Former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman announced his retirement at the beginning of May after dealing with some injuries in the latter portion of his career. He stated that his health and his family were his top priorities. Now, another factor as to why Freeman (32) retired may have been revealed.
LB Jerrell Freeman was released in February by Bears, later announced his retirement, and Friday was suspended for at least two years.— Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) May 14, 2018
Freeman played the final two years of his career with the Chicago Bears and was twice suspended for performance-enhancing drugs — once in 2016 for four games and another in 2017 for 10 games. With Balzer’s news that Freeman has been suspended a third time — this time for two years — you can assume this was also for PED’s. A third positive test gets you a two-year ban, according to the NFL policy on banned substances.
After starting his career in the CFL for three years, Freeman signed with the Colts in 2012. He started all 35 games in those first two seasons (including playoffs), but then injuries started to become an issue as he missed seven games in his final two seasons in Indianapolis. In his two years with the Bears, he only played in 13 of a possible 32 games due to suspensions and injuries.
Freeman was only able to play in one games in 2017 after suffering a torn pectoral and a concussion in the opening week. Following his second suspension, he said that his concussion was career-threatening, as it was causing some memory loss.
It sounds like at this point, Freeman is just trying to do what it takes to get himself right, let alone even trying to get back in any football shape.
Freeman has been a sore subject for Colts fans for the last couple of years, as the Colts and former general manager Ryan Grigson let him walk to the Bears for cheap even though they didn’t have any better linebackers on the roster. Including the postseason, Freeman started all 63 games he appeared in and racked-up 531 tackles (19 TFL), 13.5 sacks, 9 forced fumbles, 4 fumbles recovered, 4 interceptions, 22 pass breakups and 2 touchdowns in his four years with the Colts.
Freeman was the best linebacker that the Colts have had since the days of Gary Brackett and Cato June, so it’s tough to see a standout player from a somewhat plagued position on the team leave. The Colts have still struggled with linebacker issues since Freeman’s departure, even though he too hasn’t been able to contribute for Chicago.
It’s unfortunate to hear about the new suspension, but we wish the best for Freeman in retirement and hope that he can get healthy — physically and mentally.