Freeman: Bucs eyed trade before benching

Josh Freeman had declined to comment about his benching before talking to ESPN on Thursday night.
Josh Freeman had declined to comment about his benching before talking to ESPN on Thursday night.
Published Sept. 27, 2013

TAMPA — Quarterback Josh Freeman says a trade would be the the 'best option,' for him moving forward.

Freeman, who has declined comment for two days, broke his silence Thursday night in an exclusive interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson away from One Buc Place. A portion of the interview aired on SportsCenter with more to come on Sunday.

Freeman was asked if he wanted to be traded.

"I don't for a number of reasons but the bottom line is if you want things to change something has to change,'' Freeman said. "At the end of the day, yes, I think that moving forward that is going to be the best option.''

After two days of saying Freeman would remain the Bucs starter, coach Greg Schiano announced Wednesday that he planned to start rookie Mike Glennon in Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, saying the decision was 'performanced based.'

"The head coach has come out and said that this isn't the best place for me to be a starting quarterback,'' Freeman said. "He doesn't think I give this team the best chance to win. And I don't agree but at the same time I'm a player, he's a coach.''

Freeman also revealed that there was discussion within the organization about a trade during the first three weeks of the season.

"Well, there's been a lot of talk of this,'' Freeman said. "There was talk of this before there was talk of this, if that makes sense. You know, I don't know how this thing is going to end up. And what a lot of people don't understand about this is as a player, you don't have a lot of say in a trade. But all I know is I'm just going to continue to work because that's really all I can do.''

"The situation was pretty standard,'' Freeman said. "They make a change at quarterback. They make a change at any position.

"How do you think (your teammates) feel about it?' Anderson asked.

"I don't know. I can't say,'' Freeman said. "A lot of it has been asking me if I'm okay. A few guys are like, "Whoa. I don't know.' I can't really say it's my job to try to sway votes as to who thinks I should start or who doesn't. My job in my new role with the team is to be second string quarterback.''

The Bucs plan accommodate Freeman's request for a trade before the Oct. 29 deadline.

The Bucs lost their first three games – the first two on field goals in the final seconds – while Freeman struggled mightily. He completed less than 50 percent of his passes in each game while throwing two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Tampa Bay has lost eight of their last nine games. In the last six, he has thrown four touchdowns and 12 interceptions.