Bucs release QB Josh Freeman - FOX 13 News

Bucs release QB Josh Freeman

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MyFOX file photo / Kerry Klecic MyFOX file photo / Kerry Klecic
(Bucs General Manager Mark Dominik) (Bucs General Manager Mark Dominik)
(Head coach Greg Schiano) (Head coach Greg Schiano)
TAMPA (AP) -

Josh Freeman was once the face of the Tampa Bay Bucs franchise, Now, the former first-round pick is facing unemployment.

Freeman was released from the team Thursday, a move that experts and Bucs fans alike say they saw coming.

"It was something that was necessary, it had to happen," said Bucs fan Philip Pooler.

"It was just inevitable," said former Buc Jorge Diaz.

It's been one controversy after another for Freeman this season. First, he wasn't voted team captain after serving that role in past seasons. Then, a report surfaced that he missed the team photograph and had been late to a few meetings.

Next, he was demoted from his starting position, then came a leaked report that he was in the league's substance abuse program.

Diaz says Freeman's release could affect the locker room.

"I think it sends a message loud and clear no matter what your pay scale, that you're ultimately going to be held accountable for your performance," said Diaz. "They need to deal with it collectively and move forward."

Some fans saw his release as a good thing.

"I think that he was always a quarterback that would get you maybe 8-9 wins but never take you all the way, so it was probably time for him to move," said Bucs fan Ken Kuebler.

"I think he's got a future somewhere else, but his time in Tampa is done and you gotta move on and look for the future," said Bucs fan Ken Carter.

Others say it's just not fair.

"They should have stuck with him," said Bucs fan Benjamin Ybarra.

Gary Leskun falls into that category, and he has more reason than most to be upset. He went to the Buc's game last Sunday with his 6-year-old son, and when it was time to buy him a souvenir, he decided to buy a jersey -- a Josh Freeman jersey.

"We'll have to do what that one guy did with the tape, he taped over the back of the jersey," Leskun said.

 

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