The Colts on Friday informed OLB Dwight Freeney, an unrestricted free agent, he won't be re-signed.
“Few people have meant as much to the success of the Indianapolis Colts as Dwight Freeney,” said Owner and CEO Jim Irsay. “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.”
Drafted 11th overall in 2002, Freeney tallied a franchise record 107 ½ sacks and 44 forced fumbles in 11 seasons with the Colts. He was voted to seven Pro Bowls and named first-team All-Pro three times. Freeney won a Super Bowl ring following the 2006 season, in Super Bowl XLI.
The devastating spin move and incredible speed and leverage of Freeney, who turns 33 next week, was rarely on display in 2012, when he never made a successful transition from end to outside linebacker. He could still draw interest from 4-3 teams seeking pass rush help.
This move doesn't come as a big surprise, as the Colts continue to turn the page on the Peyton Manning era. After parting ways with Manning, RB Joseph Addai, TE Dallas Clark and MLB Gary Brackett, among others, last offseason, the purge continues. The Indianapolis Star reported Friday that WR Austin Collie, another unrestricted free agent, also won't be re-signed.