The Colts made a pretty severe break from the Peyton Manning era before the start of the 2012 season and there will be even fewer Colts from the old days around when the 2013 season gets underway.
Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star reports that the Colts have informed linebacker Dwight Freeney that the team will not be signing him to another contract. That means Freeney will hit the open market next month and sign with another team, likely one that plays a 4-3 front similar to the one he thrived in as a Colt before they switched his position while moving to the 3-4 in 2012.
Freeney had just five sacks in 2012 and didn’t look comfortable as an outside linebacker in the 3-4. He’ll be 33 in a week, so may be ticketed for more of a situational pass rushing role wherever he winds up next.
Kravitz reports that wide receiver Austin Collie got the same message from the team. Collie’s season ended in September because of a ruptured patellar tendon suffered in his first game back from a series of concussions. The Colts waited a long time for Collie, but the emergence of T.Y. Hilton as a rookie likely made it easier for them to move on. If Collie’s healthy, he could conceivably get a shot to reunite with Manning in Denver.
UPDATE 5:22 p.m. ET: The Colts confirmed that they won’t be bringing Freeney back. Owner Jim Irsay announced Freeney will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor in the future.