Dwight Freeney surprised by release, thinks he has “a lot left”


Dwight Freeney was caught off guard when the Seahawks cut him, since he was still playing at a high level.

And he thinks he has plenty to offer the Lions down the stretch, after he was claimed off waivers.

I think I have a lot left,” Freeney said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “That’s the reason why I’m still playing now.”

Freeney had three sacks in four games with the Seahawks. He didn’t play last Thursday because of the short turnaround, but could play a key role for the Lions down the stretch, beginning with this week’s game against the Ravens. But he’s still taken aback by the circumstances of his release in Seattle.

“It was a big surprise for me for that to happen,” Freeney said. “The G.M. was really apologetic and said how embarrassed he was to do this, and I was like, ‘OK, guys. Whatever you say.’ I hadn’t been here long and if you guys feel like maybe you can put me on waivers and get away with it, cause he was saying he was going to re-sign me later on that week possibly, and that’s what they were trying to do because they were so hurt at linebacker.

“I said, ‘Look, if that’s what you guys want to do,’ I said I don’t know if I’m going to be here. it’s not like I have a choice. Thank God Detroit picked me up, though.”

The Lions had flirted with the idea of bringing Freeney in several times, and have plenty of familiarity with him. Coach Jim Caldwell spent 10 years with him in Indianapolis, and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was an assistant at Syracuse when Freeney was playing.

“It’s funny how things come full circle,” Freeney said. “I started off with Jim in my career in Indy, he was there, and now I have a lot of the same guys with me in the end. I don’t know if this is going to be the last thing for me, last year for me, but if it is, it’s just amazing to be here with extended family with Jim and those guys.”

Freeney’s compiled 125.5 career sacks, and the fact he’s still adding at a healthy rate at age 37 indicates he can still play. Whether this reunion lasts more than five games remains to be seen, but it’s hard to argue he’s not still capable.