Dwight Freeney might be difficult decision for Colts

  • By Kareem Copeland
  • Updated: Dec. 28, 2012 at 01:18 p.m.

Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Dwight Freeney is in the final year of a six-year, $72 million deal. He's a seven-time Pro Bowler and the franchise leader with 106.5 career sacks.

The Colts have remade the roster, the scheme and the front office -- and they have a decision to make.

"I'm 32 years old, turning 33 (Feb. 19), going into my 12th year," Freeney told the Indianapolis Star. "Numbers not the best, making a lot money. ... That's not really a good combination for staying in an organization.

"That being said, I've done a lot. We'll see what happens at the end of the year. I can only do as much as I can."

Freeney has just 10 tackles and four sacks in 13 games this season. He's been asked to switch from a 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 outside linebacker. There's been success rushing the passer, but the numbers are impossible to ignore. As is his age.

Freeney has been one of the vital veterans to lead a young team to the playoffs in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year that had the unique challenge of losing new coach Chuck Pagano for most of the season. Will that carry some weight?

General manager Ryan Grigson will surely continue to look for pieces to fit the 3-4. Those outside linebackers have pass coverage responsibilities and that's just not Freeney's strong suit.

There are some tough decisions to be made in Indy.