After 11 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Dwight Freeney got the message loud and clear – he isn’t wanted anymore with the team he made the postseason with 9 times, reached two Super Bowls, winning one of them. The Denver Broncos, with a familiar face like Peyton Manning as the kicker, might be a more welcoming destination.
First off, before you get too excited (or down about the prospect), the Broncos aren’t that enthusiastic or at least desperate getting a defensive end. Their bigger issue is at defensive tackle, but it’s safe to assume that if the Broncos don’t find Freeney’s demands too great (and they probably won’t be, with him looking to play for a contender in a system he knows, the 4-3), they will try and sign the three time All-Pro.
It wasn’t a big surprise to see the Colts not even offering Dwight Freeney a new contract. Freeney, 34, isn’t a great fit in the 3-4 defense that the Colts shifted just for him on the downs he played in. His 107.5 sacks over the last 11 seasons have achieved as a defensive end, and with the draft loaded with talented pass rushers who should be a bit more flexible about the formation they’re willing to play in, Freeney, used to getting 8-digit salaries over the last few years, wasn’t just too expensive to even try and retain, but not worth the hassle as the Colts, the team that cut Peyton Manning to make way for Andrew Luck, keep on moving in a new direction.
The Broncos have Derek Wolfe and Elvis Dumervile as defensive end – both younger and more productive than Freeney last season, who finished with only 5 sacks, his second worst output in his career. If Freeney is looking for a job with the Broncos, it’s probably going to be as a backup and guy who fills in holes when needed two. He’s no longer a guy who commands a double team from the offensive line but if he comes cheaply enough, the Broncos could make good use of one of the best defensive ends in the NFL over the previous decade.