Posts Tagged ‘Dwight Freeney’

Six-time All-Pro offensive lineman Joe Thomas, shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis and speedy pass rusher Dwight Freeney headline the list of nine first-year eligible players picked among the 129 nominees for the 2023 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The other first-year eligibles are running back Chris Johnson, offensive lineman Jahri Evans, linebackers NaVorro Bowman and James Harrison; defensive back Kam Chancellor and punter Shane Lechler.

The nine new candidates combined for 52 Pro Bowl berths, 30 first-team All-Pro selections, with five of the nine winning Super Bowls and five making an all-decade team. Johnson also won an Offensive Player of the Year award in 2009 and Harrison was picked as top defensive player in 2008.

Thomas was one of the top tackles in the league over a durable 11-year career that saw him selected first-team All-Pro six times and second team two other times. He had a streak of 10,363 consecutive plays while playing for the Browns his entire career.

Revis, who also came out in the 2007 draft, moved around much more, spending time with the Jets, Tampa Bay, New England and Kansas City.

His best play came in New York where he was a first-team All-Pro from 2009-11 and finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2009 when he repeatedly shut down top receivers by sending them to “Revis Island.”

Revis spent one year in New England, helping the Patriots win the Super Bowl in the 2014 season.

Freeney spent most of his 16-year career in Indianapolis where his speed off the edge and dominant spin move led to 125 1/2 career sacks. He anchored a defense that complemented a high-powered offense led by Peyton Manning and helped the Colts win the Super Bowl following the 2006 season.

The list will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and to 15 finalists in January before the selection committee discusses and chooses the class of 2023 that will be enshrined in August.

The 15 finalists will be trimmed to 10 and then five during the selection meeting early next year. The final five candidates will need to get 80% of the votes from the panel to get into the Hall.

The roster of nominees consists of 67 offensive players, 50 defensive players and 12 special teamers.

Finalists from 2022 re-nominated for next year are defensive end Jared Allen, tackle Willie Anderson, defensive back Ronde Barber, returner Devin Hester, receivers Torry Holt, Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne; linebackers Zach Thomas and Patrick Willis; and edge rusher DeMarcus Ware.

The committee will also consider former Chargers and Cardinals coach Don Coryell in the coaching category and three senior candidates: Super Bowl V MVP Chuck Howley and All-Pro defenders Joe Klecko and Ken Riley.

They also will get in if they get support from at least 80% of voters in January.

Seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Dwight Freeney retired Thursday as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, where he played his first 11 seasons, the organization announced.

Freeney, who broke into the league as the 11th overall pick out of Syracuse in 2002, will go down as one of the best pass-rushers of his era. He ranks second on the Colts’ all-time list with 107.5 sacks, trailing only his former pass-rushing mate Robert Mathis.

His most productive season came in 2004 when he posted a career-high 16 sacks. Two seasons later, he helped the Colts win Super Bowl XLI over the Chicago Bears.

After playing out his contract with the Colts in 2012, Freeney signed a two-year deal with the San Diego Chargers. He went on to play for four additional teams over the following three seasons – the Arizona CardinalsAtlanta FalconsSeattle Seahawks, and Detroit Lions – before calling it quits.

Even in the later stages of his career, Freeney and his famous spin move still gave opposing lineman fits. He was brilliant for the Falcons in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots, in which he recorded a sack.

Freeney, who turned 38 in February, had three sacks in four games last year for the Seahawks and sits tied for 17th on the NFL’s all-time sack list with 125.5.

Dwight Freeney

While Tom Brady may be the most disliked quarterback in the league among fans, his opposition isn’t so low on the New England Patriots quarterback.

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney has seen his fair share of Brady through his 15-year career and, while he has tried, the veteran pass-rusher can’t find a reason to be a hater.

“The thing is, I try to hate the guy, but I can’t because he is a good guy,” Freeney said of Brady, according to ProFootballTalk’s Michael David Smith. “I know him personally off the field, too – he is a good dude. I guess it comes with the territory, just playing as long as I have been and as long as he has been.”

Freeney spent the first 11 years of his career with the Indianapolis Colts, where he built a solid rivalry with Brady and the Patriots, but the battles only made his appreciation for his competition stronger.

“We have had a rivalry in the Colts versus the Patriots for years – it was like they were in our division since we played them twice a year, because we played them once in the regular season and once in the postseason,” said Freeney. “We knocked them out, they knocked us out, so it is kind of those things where you know it is going to be a battle. You know it is going to be a war.

“At the end, you have so much respect for them because of the fact that they are such a great franchise and they can continually make it to this moment year in and year out, even when they have changes on the team. They go through adversity throughout the years. Tom is not playing the first four games and they are still here. It is a testament to what they do around there.”

Freeney has yet to decide whether Sunday will be the last game of his career, but if it is, he will be happy to have shared the field with Brady one more time.


Free-agent defensive end Dwight Freeney has agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons, the team announced Tuesday.

The contract is a one-year deal, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The deal has a base value of $2 million with another $2 million available in sack-based incentives, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder.

The veteran pass-rusher chose the Falcons over the Cincinnati Bengals, a source told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Freeney worked out for the Falcons in early June.

The 36-year-old has played 14 NFL seasons, including 11 with the Indianapolis Colts, and most recently with the Arizona Cardinals. He has 119.5 career sacks, which ranks 19th all time.

Freeney will likely be used in third-down, pass-rushing situations, and as a mentor for young edge rusher Vic Beasley.

The Arizona Cardinals clinched a playoff berth with their 23-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday.

“We’re in the playoffs. Don’t know when or where but we’re in,” head coach Bruce Arians said during his postgame press conference.

In a close contest, the game came down to a strip-sack by veteran linebacker Dwight Freeney with 13 seconds remaining. It was a frustrating end for the Vikings, who were in field-goal range, but couldn’t slow down a fierce Cardinals pass rush.

”That’s why I came back, because moments like this, you can’t duplicate those in life,” Freeney said. ”To be able to have this type of dream situation, fourth quarter, game on the line, it’s kind of like ninth inning, two outs, one of the situations for a defensive lineman, and I was able to make a play.”

The Vikings could’ve opted to attempt a 48-yard field goal on third down but ran a play instead, leading to the game-ending blunder.

The NFC North race has tightened, as the Green Bay Packers have momentarily taken ownership of first place in the division at 8-4. A win this weekend would put the Packers a full game ahead of the Vikings with a Week 17 matchup between the two teams looming.

At 11-2, the Cardinals now have a 3.5 game lead in the NFC West, and would clinch the division with a Seattle Seahawks loss on Sunday.

The Arizona Cardinals have reached an agreement with Dwight Freeney on a one-year deal, NFL Network’s Rand Getlin reports.

Arizona was in need of reinforcements at the linebacker position after losing Alex Okafor and Kenny Demens to injury in Sunday’s 42-17 win in Detroit, and Freeney comes with 13 years of NFL experience.

Freeney also has some familiarity with head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator James Bettcher, as both were on the Indianapolis Colts’ coaching staff in 2012 while he was with the team.

In 183 career games, Freeney has racked up 310 tackles, 111.5 sacks, and 44 forced fumbles.