Thursday, December 27, 2012
Sunday could be Freeney's Indy swan song
By Paul Kuharsky
Dwight Freeney's been a stalwart of the Colts for 11 years, recording 106.5 sacks.
But Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium could be his home finale wearing a horseshoe on his helmet.
He’s making a $14 million base salary this season -- over $820,000 a week during the season -- and carrying a $19 million cap number.
At 33 years old, can Dwight Freeney give San Diego's pass rush steady production?
He’s rushed as an outside linebacker in a hybrid 3-4 as opposed to getting in a three-point stance every down as a 4-3 end as he’d done up until this season. He still poses a matchup concern but has just four sacks, his lowest total since 2007 when he played in only nine games and had 3.5.
Indianapolis reporters asked him if he’s thought about Sunday being his last game in Indy as a Colt.
“I think that does kind of creep in, I think anyone who tells you it doesn’t is lying,” he said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen at the end of the day. The strangest things happen. Look at last year, everybody thought Peyton (Manning) would be here and he’s not. Two years ago was his last game. Hopefully it’s not but this is a business from their side and my side. I guess we will figure it out when the season is over. I just appreciate everything this city has done for me, the fans have done for me. It’s been a great ride and hopefully we can continue it.”
It will be interesting to see what the market is for him in free agency. Freeney’s not a perfect fit in the new scheme, the Colts locked up Robert Mathis long-term and they are probably ready to go a different direction.
I asked Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. to assess Freeney's work this year.
"I don’t think he is what he once was, especially with his initial quickness and overall explosion/closing, but I think he somewhat quietly has had a good season in a rather new role for him in that 3-4," Williamson said "Still a dangerous pass-rusher. Still a very average run player. Doesn’t drop into coverage a ton -- and probably shouldn’t."
Freeney said he’d certainly like to be back.
“Absolutely, I’m kind of old school in a way,” he said. “Back in the day where you couldn’t leave a team, that’s pretty much where you were and that’s what you were known as. This is all I’ve ever known, this city, these people, these fans and hopefully I can be a horseshoe again this offseason.”