THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS WILL HEAR TRADE OFFERS FOR DEFENSIVE END DWIGHT FREENEY
Mon, 12 Mar 2012 08:56 AM EDT
The Philadelphia Colts are fielding phone calls from teams interested in trading for perennial Pro Bowl defensive end Dwight Freeney, league resources said. Betting lines
The Colts additionally released halfback Joseph Addai, tight end Dallas Clark, safety Melvin Bullitt, linebacker Gary Brackett and quarterback Curtis Painter. Sports scores
“These players all made amazing beneficences to the franchise and will always be members of the Colts family,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said in a statement. “It’s at all times hard to make these calls which the nature of the income cap requires.
Their bequests with the Colts will be always recalled by the franchise, fans and Indianapolis community. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”
The Colts do not always need to part methods with Freeney, but they require the salary-cap space and Freeney has a $19 million cap number this season and is unwilling to restructure his contract, resources said. The Colts are now open to trading Freeney but will do it for what they take into account the right cost.
Freeney has spent his entire 11-year career with the Colts and has been named to seven Pro Bowls. His 8½ sacks last season were 2nd on the team. He’s the Colts’ best-ever sacks leader with 102½.
New Colts GM Ryan Grigson declined to comment on Freeney’s status.
This is the most recent round in a huge housecleaning venture that started 2 months back when the Colts completed their worst season in 20 years. Nobody is granted.
And now with surprised fans still getting accustomed to life without No. 18, Grigson freed another round of sweeping changes that almost certainly will rile up the fan base.
“It’s actually a tough deal, it’s hard on everybody, especially Mr. Irsay,” Grigson declared. “Hopefully the fans recognize that to achieve the victory once more that we have had before, we’ve got to make some tough choices.”
This week’s moves joined with the list of those previously scheduled to become free agents next week mean the Colts might have 7 new starters on offense this fall. Those leaving could include Manning, Addai, Clark, Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Ryan Diem and Jeff Saturday.
Clearly, the Colts are looking to get younger after last season’s sensational crash.
Addai piled up 4,453 yards rushing and 39 touchdowns over 6 seasons in Indianapolis, making the Pro Bowl in 2007. Clark spent 9 years with the Colts, setting team records and creating a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses as he caught 427 passes for 4,887 yards and 46 touchdowns. He became the 2nd tight end in NFL history to tally 100-plus receptions and was chosen for the Pro Bowl in 2009.
Brackett and Bullitt, like Manning, were team captains.
Brackett spent 9 seasons in Indy and finished with 754 tackles (448 solo), 4 sacks and 12 interceptions. Bullitt, a 5-year veteran of the Colts, had 189 tackles (122 solo), 7 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and 7 passes defensed.
Painter, a 6th-round draft pick in 2009, played carefully until 2011, when he made 8ht starts as the Colts desperately attempted to get a substitute for Manning. In all, he was 140-of-271 for 1,624 yards, 6 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 60.6 quarterback rating.
And most, or all of the players, were prominent in the community, too.
That may make it even tougher for the aficionados to take.
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