A season after they release their franchise quarterback and future hall of fame player in Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts decided to bring in some new faces, keep a few old and start fresh. I didn’t expect the Colts to be as good as they turned out to be, after being man handled by the Chicago Bears defense in week 1. I myself thought they were getting ready to have another 2-14 season. Putting their franchise in the hands of new starting quarterback Andrew Luck, the Indianapolis Colts turned doubters like myself into believers.
Turning their 2-14 season around, which gave them the #1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, they went 11-5 and clinched a wild card berth. Time has crawled since they were eliminated in the wild card round by the soon to be Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and again, they have made another touch decision with one of their key veterans.
The front office of the Indianapolis Colts announced on Friday, that they will not be re-signing the 7x pro bowler and Super Bowl champion Dwight Freeney.
“I was very surprised to hear they wanted to go in a different direction. It would have been nice to retire a Colt…My plan is to hit the free-agent market and see who has interest.” – Freeney said in a text to ESPN’s Ed Werder
Freeney who turns 33 tomorrow February 19th, was set to be a unrestricted free agent. The past 3 years have been some what of a challenge for the 10 year veteran, seeing his sack totals start to decline. He was a 1st round pick out of Syracuse in the 2002 NFL draft, where in his rookie season, set a franchise record 13 sacks. He was named AFC Defensive Rookie of the Month for both November and December and had a tough battle with Julius Peppers for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Dwight Freeney holds the franchise career sack record with 107.5 and is the only Colts defensive player to win a leagues sack title, where he had 16 in the 2004 season. It was definitely weird seeing the team hit the field and not seeing Peyton Manning under center. Guess we are going to have to adjust again, but this time no Dwight Freeney.
Career Totals: 298 tackles, 107.5 sacks, 44 forced fumbles and 1 safety.
The Indianapolis Colts also announced the release of wide-receiver Austin Collie. Collie only played 1 game last season due to a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee. Within 2 years, he was diagnosed with three concussions. In 3 seasons with the Colts, Collie recorded 1,845 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. Though he has been injured most of his NFL career, he is determined to hit free-agency running and continue playing.