Ryan Grigson: Looking forward to DE Dwight Freeney being part of Colts defense in '12. He will be a Colt.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) March 26, 2012
Not too long ago, Robert Mathis all but confirmed the Colts desire to keep Freeney when he tweeted that Chuck Pagano plans to use Dwight as a 3-4 rush linebacker, similar to Terrell Suggs in Baltimore. It's also worth noting that lining Freeney up as a rush linebacker, and using multiple fronts in order to generate pressure, was what former-defensive coordinator Larry Coyer always wanted to do.
Remember training camp in 2009? Freeney and Mathis were lining up at linebacker, and it was causing all sorts of fits for Peyton Manning and the Colts offense. However, Coyer was prevented from fully implementing his system by management (a.k.a., Bill Polian).
Hey, don't take my word for it. Polian himself said that on SportsCenter two weeks ago.
Now, both Coyer and Polian are gone. It will be interesting to see if a multi-front attack will improve the Colts defense. One of the big knocks on Bill Polian's tenure as the president of the Colts was his inability to build a strong defense. If Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano manage to do so, that will indeed provide a small measure of vindication for Coyer while, also, putting another dent in Bill Polian's legacy in Indianapolis.
Back to Freeney, I am quite happy he is staying with the franchise. Dwight is still a devastating pass rusher. However, the issue of his contract must be addressed. $19 million for one season is way to much for what Freeney provides. Grigson and Freeney have to work something out. If they don't, Freeney is killing Indy's cap for 2012.
After 2012, Freeney is a free agent, and $19 mill comes off the books.