Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman is a stage one participant in the NFL's drug program but he is not one strike away from a suspension despite being subject to random testing according to league and player sources with knowledge of his status.

Freeman has obtained a temporary use exemption for a prescription drug that normally would be on the banned list the sources said.

Freeman was benched Sunday as the Buccaneers starter and would prefer to be traded or released but the team has no plans to release him. Under the drug policy teams that are interested in acquiring Freeman are entitled to know his status only if he is one strike away from a suspension according to the sources.

Freeman has not had any incidents that have placed him in jeopardy of suspension such as a positive test of a banned street-drug substance sources said. Thus Freeman is in relatively good standing under the program sources added.

Freeman's stage one status also would not necessarily mean he has tested positive for a banned substance even though he has been subject to random or reasonable cause testing as deemed necessary by the medical director who oversees the program. A player can be placed in stage one for a variety of reasons including behavioral causes. The medical director determines the length of stage one status.