Report: Bucs QB Freeman in Stage 1 of NFL drug program

Brian Chick

ESPN's Chris Mortenson is reporting that Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman is a stage 1 of the NFL's drug program. Although most participants in the program are included because of positive tests, players can be registered for a variety of reasons, including behavioral causes. He is not at risk of any suspension.

There are no known incidents or positive tests that would put Freeman at risk of discipline, and thus Freeman is in good standing with the league. Freeman's history of missing team meetings and repeated tardiness may have been a bigger factor in his inclusion in the program.

The program is overseen by a medical director who can order drug testing, if deemed necessary. The director also determines the length of the time in the various stages of the program.

Normally information surrounding the program remains confidential, but teams inquiring about Freeman in a potential trade are entitled to know his status in the program. Freeman mentioned he would prefer to be traded, so teams are asking, and somebody let it leak to the media.

Although, the sources are not specific on how or why he's in the program, and he doesn't seem to be at odds with the league, it still puts another smear on the controversial quarterback's record.

The report also mentioned the Freeman takes a prescription drug that is on the banned list, and has obtained an exemption from the league. It didn't mention, however, what the drug was or if it was a factor in the program.