Dwight Freeney was one of the headliners for the Peyton Manning era Colts, in fact, he was probably the second most important player on the roster besides 18 during their 2000’s run. However, things in the NFL rarely ever work out the way the players want them to due to contracts and the way they are structured. Freeney was shown the door after playing the 2012 season for Ryan Grigson and new head coach Chuck Pagano whom were trying to overhaul the roster on the fly. Especially in their shiny new 3-4 defense they had implemented.
The parting of the ways between the team and Freeney didn’t end well, even though the team wanted fans to know that it was a business decision. They felt he was approaching the age where players normally stop contributing and are no longer worth paying the money they were used to making. There were indications that Freeney was willing to take less to stay with the team, however, that still wasn’t attractive enough and had to take his services to San Diego for 2013 & 2014. His time there didn’t produce much in terms of sacks (4 total), but injuries limited his time in the powder blue. It appeared that he was done until Bruce Arians called him midway through the 2015 season to see if there was still interest in playing. That call produced 8 sacks and 3 forced fumbles in 11 games played for the Arizona Cardinals, something that the Colts desperately needed last season.
That brings us to where we are now, Freeney again was shown the door by the Cardinals after proving that he could still produce in the NFL, but this time it was a roster numbers game and the Cardinals already had a good defense they feel good with. Conversely, the Colts have a massive need at OLB-Rush and Freeney would appear to be the perfect stop gap until the team can find the future stars to replace Robert Mathis, Trent Cole and Kendall Langford all whom are closer to the end of their careers. Also, the team recently parted ways the disappointing Bjoern Werner, who had never fulfilled his first round draft status.
With of all these circumstances there is a chance that we could see Freeney return to Indianapolis as a Colt. I think it would certainly be a wise move for several reasons. Firstly, the Colts desperately need help in getting at the QB and Freeney can still help in certain situations where the team needs to apply pressure on obvious passing downs. Secondly, the draft didn’t bring in any immediate help. As I stated earlier he would help Grigson buy some time developing or finding someone to fill that role in the future. Thirdly, his salary shouldn’t prohibit a return to the team as he isn’t demanding the same amount of money he was making when he was the second best player on the team. Fourthly, besides the intangibles he would bring on the field, it certainly would be a feel good moment for the fans (not that it should be a deciding factor into the decision, this is a business after all), but the city and the fans would love to have him wearing the Horseshoe again. Finally, Freeney has indicated that he would prefer a playoff team and the Colts would seem to fit that bill. I would be one of the ones who supports this decision, Ryan Grigson the phone is yours, make the call.