Buccaneers could dispute Freeman's termination pay

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Freeman is owed his salary, but the Buccaneers could decide to dispute that he is owed that salary.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers owe Josh Freeman some $6.3 million in salary this season, after his release earlier today. He will only be able to collect that after the season if he files for termination pay. A player can only file for termination pay once in his career to get the balance of a salary after being cut midseason -- but I don't think Freeman's agents will be particularly reluctant to file for termination pay in this case. It's unlikely Freeman will ever be cut mid-season again, let alone with $6.5 million in pay remaining.

However, the Bucs could try to fight him collecting that termination pay. Per the NFL CBA (30.3.a), a player is ineligible for termination pay if the club has given him written warning and the player "failed to exhibit the leel of good faith effort which can be reasonably expected from NFL players on that club." Any such fight would take place after the season, possibly with a new regime doing the fighting.

If the Bucs want to further destroy their public image and their reputation among NFL players, they could try to do that. It seems like an unlikely option, however.

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