The Indianapolis Colts released Dwight Freeney, the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks, as well as frequently-injured receiver Austin Collie.
Freeney, whose 33rd birthday is Tuesday, is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the Colts informed the player they won’t re-sign him.
The football player was a cornerstone for the Colts’ defensive line, according to ESPN. He became one of the team’s most popular players in club history after he was picked up the 2002 draft.
Colts owner Jim Irsay spoke about Freeney, saying:
“Few people have meant as much to the success of the Indianapolis Colts as Dwight Freeney … We will miss him, but look forward to his future induction into the Hall of Fame and Colts Ring of Honor.”
Freeney is an 11-year veteran. He racked up 107.5 sacks and earned seven Pro Bowl nods, as well as three first-team All-Pro selections. NFL.com notes that The Colts’ release of Freeney surprised the player. He stated:
“I was very surprised to hear they wanted to go in a different direction. Would have been nice to retire a Colt.”
Despite his surprise, Dwight Freeney’s release was not a shocker to league observers. The same holds true for the Colts’ decision to release Austin Collie. The wide receiver has proven prone to injuries, enduring several serious concussions. He missed the entire 2012 season for a ruptured right patellar tendon.
With his credentials, it is likely several teams will fight for Freeney. Are you surprised to hear the Colts released Dwight Freeney? What about Austin Collie?