It has been a wild few days for Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman. Just a few days after being benched by head coach Greg Schiano in favor of rookie signal-caller Mike Glennon, Freeman said that he would like to be released if he is not traded to the team.
Freeman then was ruled inactive for the team’s Week 4 match up, which he ended up watching from a suite, and now news has surfaced that he is in Stage One of the NFL’s drug program.
It was an obvious breach of privacy, but ESPN’s Chris Mortensen was able to confirm Freeman’s involvement in the drug program.
In an effort to explain how he ended up in the drug treatment program, Freeman issued a statement where he states that he has an exemption to take Adderall for ADHD and that he had voluntarily entered the program.
Here is the full statement from Freeman, via Pro Football Talk:
Let me be very clear. I have NEVER tested positive for any illegal drugs or related substances. Further, I have agreed to take, and have PASSED 46 NFL-regulated drug tests over the last year and a half.
Since the confidentiality of my medical status has been publicly violated, I am choosing to address this matter so that grossly erroneous assumptions about me do not persist. Like millions of Americans, I have ADHD and I have been prescribed and permitted to take medication to treat this condition for the entirety of my NFL career. Well over a year ago, I took a different medication for the same condition (Ritalin rather than Adderall) , and to assure everyone that the error was a one-time mistake, I agreed to be voluntarily tested in the “NFL Program”. Since that time, I have taken and passed all 46 drug tests I’ve been given, which test for every drug and banned substance imaginable. I agreed to allow such testing to be done at my workplace (team facility) because I spend all of my time there and I have nothing whatsoever to hide or be embarrassed about.
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. It is a shame that when times have gotten tough, people have chosen to attack the character of others, rather than supporting each other. I remain dedicated and focused to being the best quarterback I can be and to help a team win a championship.
It was nobody’s business that Freeman is in the drug program and he did not need to clear anything up, but it is nice to see Freeman stepping up to explain everything.
Now that we can hopefully put this behind us, the next task for Freeman will be to see whether or not he can get a trade or release and to figure out where he will be playing football next season.