Quarterback Josh Freeman was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, a week after being benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon.
The winless Bucs made the move during their bye week after general manager Mark Dominik contacted every other team in the NFL in an unsuccessful attempt to trade Freeman, a 4,000-yard passer a year ago and the team’s career leader with 1,144 completions and 80 touchdowns.
Coach Greg Schiano benched Freeman after the 25-year-old completed just 45.7 percent of his passes and posted a league-low quarterback rating of 59.3 through three games, all losses.
Freeman is owed the remaining $6.25 million on the contract he signed as the third quarterback selected in the 2009 draft behind Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez.
The release caps a tumultuous month in which Freeman overslept before missing a team photo shoot, was not voted a captain for time since his rookie year, and reportedly missed at least one other team meeting.
League: In an open letter to NFL fans, commissioner Roger Goodell emphasizes improvements and continued attention to player safety, including neurological disorders and prevention of head injuries.
“Increased safety for players has been an essential part of the evolution of football dating back to its early days more than 100 years ago,” Goodell wrote.
Jaguars: Will not trade running back Maurice Jones-Drew or linebacker Paul Posluszny, said GM Dave Caldwell.
Jets: Wide receiver Santonio Holmes is dealing with a strained hamstring that is likely to keep him out of at least the team’s game at Atlanta on Monday night.
Giants: Veteran lineman David Diehl will be starting at right guard against the Eagles. Diehl injured his right thumb late in the preseason and had surgery. He was active for the first time last week, but did not play.
Patriots: Placed defensive tackle Vince Wilfork on injured reserve, signed wide receiver Austin Collie and released rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld after he struggled following an impressive preseason.
Packers: Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews plans on playing against the Lions. Matthews left the Packers’ loss to the Bengals two weeks ago with a hamstring injury.
Lions: Signed wide receiver Kevin Ogletree, who was released by the Bucs this week, and released defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith.
Saints: Will travel to Chicago today because of Tropical Storm Karen.