Indianapolis Colts defensive end and soon to be unrestricted free-agent Dwight Freeney grew up as a New York Giants fan. After growing up in Hartford, Conn. and attending Syracuse University, Freeney was a first-round draft choice by the Colts in 2002 and went on to make 7 Pro Bowls and win a Lombardi Trophy. However, as a 33 year old defensive end, Freeney is likely to be on a new team once the 2013 season kicks off.
While being asked about several other potential suitors, Freeney had some interesting comments while addressing the notion of becoming a member of the Giants in next season.
"I grew up a Giants fan, actually, all my life," Freeney said. "So, that would be a dream"
Dwight Freeney would fit in well within the Giants defense next season. He would not have to play every down, which would help his durability. Freeney only missed two games in 2012; however, he was only able to garner five sacks during that time period. His transition to a linebacker in a 3-4 scheme did not go smoothly, to say the least. Furthermore, since 2009, Freeney's sack numbers have declined in every season.
Clearly, the Dwight Freeney that will hit the free-agent market in 2013 is a shell of the Pro Bowl caliber player that we saw a few seasons ago. Father time has taken his toll on the three-time All-Pro; however, with Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck already on the roster, Freeney would be the valuable third outside pass rushing threat the Giants defense has relied upon in past seasons.
There are several impediments to the Giants attempts to get Freeney. With the extremely limited salary cap space the Giants have to work with, it's a near certainty that Freeney would have to reject better offers to play for Big Blue. As a player who is clearly in decline, it would be uncharacteristic of general manager Jerry Reese to offer Freeney anything more a one-year contract for a salary of $2-3 million. Furthermore, this offer would not come until after the team has already taken care of Will Beatty, re-signed Hakeem Nicks or Victor Cruz, and had serious discussions with Martellus Bennet, Kevin Boothe and Kenny Phillips
It's likely that a team offers Freeney more than a $2 or 3$ million contract on the open market. He's still a big name and it's likely that a team desperate for a pass rusher will overpay for his services. However, it's not going to be the Giants. If Freeney's sentimentality urges him to accept an offer below market value so he can contend for a Super Bowl next season, then this becomes a possibility. However, as a player who is about to sign his last NFL contract, it's a long shot that he decides not to take the biggest payday that comes his way.
Also…Dwight Freeney, Football, Indianapolis Colts, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jerry Reese, Justin Tuck, Kenny Phillips, Kevin Boothe, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Super Bowl, Victor Cruz, Will Beatty
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