Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney is 32 years old. He’s due a whopping $14.035 million base salary. Indianapolis is changing defensive schemes for the first time in Freeney’s career. But new coach Chuck Pagano and G.M. Ryan Grigson want to keep their top pass rusher, and Freeney has bought in.
“I’m kind of old school when it comes to that thought,” Freeney told Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio. “I’m not LeBron trying to leave the team. I’m more like the era of Magic and Lawrence Taylor, who stayed with that same team for their entire careers win, lose, or draw. They were married to the city they were drafted in. You go through the tough times and great times with them, and that’s it. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Collecting over fourteen million bucks surely makes life easier, but Freeney’s approach is honorable in the sense that the Colts lost 14 games last season and must rebuild the roster. They do plan to be competitive in 2012, however, and have demonstrated that by re-signing Robert Mathis and Reggie Wayne, while retaining Freeney despite large salary cap implications.
Freeney also reiterated that he is excited about playing more snaps as a stand-up outside linebacker after spending the past decade as a hand-in-the-dirt right defensive end.
“This is probably going to benefit me because I’m not in a ‘blackboard position’ where [offenses] know exactly where I am and what we’re going to do,” Freeney explained. “We’re going to be coming with various blitzes from different sides. I’ll be moving around, so I’ll be harder to find.”