Former Kansas State Wildcat quarterback Josh Freeman started 59 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his 4 plus seasons, including the first three games this season. On Thursday, he was released outright by Tampa Bay after several weeks of contentious behavior between Freeman and his head coach, Greg Schiano.
Tampa drafted Freeman out of Kansas State with the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He has completed 1144-1967 (58.2%) for 13,534 yards. He has thrown 80 touchdowns to 66 interceptions.
Freeman struggled in the first three games of the year, completing just 45.7% of his passes with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Freeman was also missing meetings and team meals. Schiano decided to bench him in favor of rookie Mike Glennon in week four.
A toxic relationship had evidently been building between Freeman and Schiano for some time. Freeman comes off as childish and petulant at times, while Schiano seems to have rubbed some people the wrong way. There are rumors that other Tampa players may not get along with the head coach.
Add the the fact that Schiano has ordered his players to go after the quarterback and the ball while teams are in the victory formation at the end of ball games twice now, and it says much about the head coach, and his lacking of understanding of the game at the highest level. It displays a degree of lack of professionalism and courtesy.
While Freeman’s poor performances and off the field antics have most certainly led to his dismissal, Schiano’s personality and the way he comports himself may have been equally at fault.
Josh Freeman has the talent level to be successful in the NFL. With the dearth a talent at his position throughout the league, and the fact the quarterback position is a vulnerable one by nature, Freeman shouldn’t be out of work for long, even with his baggage.
In the meantime, the Buccaneers will be paying him $6.25 million to probably play for someone else.
Local Wildcat fans can only hope Freeman can straighten out his career so they can follow him as a former Kansas State hero.