The Seahawks have signed veteran defensive end Dwight Freeney, as Freeney himself first indicated on his own Twitter account. Unsurprisingly, it’s a one-year deal for Freeney, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.
Freeney, now 37 years old, spent the 2015 campaign in Arizona and managed eight sacks down the stretch after signing with the club midseason. Last year, Freeney didn’t have to wait quite as long to land a contract, and put up three sacks and 26.5 pressures for the Falcons while playing roughly a third of Atlanta’s defensive snaps.
Despite that performance, Freeney had yet to draw any interest on the free agent market until meeting with the Seahawks earlier today. He’d always planned to continue his career, however, and there’s an argument to be made that waiting until midseason to sign a deal could actually help a pass rusher of Freeney’s age by limiting his overall usage.
Freeney won’t be asked to play a starter’s complement of snaps in Seattle, as the club already boasts two excellent edge defenders in Michael Bennett and Frank Clark. Bennett, though, is dealing with plantar fasciitis, while fellow defensive end Cliff Avril is out for the rest of the season (and could be contemplating retirement). Given the Seahawks’ depth up front, Freeney will serve as a rotational option alongside other reserves such as Marcus Smith and Branden Jackson.
While there’s no word on the financials in Freeney’s contract, it’s possible (and even likely, based on past precedent) that his deal with Seattle will include some type of performance-based pay. Last season, Freeney inked a one-year, $1MM pact with Atlanta that contained up to $2MM in sack incentives.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.