Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Freeman Forced To Watch Cardinals Game from Suite, Agent Claims Team Lied About Situation

According to Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano, it was a mutual decision between himself and Josh Freeman for the benched quarterback to watch today’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals from a suite rather than the sideline.

Schiano made that clear in his post game press conference according to Sports Talk Florida’s Jenna Laine:

Schiano elaborated further saying it was what was best for the team today, as quoted by the Tampa Bay Times.

“We talked about it, and once we decided he was inactive, we felt it was the best scenario for today…With all the happenings of the week, it was the best thing for our team. There’s stuff I’m not going to get into. But that was the best thing for our football team today.”

However, according to Freeman’s agent Erik Burkhardt, that is not accurate as the Tampa Bay Time’s Rick Stroud reports:

It was reported as early as Friday that Freeman would likely be the third string quarterback for Sunday’s game and that he would be inactive. However, for Schiano to make Freeman watch the game from the stands is uncommon.

Players who aren’t active on game days tend to watch the game from the sidelines as they are still part of the team. Clearly though, Schiano doesn’t feel that Freeman is part of the team anymore.

It’s a bold move by Schiano and one that is likely to be met with scrutiny. It paints the franchise in a bad light for not allowing Freeman to be a part of the team when he is still under contract. What makes matters worse is that this is only a benching; it’s not as if Freeman has been arrested where you could warrant making him watch from the stands.

Whether he just didn’t want Freeman around Mike Glennon during the game, or if it’s something even deeper than that remains to be seen, but it’s becoming more clearer each day that Schiano has no interest in Freeman remaining part of the franchise, while his continual mistreatment of him is becoming more personal each day.

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Tags: Josh Freeman Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • RussMillerWY

    What makes it even more galling is that Schiano has at least two former NFL head coaches on his staff who could have, if asked, advised him on how to bench a quarterback in a professional manner. The guy is completely mishandling the situation and his players in general. Being the complete opposite of Raheem, a coach who was unwaveringly loyal to his players, is beginning to take its toll on player loyalty to him in a very obvious way. Of any former Bucs head coach, he reminds me the most of Ray Perkins. Perkins came in with a belief that the head coach was entitled to choose players whose personalities he liked most, regardless of talent level. His teams never improved, despite all the roster turnover and in part because of the bitterness his dismissals provoked. This is an ugly, ugly and destructive regime. I can see the Glazers going along with Schiano’s decision to bench Freeman, but they must be completely taken aback by Schiano’s increasingly self-indulgent abuse of players and how it affects their usefulness to the team on the field and their trade value. If the scores weren’t as close as they are, they’d have let Schiano go by now. Pretty soon theere’ll be a blowout, though. It’s just a matter of time with Glennon in there doing the best he can, which ain’t all that great.

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  • cjedvm

    The Rule…Coach is Coach. Freeman is acting like $hit and is being treated like $hit. If the players run the show, you’ve got the NBA which is on it’s own down hill slide. Nobody knows what Schiano has said in private to Freeman or his agent, only what those two have announced to the world. One thing, though, Freeman is becoming increasingly radio active. Good luck finding a new team.

  • johnensch

    Everything that happens with a team always falls back on the coach, as it should. The head coach is responsible for the team being prepared week in and week out. It must be obvious to everyone that this team is not only unprepared week in and week out but that the coaching staff is unable to make adjustments during the game to give the Bucs the best chance to win. If the Glazers believe that fans are having a knee jerk reaction to an 0-4 start they better think again. It’s not the losses that are as bad as this team does not look improved in anyway week after week. If the Bucs showed any type of improvement there would be hope. But under this coaching staff no one can even see hope for better days. Just because the coach says things will change(and they never do) dosen’t make the fans very hopeful. I ask you Glazer family use this byeweek to appoint an interim head coach and give the fans some hope.