed to this report.

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Posted by on Oct 3 2013. Filed under Sports.
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