The Indianpolis Colts don’t plan on bringing back defensive stalwart Dwight Freeney. Freeney is a seven time pro-bowler and is fifth among active players in sacks. Owner Jim Irsay has talked about putting Freeney into the Colts ring of honor once his career ends. The thing is, everyone should have seen this coming and it should have been last year.
When Chuck Pagano came in and took over the reigns as head coach he came and installed the 3-4 system. The thing is that system didn’t fit Freeney or their other pass rusher Robert Mathis. Freeney this year only had 10 tackles and five sacks. His five sacks were the fewest he had in a season since 2007 when he only appeared in nine games.
Freeney will be 33 in three days, however, he still has ability. He needs to go to a team that runs a 4-3, cover two system, and a reduced rate. He probably can’t be a full-time starter, however, he can still be useful in pass rush situations.
The NFL is a tough business. With it’s hard salary cap, teams have to make tough choices about who to keep. Freeney hasn’t been the last big name veteran cut from his team and there’s going to be more fan favorites who get cut the closer we get to March 12. It will be interesting to see where Freeney goes and who he signs with. At any rate, the Colts should have done it last year when they knew he wasn’t exactly going to fit their new system.