According to Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange, the Chicago Bears are very interested in making a deal for Colts’ DE Dwight Freeney. The Indianapolis Colts are cleaning the house and are more in the ‘rebuilding’ phase. So … the Colts making Freeney available makes a lot of sense. However, the Colts have said they will not just give Freeney available for free. That means they still would want a fair deal for Freeney. Also, I know the Colts have said they don’t want to give Freeney available for nothing, but I would not be surprise if they release him at the end. The could be saying that so they can get the best offer possible instead of losing him for nothing.
The Colts are cleaning the house … TE Dallas Clark, QB Peyton Manning and RB Joseph Addai have been released over the past few days. The Colts will also not bring back WR Reggie Wayne whom is a free agent. We’re going to see a completely different roster of the Colts heading into the 2012 season.
Dwight Freeney has had 1 heck of a career with the Colts … he’s been to 8 Pro Bowls and in the Colts leader in sacks (102.5).
If Freeney did come to Chicago, he would be use to the same system as the Colts and Bears both play 4-3 defense. Freeney is not a great run stopper, but he’s a good pass rusher. He would fit in well, especially on the same line with Peppers as both can get to the QB. However, Freeney is past his prime and we don’t know exaclty how much gas is left in the tank.
At the end, I do expect the Colts to release Freeney and then more teams will pursue him. If the Bears did acquire Freeney with his salary, it’ll take a 14 million hit against the cap. They’ll still have about 16 million left, but they have to lock up their players too. A big free agent signing of Vincent Jackson or Carl Nicks may not be able to happen. If the Bears did acquire Freeney from Colts, Freeney would have to re-structure his contract to make it less of a hit against the cap. The Bears will probably have to give up 2 draft picks to acquire him.
Better options than Freeney are Mario Williams and Kameriom Wimbley. Mario Williams is a free agent and will cost, but could be the same price Freeney’s contract is. Williams could end up getting Julius Peppers kind of money, so a Williams signing seems unlikely. You never know … no one would of thought that the Bears would sign Peppers and they did. A more likely player to play with Peppers on the other side is Wimbley. However, he’s still with the Raiders, but is expected to be release soon. Not to mention, he’ll come on the cheap side and not a bad option by any measure.
Trades can not be announced/completed by Tuesday and that’s when free agency begins!