TAMPA — Deposed Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman has missed more than a team photo shoot in recent weeks and has been fined more than $35,000 by the club for multiple infractions, a Bucs source confirmed Wednesday.
Freeman, who was benched last week in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, incurred three fines of $10,410 each for violations committed last week, including conducting an unauthorized interview on Sept. 26 and missing two meetings on Friday.
Freeman's agent, Erik Burkhardt, declined comment, writing in a text message to The Tampa Tribune: “Not gonna comment on that issue right now.''
The infractions could open the door to the Buccaneers suspending Freeman without pay and might also relieve the team of the responsibility of having to pay a portion of Freeman's salary should he be traded.
The fines are just the latest piece in an ongoing saga involving Freeman, the fifth-year quarterback.
Freeman acknowledged he overslept and missed a team photo shoot on Sept. 2, the Monday before the season opener against the Jets.
Freeman was not fined for that infraction, but was warned that future violations would result in a fine, the Bucs source confirmed.
On the morning of the season opener, Freeman missed the team meal and arrived late for the team bus to the stadium, the source said.
Under rules of the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, the fine for missing the team meal is $10,410 and the fine for missing the team bus is $1,950. Freeman, however, was fined only $2,500 for missing the meal and $1,500 for being late for the team bus, the source said.
Freeman started the first three games of the season, but struggled in each of those losses, compiling a 45.7 completion percentage and a 59.3 passer rating.
That sparked Schiano's “performance-based” decision to bench Freeman, who was initially named the team's backup quarterback behind Glennon. That status seemed to change, however, after Freeman conducted an unauthorized interview with ESPN.
Freeman, who said during that interview that he believed the best option for him moving forward would be a trade, was deemed inactive for the Bucs game against Arizona last Sunday, which he watched from a team suite.
Schiano said after the game that the decision to have Freeman watch from the team's “inactive suite'' was a mutual one, but Freeman's agent called that claim “a lie.''
On Monday, an ESPN report said Freeman was a Stage One participant in the NFL's substance-abuse program, prompting Freeman to issue a statement through his agent saying he has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and has a league-approved prescription for Adderall.
After mistakenly taking Ritalin for the condition, Freeman's said in the statement, he agreed more than a year ago to be tested and has since passed 46 tests.
The ESPN report said Freeman is not in jeopardy of being suspended and is in good standing with the program.
Freeman said he has never tested positive for an illegal drug or related substance.
The NFL Players Association is looking into how Freeman's confidential status in the program was leaked, a violation punishable by a fine of up to $500,000.