If Colts really want to honor Freeney, they’ll cut him

AP

On Friday, out of the blue, the Colts announced that they have parted ways with veteran defensive end/linebacker Dwight Freeney.  Technically, they haven’t.  Not yet.

More specifically, the Colts have decided that Freeney won’t be re-signed, which means that he’ll become a free agent on March 12.

Owner Jim Irsay gushed about Freeney in a release confirming the move, saying that “[f]ew people have meant as much to the success of the Indianapolis Colts as Dwight Freeney,” that “[h]e has been a dominant player,” and that he “was an artist, a joy to watch, and the dedication he put toward his craft was a rare quality.”

Irsay also said that Freeney will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor.

But if the Colts and Irsay truly want to honor Freeney, they’ll do the honorable thing and cut him.  This would allow Freeney to have a three-week head start on free agency, searching for a team without having to box out the other various free agents who will all be chasing the same cap dollars.

If the Colts are, as they have declared, moving on, there’s no reason to squat on Freeney’s rights any longer.  So if they mean all those nice things they’re saying about Freeney, they’ll do something that will cost them nothing — while also giving real meaning to the phrase “part ways.”

UPDATE 9:37 p.m. ET:  A reader raised a valid point.  By cutting Freeney, the Colts would not be eligible for compensatory picks based on his departure via free agency.  However, the compensation drops significantly for players on the wrong side of 30, and with the Colts having so much cap space chances are they’ll sign more players than they lose in 2013, which means they’ll get no compensatory picks at all in 2014.  And if they didn’t cut Freeney in order to improve their standing in the compensatory draft pick formula, they should say so.

20 responses to “If Colts really want to honor Freeney, they’ll cut him

  1. The Colts don’t owe anything to Freeney, and definitely not you. Freeney was paid well to do his job well. If there’s even the slightest chance they’d come out worse for cutting him three weeks early, there’s no reason at all to do it.

  2. it doesnt matter so much any ways. regardless of what happens freeney isn’t going to command a huge contract. I can’t say I’ve thought much into it but from recent history old men like him do not get great contracts

  3. Read Packers might be interested in Freeney which would be nice. He’s got another couple years left but he won’t come cheap. Cutting CW freed up $9M but Freeney could take every bit if that. Hate to see CW go. Wish he & the Packers could’ve restructured his contract & CW take less $ to stay. We’ll see. Best wishes to CW unless he plays Green Bay next season

  4. MF
    You do know that no matter how much praise Irsay throws Freeney’s way, it is still going to be about what’s best for the business. If there is a chance that the Colts might get an extra pick by not cutting him, you better believe they they won’t cut him. To quote the great Tina Turner. “What’s love got to do with it”?

  5. Or it is possible that Irsay is just negotiating through the media by announcing they are not going to resign him.

  6. @indycolt45, spoken like a true selfish fan. Man gives you all he has and u just leave him hanging while saying we gonna honor you? I’m guessing you don’t know the definition of the word.

  7. I will try this again.

    How can someone who is constantly writing about tampering say with a straight face that holding on to Freeney for three more weeks puts him at a disadvantage versus other free agents?

  8. Who knows what’s going through the mind of an NFL GM. For all we know, the Colts are intending to replace Freeney with a younger more durable model. In which case, it probably makes sense to keep him so he doesn’t set the price tag high signing with a name collector like the Raiders.

    On the flip side, if they don’t intend on replacing Freeney in FA, it makes sense to cut him. Whoever signs him will be one less team that the Colts have to compete with to sign who they are really after.

    Bottom line, it’s chess season so who really knows what’s going on?

  9. With Comp Picks on the line, the Colts would be wise to just not resign him over cutting him.

    He’ll get suitors regardless. There even rumors he was considering walking away from the game healthy. A ring, a great career, and potential HOF nod… what more can he do?

    The Colts dont owe you or anyone an explaination of their intentions. There is no guarantee that they sign a ton of FAs just because they cap space. Grigson stated he’ll be selective and if the pieces dont fit he’ll save the money for the right players instead of spending just to spend.

    Take the comp picks, why not?

  10. dretwann says: Feb 16, 2013 10:40 AM

    @indycolt45, spoken like a true selfish fan. Man gives you all he has and u just leave him hanging while saying we gonna honor you? I’m guessing you don’t know the definition of the word.

    Dude Jim Irsay paid Freeney about 75 million dollars during his time with the Colts.

    This just in…Freeney is getting old and not the same as he used to be

  11. Honorable thing? What difference does it make? It’s out there that he’ll be available so it doesn’t really matter. If a team wants him that bad, they’ll wait the 3 weeks.

  12. PFT needs to maybe think their posts completely through before hitting the ‘take’ button. I mean, even a 7th round compensatory pick may yield something next year. Since when are teams oligated to do more than make multi-millionares out of their players??

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