ALAMEDA, Calif. – Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson coached Josh Freeman for three years in Tampa Bay. So the news that the quarterback had been released by the Buccaneers Thursday morning after a mostly acrimonious relationship struck a nerve with Olson.
“You know, I’ve always been a fan of Josh’s,” Olson said. “I have a lot of respect for him, as a person and a player, and it’s unfortunate to me to watch what happened in Tampa … really over the last couple of years.”
Olson was Tampa Bay’s quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator from 2008 through 2011, and the Buccaneers used their first-round draft pick, No. 17 overall, on Freeman in 2009.
“But I’ve always had the utmost respect for him and I think he’s a great player,” Olson added. “I feel bad for him and that situation, how it’s played out. I just found out myself coming off the practice field that he was released.
“So, I don’t think there’s any winners for anybody in that situation.”
Freeman is reportedly due $6.2 million by Tampa Bay for the remainder of this season.
The Raiders, meanwhile, are going all in with Terrelle Pryor at quarterback after Matt Flynn, who was acquired from Seattle for a fifth-round draft pick in 2014 and a conditional pick in 2015, was demoted to third-string, behind Pryor and undrafted rookie Matt McGloin. Flynn is making $6.5 million this season on a restructured contract.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen was asked if there was any interest in Freeman.
"I don't know," Allen said softly.