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Something Fishy is Going on with Freeman Leak Story

It makes no sense for the Bucs to be leaking info on a player they're starting to trade.

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

I'm trying to wrap my head around the lunacy that's been going on at One Buc Palace since they benched Josh Freeman last week.

Coach Schiano is a liar. We know that he lied to us about Josh's status on Monday. We know he lied to us about Josh's status as backup on Wednesday. Then he lied to us again by saying the decision to banish Freeman to the "Inactive Suite" was a mutual decision.

We also know it's hard to trust Schiano as they tried to hide the MRSA outbreak and the condition of the players effected by it.

Who knows what the story is with Gabe Carimi - who has a mysterious illness.

We also know that Coach Schiano is in self preservation mode. The seat has never been hotter for the former Rutgers coach, who has to be looking longingly at the recently opened University of Connecticut job and wondering if this NFL gig is truly for him.

We also know that Josh Freeman has been acting mighty strangely since his demotion.

There seems to be be more leaks at One Buc than the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.

But are they from One Buc? One could say Schiano is trying to deflect blame for being 1-8 under Freeman and put out that Freeman is a bad player, teammate and has a drug problem.

But Schiano wants Freeman the heck out of here. To do such a character assassination before a trade makes no sense.  Who in the world would trade for a player with that much baggage?

It makes about as much sense as playing Darrelle Revis, the best man-to-man corner in the NFL, in zone. But I digress.

It's a possibility that Schiano is trying to make Freeman look bad and deflect the blame off himself, but in doing so is cutting off his nose to spite his face. He'd also worsen the relationship he has with the players that are still here and are playing hard for him (at least on defense - I'm looking at you Vincent Jackson aka Captain Silence).

And truth be told, Schiano is now 0-1 without Freeman. Freeman was the scapegoat but he can no longer be blamed for the Bucs' offensive woes. That falls squarely on the shoulders of Schiano and OC Mike Sullivan now.

So if it's not the Schiano camp - who else could leak this info?

Does the Freeman camp benefit from leaking something associating the quarterback with drug abuse? Of course not. What NFL team is going to go for a QB that has these types of problems that are affecting him on and off the football field?

Although, if Freeman's goal was to remain in Tampa Bay without Schiano at the helm - a reverse character assassination could be at work. Make it look like Schiano is railroading Freeman, that he's lost control of the team, is launching a smear campaign against his former quarterback to save his own skin and may have go so far as to violate Federal laws in disclosing private health information to the media. It could be grounds for dismissal if there were a shred of truth to it.

Back Schiano into the corner, force him to panic and make a mistake that gets him fired.

It could also force the Bucs to outright release Freeman, giving the QB the opportunity to go whereever he wants.

Then again, we don't have the Zapruder film that says the Ancient Aliens did it.

The leak could have come from an opposing team trying to acquire Freeman. If Mark Dominik is driving a hard bargain and wanting a mid to high draft pick for a 25 year old quarterback with some impressive numbers on his resume, put out all this bad info on Josh to scare away competition and drive down his price (or force the Bucs to release him).

The leak could be a player who wants Schiano and/or Freeman out.

The leak could be Dominik, if he and Schiano are warring over Freeman and he's trying to sabotage the coach while buying himself a little more time.

Or maybe ESPN's Chris Mortensen called in a favor at the league office and got the info.

That's the problem with these stupid things. There's plenty of suspects but no proof. What doesn't make sense is why does this keep happening under this current regime?

Schiano has put himself into this completely avoidable situation by being dishonest with the media and fans. Maybe himself as well. If he didn't believe in his quarterback, he should have traded Freeman in the off-season, when his value would be at it's peak. Instead he was cryptic in his messages, underhanded in his actions and created a mistrustful and divisive atmosphere.

What's done is done. How he navigates this self planted field of land mines will ultimately decide his and many other' fates within the organization.