NFL notes: Josh Freeman released by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Josh Freeman, benched by the Buccaneers a week ago, is now a free agent.
Chris O’Meara/Associated Press/File
Josh Freeman, benched by the Buccaneers a week ago, is now a free agent.

Quarterback Josh Freeman was released by Tampa Bay on Thursday, a week after being benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon.

The release comes during a bye week and 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 rating of 59.3 through three games, all losses. Glennon made his first start last Sunday, turning the ball over three times during the fourth quarter of a 13-10 loss to Arizona.

Freeman is owed the remaining $6.25 million on the contract he signed as the third quarterback selected in 2009 behind Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez.

‘‘We appreciate his efforts over the past five seasons, but we felt this was in the best interests of both Josh and the Buccaneers,’’ Dominik said in a brief statement.

Freeman threw for 4,065 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions in 2012, but his inconsistent play down the stretch contributed to the team losing five of six games.

The release caps a tumultuous month in which Freeman overslept before missing a team photo shoot, was not voted a captain for the first time since his rookie year, and reportedly missed at least one other team meeting.

This week, the saga took a messy turn when Freeman released a statement through his agent, saying he had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and entered the NFL substance-abuse program more than a year ago after mistakenly taking Ritalin instead of Adderall to treat the condition.

The NFL Players Association is investigating the quarterback’s claim that someone in the Buccaneers’ organization leaked confidential information about him being in the program to the media.

Beason to Giants?

The struggling Giants defense is trying to add Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason from Carolina, according to a report.

New York, which has the worst scoring defense in the league at 36.5 points per game, would give up a late-round draft pick.

Beason, a seven-year veteran who has had trouble staying healthy, is scheduled to take a physical Friday morning.

Holmes could sit

Jets receiver Santonio Holmes has a strained hamstring that will likely keep him out of at least the game at Atlanta Monday night.

The injury is a setback in the developing relationship between rookie quarterback Geno Smith and Holmes, who has just 10 catches and one touchdown.

‘‘It’s the offense’s job,’’ Holmes said Thursday. ‘‘I can’t throw it to myself and catch it, otherwise I would.”

Bradshaw’s options

Colts starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw is contemplating season-ending surgery on his injured neck, a person with knowledge of the situation said. The injury, suffered against San Francisco Sept. 22, may heal on its own with treatment and rest . . . Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews plans on playing Sunday when Green Bay hosts Detroit. Matthews left the loss to the Bengals two weeks ago with the injury . . . Veteran lineman David Diehl will be at right guard for the winless Giants Sunday when they take on the Eagles. Diehl injured his thumb in the preseason and had surgery . . . Oakland starting center Stefen Wisniewski suffered a right knee sprain in last week’s loss to Washington and hasn’t practiced since. The Raiders host San Diego Sunday night.

Staying put

The Jaguars are not going to trade running back Maurice Jones-Drew or linebacker Paul Posluszny. General manager Dave Caldwell made it clear that there is no firesale taking place in Jacksonville, which is 0-4 and has scored a league-low 31 points. Caldwell’s comments came two days after he traded starting left tackle Eugene Monroe to Baltimore in exchange for two third-day 2014 picks . . . In his first comments since his name’s been bandied about as a possible replacement for Lane Kiffin at USC, Jack Del Rio declined to address rumors he’d return to his alma mater . . . The Colts waived special teams ace and safety Joe Lefeged after legal trouble this summer.