Reporting Justin Pawlowski
Over the past 2 weeks, the NFL Players Association has investigated into who might have been the leak of Josh Freeman’s medical records when it was released that Freeman was in the NFL’s drug program. The NFLPA has interviewed numerous players and agents over the past 2 weeks, including Josh Freeman and his agent.
The USA Today is reporting that the NFLPA “has no confidence in the NFL’s separate investigation, in part because the union is unaware of any previous league investigation into a confidentiality breach that has yielded discipline.”
In addition, the USA Today says that the NFLPA has information that “the original breach occurred when Schiano discussed Freeman’s status in the league’s substance-abuse program with other Buccaneers players, prior to the quarterback’s Oct. 3 release.”
When asked about Freeman’s statement accusing someone within the Buccaneers organization of smearing his name, Schiano responded that he was “absolutely not” the source of this information and that he was “100% comfortable with my behavior.”
The NFLPA can and has interviewed any player or agent that they would like to, but has no power to talk to Schiano or any other team official. This is why the NFLPA wants to join forces with the NFL in an investigation.
Josh Freeman’s agent also contests that the release of information regarding fines that Freeman has incurred over the last few weeks of his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is also a breach of confidentiality.
“AND… Another breach of personal & confidential employee information: releasing info of alleged team violations w associated fines,” Freeman’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, tweeted Oct. 3.
“We do not believe it is appropriate to comment,” a statement from league spokesman Greg Aiello said, “but the confidentiality provision of our drug program is critically important and a breach of that confidentiality by any party is a serious violation of our collectively bargained policy.”
The Buccaneers could be facing a severe penalty if the continued investigation proves that Greg Schiano was in fact the source of the leak.
Greg Schiano has already dealt with much criticism in this area after an 0-4 start, all of the drama from the Josh Freeman benching and release, and his comments referring to the Buccaneers as a “laughing stock” before he was brought to Tampa to clean it up.
I’ve got news for you, Greg. The Bucs might have been losing by large margins and dealing with effort issues while Raheem Morris was coach, but they never had the amount of distractions that your team has dealt with this season. Buccaneer players have been interviewed and questioned over the past several week for the MRSA outbreak and the Freeman leak. For a team already dealing with the fact that they have not won a game, they have had to answer asinine questions of issues relating to nothing “on the field.” That is a “LAUGHING STOCK.”
If proof of Greg Schiano being the leak does come out, he should be fired immediately. The Buccaneers in return should then go after all of the remaining money from his contract that he would be due. Schiano’s contract goes through the 2016 season for $3 million per season.
As ugly as we all believe this organization has been over the past 3 weeks, if the NFLPA’s information is correct, this situation could get much uglier before it starts to clean up. Oh, and lawyers will be involved.
It’s a Bucs Life!