CBS Sports is reporting that Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman is expected to ask for a trade before next month's deadline. Tampa Bay is no longer a healthy place for a young, inconsistent quarterback who needs a coach that doesn't hate him.
A former Bucs employee told me this was a mess from the beginning: What do you expect to happen when you put the most high-strung of Type A head coaches in charge of the most laid-back of Type B quarterbacks. But no one expected the Buccaneers to implode this quickly. Even before Week 1, the team held a players-only meeting to bitch about, among other things, the mysterious vote that stripped Freeman of his captaincy after three years.
The Buccaneers braintrust responded by anonymously leaking the news that Freeman had overslept and missed team photo day.
Except to speak of the Bucs' braintrust is to imply that there's any semblance of brains or trust there. The front office is in disarray—with absentee ownership by committee, and GM Mark Dominik constantly at odds with head coach Greg Schiano. Schiano reportedly wants full control of personnel decisions, and that includes shunting aside Freeman, who predated him in Tampa by a year.
The Schiano-Dominik power struggle seems likely to drag on—the GM's contract runs through the 2014 season, the coach's through 2016. Freeman didn't get the long-term deal he sought this offseason, and is a free agent after this year. He's expendable, and would like to play out his contract year for a coach that doesn't want him buried on the depth chart. This would be easier for Bucs fans to swallow if it promised any hope of stability or sanity, but Freeman was never the problem. He's trying to escape the problem. Fans have no such option.