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NFL Free Agency 2013: Dwight Freeney Not Returning to Indy, In Play for Green Bay?

While it's an interesting idea, Dwight Freeney will almost certainly not be a Green Bay Packer in 2013.

Andy Lyons

It started with Charles Woodson, but he's not the only high-profile defender who will be moving on from his old team after today. As Stampede Blue reports, Indianapolis Colts edge rusher Dwight Freeney was informed today that the Colts will not attempt to re-sign him, forcing him to look elsewhere for employment this off-season.

Freeney is an interesting free agent this season. He's one of the premier edge rushers available in the free agent class, and he has experience playing outside linebacker in a 3-4, albeit only one season. Freeney has put up double-digit sacks in seven of his 11 seasons in the NFL, though he played defensive end in each of those seasons. He's an intriguing big name that could give the Packers a hand in the pass rush opposite Clay Matthews.

But here are the problems with that. Freeney played right outside linebacker in 2012, the same position as Matthews, and he played right end before that. He also didn't appear to be particularly effective pass-rushing from that spot, as he only accrued five sacks in 14 games. Oh, and there's that little matter about a contract: Freeney's base salary was just a shade over $14 million in 2012, and with bonuses his cap hit was over $19 million. While he will certainly get significantly less than that on the open market, he still will likely be much more expensive than Ted Thompson would be willing to spend on a free agent linebacker.