During the offseason linebacker Dwight Freeney was released from the San Diego Chargers after two seasons with the team. Today, Freeney officially signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
Freeney’s deal is for the veterans minimum (approx 970k) and has performance-based bonuses. Injuries suffered on the Cardinals defensive line, particularly to their best pass rusher Alex Okafor, necessitated the move. Freeney’s role is described as ‘pass rush specialist’. His single purpose will be rushing the passer and to that end, the Cardinals have added incentives for sacks.
Freeney will make 200k for his first four sacks. For each sack thereafter, Freeney will collect 100k each up to a cap of 12 sacks. If he gets twelve sacks this season, Freeney will gain an extra one million dollars on top of his base salary. Not too shabby.
Even though Freeney did not get a lot of sacks (4) in San Diego, he did rank in the top five in quarterback hurries and pressures last season. At 35 years of age, Chargers GM Tom Telesco chose to go younger instead of keeping the veteran around for his experience and leadership ability.
Thankfully, we can still root for the sure fire Hall-of-Fame selection from afar with his signing to an NFC team. We can even root to see him on the defensive line opposing Philip Rivers. San Diego does not play the Cardinals this season which means the only time that meeting has a chance of happening is in the Super Bowl. Even though there are no Chargers doing spin moves, here’s hoping the young defensive line absorbed what Freeney had to teach and it shines through over time.
Godspeed Mr. Freeney.
The Greg One