Archives for Dwight Freeney

Colts Keeping Freeney

Comments Off

There is a new wave of reports stating that the Indianapolis Colts will keep Dwight Freeney on the 2012 roster as the team rebuilds and retools after 2011 with a new coaching staff and new hybrid defensive scheme.

Make no mistake, I’m a Dwight Freeney fan. I believe that his presence alone was responsible for many of the wins the team piled up over the previous decade and his ferocious pass rush when playing with a lead allowed the team to cover up for a lot of deficiencies on defense. As a fan, I love to watch him and I love to listen to him too. He has always seemed like a really fun and interesting guy.

As a cap guy, though, I just don’t see the point. The team could save just over $14 million in real cash and in cap space by cutting him. When you’re staring down the barrel of $35 million in dead money for 2012, that savings could go a long way. Heck, even without the dead money, and even without spending more than the minimum required to replace him, that savings can STILL go a long way, since the new CBA allows teams to roll over unused cap space! The 2012 Colts are going to get better (they can’t get any worse; and one could argue that simply through the additions of Andrew Luck and a new coaching staff they’re immediately better in all three phases of the game) but they’re not in any position to contend seriously just yet, even if everything breaks perfectly. So even if Freeney is an absolute terror in the new defensive scheme, it hardly makes sense to pay him that kind of money.

In reality, he’s an unknown. It’s the last year of his deal, he is getting older, his motor isn’t quite what it was, he’s probably not worth a long term extension, and nobody has any idea if the new defense suits his strengths. He won’t be the difference between contention in 2012 and failure, and that $14 million could be better spent elsewhere. I love the guy, but he’s little more than an expensive toy for Manusky and Pagano at this point, and the team should have already added him to the long list of famous and beloved Colts that will be looking for new teams in 2012. Their 2013-14 cap situation is already setting up to be great, but even in the best of times there’ll come a time when that extra $14 million would come in handy.

 

Mar 26, 2012