Dwight Freeney has finally found a new home after more than two months on the open market, as he agreed to terms to sign a two-year contract with the San Diego Chargers, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The lethal 6-1, 268-pound pass rusher revealed back in February that he had high hopes of retiring with the Indianapolis Colts, where he’s spent his entire 11-year NFL career after the team selected him in the first round (No. 11 overall) in the 2002 NFL Draft out of Syracuse. It didn’t take long before Freeney started singing a different tune, though.
While he struggled to make the transition to 3-4 OLB in 2012—collecting a career-low 12 tackles with just 5.0 sacks (which was also the lowest sack total from Freeney out of the 2007 season that was cut short due to injury)—the Chargers have already stated they can tweak their defense to better suit Freeney.
Moreover, his experience last season may have actually been a good thing in Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 scheme since Chuck’s brother, John, is the Chargers’ defense coordinator. New Chargers general manager Tom Telesco also knows a thing or two about Freeney after working for the Colts for the past 15 years (1998-2012).
Freeney, 33, visited with his new club earlier this week and discussions between the two sides reportedly continued Friday and into Saturday morning before they reached an agreement.
The two-year contract carries a base value of $8.75 million, according to Pro Football Talk.
In 11 seasons, the three-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler has chalked up a total of 298 tackles, 107.5 sacks and 44 forced fumbles. While he’s past his prime, Freeney should still be able to provide a huge impact from the get-go in San Diego opposite Jarret Johnson after losing Melvin Ingram for the season with a torn ACL.
Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website. Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter. Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!