2013 Free Agents of interest – Part 11 – Dwight Freeney , DE/OLB


2013 Free Agents of interest – Part 11

Dwight Freeney – DE/OLB: 6’ 1’’, 268 lbs, 32 y/o, 11th season, was drafted in the 1st round (11th overall) in the 2002 draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

Dwight Freeney signed a monster deal back in the 2007 with Indianapolis, something close to 6 years 72 Million that at that moment was one of the biggest deals ever in the NFL. Truth it was worthy for the Colts to re-sign their star pass rusher, it looked like a luxury this past season when he made, in his last year of contract, close to 14 million and his production decreased even more from 2011 low one.

Has to be taken in count that Freeney always let his presence be felt on the field from the DE position and in 2012, for the first time he had to play as OLB in the 3-4 defensive alignment.

Now in the 2013 offseason, he’ll be a free agent and at 32 y/o I don’t think he could demand a really big deal anymore. His production (scheme aside) has fall on a cliff the past two years (19 combined tackles in 2011, 12 in 2012) and even if in 2011 he still piled up 8,5 sacks, in 2012 he sacked the opposing QB only 5 times.

Will he be looking for a starter roster position? Or he would look for a rotational role that could fit more his strengths?

His career stats in regular season games as week 17 of 2012: he started 143 games out of 163 he regular season game he played in; amassed 298 combined tackles (258 solo), 107,5 sacks, 1 safety, 15 pass deflections and 44 forced fumble.

To add to this impressive resume, one super bowl ring and a super bowl loss have to add to his CV. Both game he played on the same team of Payton Manning.

Why the broncos would be interested:

  • The Broncos could look to add a great leader and still a really good player to his core of pass rushers. If he’s looking for another super bowl run, no better place than to reunite with Manning to get after another ride together.
  • Pass rusher are not growing on threes. Even at 32 or 33 he still provide more sack potential than a rookie. His work habit is known and he could still have a couple of great year if used correctly (let’s say rotational player). He’ll be playing passing downs only, pairing up with Dumervil, Miller as the opposed DE to Dumervil.
  • He could be a great insurance belt if Dumervil would go down with an injury.
  • He knows what it takes to get to the superbowl and to win it. His leadership and attitude will be a great addition to Denver roster.

Why the Broncos could not pursuing him:

  • Freeney could look still for a dig deal of money from a desperate 4-3 team that needs pass rusher. He’s probably still the best pure pass rusher out there as a free agent in 2013, so I guess that some desperate teams could throw him money just to attract him. Denver should not and won’t approach him with a bigger offer than the one for an important rotational player and will be not as close as other offer Freeney could have.
  • Indianapolis is short in depth for pass rusher. After all the years he spent there, he could be willing to remain for a lesser offer and finish his career there.
  • He never played as a rotational player. He always has been the defense superstar. In Denver he won’t be, at this time in his career. It could be that this could translate in some complicated relation in the locker room. Denver FO surely is taking in count this parameter too and could decide to pass up to remote potential locker room problems.

Resume:

Dwight Freeney could be the ultimate defense addition for Denver. Actually the Broncos have plenty of firepower in pass rushing in Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, but Ayers & co. are little bit of a question mark for sacks and pressures total if one of the two would go down. Sure he should accept a lesser prominent role on the field but could become one of the leaders of the Broncos defense full of young players. He’s not a superstar anymore, but he’s still a great player. I guess that between him and Canton there is still a couple of good to great years and at least one ring. If this is what he wants, an organization as the Broncos should be his first option this next offseason, provided that Denver will present him an acceptable offer as a rotational player.

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