Dwight Freeney isn’t done with football just yet. Although he does not have a team for 2017, it sounds like that could change rather quickly.
“I’ve already been talking to the coaches and going back and forth here and there with the draft picks and free agents,” Freeney said (via Alex Marvez of The Sporting News). “That line of communication is still very open. They say they’re still very interested. I’m planning to reach out to them here soon and hopefully we both believe they want me back and playing for them.”
The Falcons will receive a $4.3MM salary cap credit on Friday and a chunk of that could go towards re-signing Freeney. At one point, that didn’t seem likely at all. Coach Dan Quinn is on record as saying that Freeney would have to participate in the team’s offseason program if he did want to return, but it now sounds like they’ll make an exception for the future Hall of Fame inductee. The good news is that Freeney, who would be entering his 16th NFL season, says that he has been staying in shape with workouts that are not overly strenuous on his joints.
Last season, Freeney played on roughly a third of the Falcons’ defensive snaps in 2016, and posted three sacks and 18 hurries. He can be a valuable edge rusher in a part-time capacity for Atlanta while also helping to mentor younger players like rookie Takkarist McKinley.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.