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Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman has been released after a tumultuous season, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
The team tried to find a trade partner after Freeman was benched by coach Greg Schiano last week, but was unable to.
Freeman regressed dramatically since Schiano took over last year. He completed less than 50% of his passes through the first three weeks, and the team went 0-3.
But it was the off-field saga that's the real reason for his release.
Freeman reportedly didn't show up for the team photo after Week One. There was also a conspiracy theory going around that Schiano rigged a vote so he wouldn't be picked as team captain.
Instead of being merely benched after his bad start, the was deactivated for the team's Week Four game against Arizona.
Earlier this week, someone inside the team leaked the news that Freeman was enrolled in the league's Stage One drug treatment program — which is supposed to be kept confidential. Freeman released a statement implying that he was being sabotaged.
Today it came out that Freeman had been fined more than $30,000 this year, including $10,000 for doing an unauthorized interview with ESPN.
The Bucs are on the hook for his remaining $6.2 million in salary. He was picked 17th overall by the Bucs in 2009.
The team's statement:
"We made the decision today to release Josh Freeman. We appreciate his efforts over the past five seasons, but we felt this was in the best interests of both Josh and the Buccaneers."
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