Buccaneers release Josh Freeman

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally cut the cord, undoubtedly hoping that the drama goes away.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released Josh Freeman, finally bringing their offseason drama to a close. The Bucs tried to find a trade partner for the former starting quarterback, but all of the leaks and drama as well as his $6.5 million remaining salary created a situation where he had no trade value.

The Buccaneers benched Freeman last week after a disastrous 0-3 start to the season, with the passing offense stuck in park. Josh Freeman wasn't playing well, although the struggles weren't all his fault, and the Bucs decided to go with Mike Glennon instead -- who didn't shine in his first start, either.

While the Bucs tried to keep Freeman as their backup quarterback while they looked for a trading partner, leaks involving Josh Freeman's status in the drug program and team fines, an unauthorized interview on ESPN and a ridiculous amount of drama made it impossible to keep the quarterback around.

The Bucs will now be on the hook for Freeman's $6.5 salary, which is effectively guaranteed as termination pay. If Freeman signs a contract elsewhere, he will get to double dip and the Bucs will still have to pay him the full balance of his salary.

A quarterback-hungry team will undoubtedly sign him to a cheap contract for the remainder of the season, and they'll get a talented but flawed quarterback. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers will need to find a way to spark their still struggling passing offense.

Update: The Bucs released the following statement from general manager Mark Dominik

"We made the decision today to release Josh Freeman. We appreciate his efforts over the past five seasons, but we felt this was in the best interests of both Josh and the Buccaneers."

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