The soap opera in Tampa Bay continues.
UPDATE: Thursday, Oct. 3, at 6:15 p.m. ET
From NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
---End of update---
Freeman has reportedly been fined as recently as last week for actions such as participating in unauthorized interviews and missing team meetings. Per Trotter, Freeman intends to appeal the fines but could be in store for a bigger penalty.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports on the fine amount:
#Bucs QB Josh Freeman was fined at least twice for a total of $31,500. He is appealing. $10,500 was for his unauthorized ESPN interview— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) October 3, 2013
The fifth-year quarterback could face an unpaid suspension (per Trotter).
The fine potentially sets up a scenario under which Tampa Bay can suspend Freeman without pay. That would allow the team to attempt to trade the fifth-year QB while not paying a portion of his salary.
Following the report, Freeman's agent, Erik Burkhardt took to Twitter to express his displeasure with this information becoming public.
AND... Another breach of personal & confidential employee information: releasing info of alleged team violations w associated fines— Erik Burkhardt (@ErikBurkhardt) October 3, 2013
In mid-September, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that Freeman was likely to request a trade from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This comes after a tumultuous year in which the Bucs drafted Mike Glennon in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft and thus benched Freeman in his favor.
Since being drafted No. 17 overall in the 2009 NFL draft, Freeman has picked up 13,534 yards, 80 touchdowns and 66 interceptions with 36 fumbles. He's completed 58.2 percent of his passes and also run for 922 yards and four scores.
In 2012, Freeman threw for a career-best 4,065 yards, 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions but completed just 54.8 percent of his throws. This led to the Bucs taking Glennon in the 2013 NFL draft and Freeman's time in Tampa Bay looks to be coming to an end sooner rather than later as he was benched in Week 4 in favor of Glennon.
It's no secret that head coach Greg Schiano is less than Freeman's biggest fan.
Since Freeman took over as the starting quarterback, the Buccaneers are 24-44 without a single postseason appearance. In Glennon's debut, the Bucs scored just 10 points and lost 13-10 to the Arizona Cardinals.
This latest development only makes it more clear that the Buccaneers are ready to move on from the Freeman era.