Ryan Grigson has said the Colts have no interest in separating with Dwight Freeney.
Of course if you look at the calendar you may note we are approaching the peak of "Liars' Season" as we approach the draft. If anyone tells the truth about personnel matters these days it's only within their own warroom. Nate Dunlevy agrees and points out just how difficult it would be for the Colts to move Freeney with his current contract:
Letting him play out a $14 million salary in the hopes of collecting a compensatory pick in 2014 simply doesn't make a lot of sense. No matter what Grigson declares publicly, the Colts would be foolish to keep Freeney under the present conditions.
Unfortunately for the Colts, everyone else in the league knows it. If Freeney was indeed on the market, even secretly, there doesn't appear to have been much interest. Teams know the Colts are unlikely to pay such a huge fee to one player when they have needs all over the roster. They may be waiting out the Colts, hoping Indianapolis cuts Freeney to save money.
As much as I'd love to believe that Freeney will somehow be spared the fate so many other Classic Colts faced I'd be foolish to do so. At his current price I expect the Colts to attempt to trade Freeney.
I don't expect them to tell us the truth about doing so until they are forced to do so.
Seems to me that the reason you put in $14m in base salary for the last year of a contract is to force a decision to either cut or extend him. Give him a two year extension, convert the $14m to $12m signing bonus and $2m 2012 base, and the cap number for this year drops to a much more manageable $11m. They're probably just negotiating what he gets in the extension years.
Or they might be waiting until mini-camps to get a better read for how well he does in the new system.
If you are going to cut him, why wait this late in free agency? What are you saving the $14M for at this point? 20 players worth the vet's minimum? You dont need $14M to sign one of the NTs, a couple 3rd tier WRs and a 3rd tier CB. Are we going after Samuel from the Eagles? I think they just decided to play him his final year and then add his freed cap hit to the pot for next year.
Dwight Freeney IS the Colts defense. Don't you think they might give him the CHANCE to show he can produce in an altered scheme before giving him away to some other team for nothing? If the Texans will slot Mario Williams in at OLB there's NO REASON not to give Freeney the same shot.
Worst comes to worst, you run a 3/4-4/3 hybrid and play Freeney on only the 4/3 downs, which cuts his snap count to a more sensible level anyway.
@ECB Sure, but you can't pay him at his current contract.
@19>18 1. It's real money. Why spend it when you aren't going anywhere?
2. Maybe they do go after Samuels.
I see no logic in keeping Freeney at that number. None.
@NateDunlevy Nothing official. But spent a little time trying to debunk, and it seems pretty clear that that's the rule.
@Coltsheadben Yes, there is a reason. $14 million reasons.
You don't pay $14 million to a 32 year-old DE if you are trying to make a position switch.
They have to renegotiate, trade, or cut him.
Keeping him at that number is just stupid. It makes no sense.
That's too much money for a 1 or 2 down player.
As you have said, you have to field a team next year. Unlike the other expensive vets that they cut, Free plays, even injured in the super bowl he played. I think there are components of the decision we dont know. Such as have they offered to extend? Is he willing to extend? Do Pagano and Manusky really think he can play in the defense they envision? He might be balking and they want to keep him hoping that he changes his mind. They might want to see him in their scheme before extending.
@Nate Dunlevy 14 million more in dead cap and a huge hole at the most important spot on the D makes even less sense, unless we're going for the number 1 pick again.
It ain't my money, if Irsay wants to pay the man what he's earned, then so be it.
@19>18 You can find multiple players for the $14 million you would pay Freeney, so it's not about 'fielding a team'.
They can't 'see him in the scheme' before extending, unless you mean mini-camp and early training camp.
There is no chance they let him play at the current number. None. He's not on the roster come opening week if he hasn't reworked the deal.
@Coltsheadben No, see that's the thing. The $14 million isn't DEAD money. It's live.
They get $14 million in cap room by cutting him.
That's the problem.