Because of the combination of injury and a new scheme (and perhaps age), Dwight Freeney didn’t look like the same player the Colts had come to know.
That’s much of the reason he’s a Chargers player now, and the snub is something that motivates the 33-year-old pass-rusher.
Freeney told Jim Trotter of SI.com he was insulted that the Colts didn’t make an offer last year, letting him walk into a tepid free agent market.
“I wished they would have offered me something so I could’ve retired a Colt — that was something that meant a lot to me — but at the end of the day they didn’t give me an option,” Freeney said. “They didn’t even try to re-sign me. They were like, We’re going in a different direction.
“That cut me deep because it was kind of like, if it’s a money issue talk to me about it and maybe I’ll say it’s fine just so I’ll be able to stay and not move and all that stuff. But the fact of the matter is, they didn’t offer me anything. They just said, Bye bye, which made me feel like, You think I’m done and I’m washed up; or, You’re playing for the future and this is the perfect opportunity to make the change because there’s a young guy you really feel can play now, so let’s groom him because, really, how many years does Dwight have left? It’s the same thing they did with Peyton [Manning].”
That’s pretty good company to be insulted with, and Freeney’s pouring all his energies into proving he can still play. He had just 5.0 sacks year (after 102.5 the previous 10 years), and a high ankle sprain he tried to play through after two weeks obviously limited him.
Now he’s out to prove he can still change a game, adopting the same chip on his shoulder as when he heard he was too small to be effective in the NFL.