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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Josh Freeman reportedly in stage one of drug program

Josh Freeman BucsJosh Freeman wants out of Tampa Bay after being benched as the team’s starting quarterback and listed as inactive for Sunday’s Week 4 game. Because of his struggles on the field and high salary, Freeman doesn’t have very much trade value. But his value may be even lower because he is part of the NFL’s drug program.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported on “Monday Night Countdown” that Freeman is in the league’s drug program as a stage one participant. Stage one participants are not one strike away from suspension, but Freeman is still subject to random testing.

Mortensen also said that Freeman has a prescription exemption for a drug that would otherwise be considered a banned substance. Mortensen reported that Freeman is in good standing in the program.

Freeman later responded to the word of his status in the league’s drug program being released. He said in a statement that he takes Adderall for ADHD (like half of the other players in the league). He also says he tested positive for Ritalin last year after mistakenly taking that instead of Adderall.

Freeman’s comments in his statement indicate he believes the Bucs are responsible for word of his status in the drug program leaking.

“Unfortunately, it appears that some people who may have noticed the testing at my workplace have made hurtful and incorrect assumptions and chosen to disseminate inaccurate and very disturbing information,” Freeman said in the statement. “It is a shame that when times have gotten tough, people have chosen to attack the character of others, rather than supporting each other.”

Freeman is making $8.43 million this season and will be a free agent after the season. He reportedly is open to restructuring his contract if that would make him more attractive to other teams.

It’s hard to believe that Freeman could have had as good of a season as he did in his second year — he went 10-6 and threw for 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions — and now already be a backup for the rest of his career. I’m not surprised that Freeman lost the starting job based on the way he was playing, I’m just surprised he once played as well as he did. He was really, really good in 2010.

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