The team from the Black Forest region finished fifth last term, their second best performance in the Bundesliga, and only missed out on a Champions League qualifying round place on the final day of the season.
But, while the big guns such as Bayern Munich were able to build on success with more lavish signings, Freiburg's reward was to have their team ripped apart as players took advantage of contract release clauses.
The result has been that Freiburg, who visit Augsburg on Saturday, have yet to win in four outings and find themselves languishing in 16th place in the 18-team table.
Freiburg's team began to unravel barely two weeks after the season had finished when Congolese midfielder Cedric Makiadi, a vital cog in midfield for the previous four seasons, was sold to Werder Bremen for an estimated €3 million (£2.5m).
Max Kruse, joint topscorer with 11 goals, departed for Borussia Moenchengladback for €2.5m (£2.1m) and midfielder Daniel Caligiuri was snapped by VfL Wolfsburg for €2.8m (£2.3m).
The writing had been on the wall well before the end of last season with striker Jan Rosenthal agreeing terms in March for a summer move to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Coach Christian Streich had warned in April that further success this season was unlikely.
"We're in for a tough time, we might even go down," he said. "It would have been nice to have carried on with the team as it is and to strengthen it."
Qualifying for the Europa League, in combination with the loss of their best players, has proved to be something of a double whammy.
"We used to have Wednesday off, but now we'll be playing on Thursday so how are we going to do that?"
"We're going to be coming back on Friday, tired after playing, so we're not going to be able to do too much on that day to prepare for our next opponents."
Streich's fears were confirmed as Freiburg began this season with defeats against Mainz 05 and Bayer Leverkusen, followed by more encouraging draws against Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich.
There was some good news on Wednesday when Jonathan Schmid, who also scored 11 goals last season, signed a contract extension for an undisclosed length of time.
And the new signings, including 22-year-old French midfielder Francis Coquelin on loan from Arsenal, and the experienced Mike Hanke from Borussia Moenchengladbach are still settling.