We knew it was coming. To some degree, it was even surprising they stayed with him this long, but today the Indianapolis Colts made it official. Owner Jim Irsay tweeted, "Sadly, Dwight and the Horseshoe parting ways."
In a prepared statement announcing the Colts would not renew Freeney's contract, Irsay said:
“Few people have meant as much to the success of the Indianapolis Colts as Dwight Freeney. He has been a dominant player, which is all the more impressive considering his size for his position, and he has won a lot of games for this franchise. Dwight was an artist, a joy to watch, and the dedication he put toward his craft was a rare quality. We will miss him, but look forward to his future induction into the Hall of Fame and Colts Ring of Honor.”
Freeney was the 11th overall pick by the Colts in the 2002 NFL draft and enjoyed 11 seasons as one of the NFL's premier pass rushers. Freeney finishes his Colts career tied with former New Orleans Saints linebacker Pat Swilling for 21st place on the league's all-time sack list with 107.5 career quarterback takedowns. Freeney was selected as an All-Pro seven times.
In a discussion with WNDE's Jake Query in December, Freeney seemed to realize his playing days might be numbered, citing his age (33) as well as declining numbers and salary requirements as reasons teams might not be willing to take a flyer on the player with the fifth most sacks among active players.
The Indianapolls Star is also reporting that the Colts will part ways with WR Austin Collie. Collie attempted a comeback this season from multiple concussions, but ruptured his patellar tendon against Jacksonville in the season's third game. It's likely Collie will retire.
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