After a successful season with the Arizona Cardinals, Dwight Freeney is looking to squeeze out another NFL season, with the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons the teams most likely to end up signing him.
The 36-year old Freeney visited the Bengals and at the moment doesn’t have a deal with them, maybe suggesting they weren’t too impressed with what they saw on the physical they gave him. The Falcons, looking at quite a few defensive options still on the market, could be a bit more welcoming, and in a bigger need of adding a pass rushing presence.
Freeney, who has been in the NFL since 2002 and is mostly known for his time with the Indianapolis Colts (2002-2012) which included going to two Super Bowls and winning one of them, played for the Arizona Cardinals in 2015, finishing with 8 sacks in 11 games, fitting in very well in Bruce Arians’ system, playing a limited number of snaps, which suited him just fine, keeping him fresh most of the time.
Freeney isn’t the defensive presence he used to be, but he’s still a very useful player on passing downs, as he proved in Arizona after they signed him in the middle of the season. Freeney, who played for the Chargers between his Colts and Cardinals stins, is hoping it doesn’t come to waiting until the beginning of the season another time.
The Falcons need help in the pass rush, but they do have Vic Beasley and Derrick Shelby at defensive end with support from Adrian Clayborn and Tyson Jackson. That’s a nice group to work with, but Freeney could give them some flexibility and a whole lot of experience, which might be something the Falcons, who have missed the playoffs three years in a row, need more than they know.
Freeney has played 194 games in his NFL career, getting to the quarterback 119.5 times, ranking 19th on the all-time list and 4th among active players. He has made the Pro Bowl seven times and was named first-team All-Pro three times.