The drama-filled fiasco in Tampa Bay is getting worse and worse by the hour. Just a couple of months ago, head coach Greg Schiano and his Buccaneers were hopeful in starting the 2013 campaign on a bright note and improving upon Schiano’s 7-9 debut season as an NFL head coach.
Instead, we’re now just one-fourth of the way through the season and Tampa Bay is 0-4 with nothing but off-the-field drama making media headlines. Upon the leaking of confidential information regarding quarterback Josh Freeman’s supposedly failed drug test, the league has been investigating the organization in an attempt to find out who it was that broke the rules by leaking the information.
It was ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen that first reported the information regarding Freeman, revealing that the 25-year old is in Stage 1 of the NFL’s substance abuse program.
Now countless of additional reports have come out in the past couple of days, many of them contradicting each other, or denying previous reports. It’s really just a huge mess down south. Just three seasons removed from his breakout season in 2010 (Tampa went 10-6 and Freeman put up career numbers: 3,451 passing yards, 25 TD, 6 INT, 95.9 QB rating), Freeman has gone from the starter to losing the job to rookie Mike Glennon to now requesting a trade (or outright release from the team) all within a couple weeks of each other.
So what, exactly, should the Buccaneers do about the situation they currently find themselves in? Well personally, I believe that at 0-4 in a division such as the NFC South, the 2013 season is already a lost cause. With rookie quarterback Mike Glennon (24/43, 193 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT in first career start last week vs. Arizona) likely taking over for a majority of 2013, I think it’s safe to say that the Freeman days may already be over after five seasons with the team.
If you told me three years ago that Freeman wouldn’t make it past his fifth season with the franchise, I would have likely called you crazy. Maybe even delusional. But this appears to be something that is far beyond reparable. This should lead to a divorce between Freeman and the Bucs, due to irreconcilable differences, over the off-season, if not before then.
If I’m the Bucs, I’m dealing Freeman as soon as possible. If you wait until a franchise has a quarterback go down with a serious injury, Freeman’s stock could rise and Tampa could receive a couple of solid draft picks in return. The only way Josh Freeman has a shot at getting back to his 2010 form is if he gets a fresh start with a new team. That’s all there is to it.
Sidenote: Does anyone else feel sorry for Darrelle Revis? He thought he was through with drama when he left New York this past summer, and now this all goes down in Tampa? Ouch.