Josh Freeman may now be with the Minnesota Vikings, but the quarterback is still dealing with drama back in Tampa Bay.
Freeman and the Buccaneers had an ugly, public divorce earlier in the month when the team released him amidst controversy, when it was leaked that Freeman was in stage one of the NFL's drug program. The quarterback then told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio he was unhappy with the team's handling of the situation.
More recently, the NFL Players' Association implicated Bucs head coach Greg Schiano as the man who leaked Freeman's private information, per USA Today's Tom Pelissero, telling the paper it wants to conduct an independent investigation. On Sunday, Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik stood behind his coach, telling Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune, “We’re not afraid of an investigation. We would welcome it.’’
Dominik also shared similar sentiments with Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times:
Bucs GM Mark Dominik on support of Schiano re: report of Freeman leak: "We have nothing to hide as an organization." http://t.co/A9wsTNFpD4— Greg Auman (@gregauman) October 13, 2013
Since the beginning of this season, the cracks between the two have been showing before widening even further and eventually boiling over. Between the Freeman saga and reported spread of the nasty MRSA bacteria through the team, the last thing the team needs is another public controversy.
But it's going to be hard for Schiano, Dominik and the Bucs to stay out of the spotlight when the NFL Players' Association is vigorously defending the privacy of its players. Pelissero shared that the NFLPA is touting some information that could help its case:
Regardless of who's "right" in this situation, it would be better served for all parties involved to try to keep this matter behind closed doors. Freeman is gone and the Buccaneers have an 0-5 record to worry about.