The NFL plans to investigate the leak of Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman's medical information and a report that he was a participant in the league's drug program, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Rapoport tweeted that fines for violating player confidentiality range from $10,000 to $500,000.
A Monday report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen revealed that Freeman was a Stage 1 participant in the NFL’s drug program. Freeman reportedly has a temporary use exemption for a prescription drug outside the boundaries of the NFL’s substance-abuse policies. A Stage 1 status does not automatically indicate that Freeman ever tested positive for any banned substance without an exemption.
On Monday, Freeman issued a response through his agents explaining the report, and his participation in the program as first posted by Pro Football Talk.
The ongoing drama between Freeman and the Bucs includes a Wednesday report by SI.com's Jim Trotter that Freeman has been fined twice by the club in the last month, including once in the last week, for conduct detrimental to the team. Freeman reportedly plans to appeal the infractions that include missing at least one team meeting and participating in an unauthorized media interview.
The fines could give Tampa Bay ammunition to suspend Freeman without pay and allow the team to attempt to trade the fifth-year quarterback while not paying a portion of his salary.