Dan Quinn hasn’t spoken to Dwight Freeney about playing in 2017

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Dwight Freeney said recently that he has remained in contact with the Falcons since his contract expired at the end of the 2016 season and that he’s optimistic about returning for another season in Atlanta, although it doesn’t sound like conversations with head coach Dan Quinn are the seed of that optimism.

Quinn said Tuesday that he has spoken to Freeney, but that their conversations have not been about Freeney returning to action as a pass rusher for the team. Quinn didn’t say whether that would be of interest, but did say his focus was on the players currently on the roster.

“I haven’t even found out if he’s ready to play yet,” Quinn said, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I know he was pretty committed to golf. He’s such a competitor. But our conversations haven’t been about playing. When we drafted [first-round defensive end Takkarist McKinley], that was someone I wanted him to connect with. But we haven’t talked about playing. If he does [bring it up], he knows we’re going down the line of looking at our team here first.”

The Falcons signed Jack Crawford in addition to drafting McKinley, but neither move would likely preclude them from taking a look to see if Freeney could be of use as a pass rusher for the team this season. As of now, though, nothing appears to be imminent.