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Free-agent quarterback Josh Freeman was contacted by eight to 10 teams upon being released by the Buccaneers on Friday, according to league sources, and by the weekend had narrowed his focus to three potential suitors. The former first-round pick is expected to make a decision as soon as Monday morning, with the results of Sunday's games playing a part in his thought process.
The Bills, 49ers, Vikings have been connected to Freeman, with the Vikings pushing the hardest from the onset of Freeman's release.
Freeman, who will earn a full $8.6M this season, was not as focused on the finances of his next deal, but more looking at the full scope of the opportunity, sources said. That includes the ability to play in the short or long term, the quality and stability of the coaching staff and the degree of the team's interest, moreso than weighing varied financial offers. Any deal could have incentives based on how much he plays and how well he plays. The array of teams interested in him ran the gamut of some with immediate needs to some that would not seem to be as obviously in the quarterback market, sources said.
While Freeman and his advisors were sorting through his playing options, the NFLPA was continuing its investigation into last week's leaks of confidential information about Freeman's status in the NFL's drug program. According to union sources, the NFLPA maintains that head coach Greg Schiano had at least one discussion with Freeman about his drug status, as Freeman elected to have his test done at the team facility, given its convenience and the fact he felt like he had nothing to hide. The NFLPA is also alleging in its investigation that team employees were volunteering information to media outlets about Freeman.
The NFLPA has also filed paperwork appealing the team fines issued to Freeman before his release by Tampa Bay, including for allegedly being late to meetings and for giving an “unauthorized” interview with ESPN.