TAMPA — One day after his unauthorized interview with ESPN in which he said he wants to be traded, Josh Freeman apparently will be demoted again by the Bucs.
The team is expected to make Freeman the inactive third quarterback for Sunday's home game against the Cardinals.
Freeman was benched Wednesday in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, but coach Greg Schiano said Freeman would serve as the No. 2. But that was before he broke his silence Thursday night in an interview with ESPN that was not authorized by the team.
On Friday, Schiano would not discuss Freeman's status.
"I understand the question, and I can appreciate it,'' Schiano said. "I just feel this has been a focus all week. I'm not going to go there. Ninety minutes before the game, I'm going to name who our 46 active players are; the guys who are up and we're going to play. I'm locked in now, and our team is locked in. I am done discussing all that other stuff."
Schiano then was asked if Freeman was still the No. 2 quarterback:
"Again, 90 minutes before (the game), I'm going to name our actives and inactives."
Freeman left the locker room, saying only, "I'll get with you (reporters) later."
Friday marked the latest chapter in the saga involving Schiano and Freeman.
After Sunday's 23-3 loss at New England, Schiano said Freeman was the starting quarterback and still gave the team its best chance to win. On Monday, he reiterated that point.
"Josh is our starting quarterback,'' Schiano said.
But after meeting Tuesday with general manager Mark Dominik and ownership, Schiano changed his mind. The coach named Glennon, a third-round pick from N.C. State, the starter Wednesday, saying it was "performance-based."
The Bucs encouraged Freeman, the 17th overall pick in the 2009 draft, to be available to the media Wednesday and Thursday, but the 25-year-old declined. Then unknown to the team, Freeman arranged an interview with ESPN on Thursday night.
"Josh just needed his voice to be heard,'' Freeman's agent, Erik Burkhardt, said.
A portion of the interview aired Thursday night. The rest is set to air on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, which starts at 10 a.m.
Dan Orlovsky is Tampa Bay's other quarterback. When asked if he was going to back up Glennon on Sunday, he smiled and said, "You'll have to ask Coach that.'' Freeman would be able to play only if Glennon and Orlovsky left the game for good.
In the ESPN interview, Freeman said he wanted to be traded.
"If you want things to change, something has to change,'' he said. "At the end of the day, yes, I think that moving forward, that is going to be the best option.''
Rick Stroud can be reached at [email protected]tampabay.com and heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620.