Dwight Freeney will not be back with the Indianapolis Colts, the team announced today.
Freeney is set to become a free agent on March 12.
“Few people have meant as much to the success of the Indianapolis Colts as Dwight Freeney,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said in a released statement. “He has been a dominant player, which is all the more impressive considering his size for his position, and he has won a lot of games for this franchise.
“Dwight was an artist, a joy to watch, and the dedication he put toward his craft was a rare quality. We will miss him, but look forward to his future induction into the Hall of Fame and Colts Ring of Honor.”
Also today, wide receiver Austin Collie confirmed on Twitter that his contract would not be renewed. The Colts have not released a statement on his situation.
Freeney spent 11 seasons at defensive end with the Colts and could go down as the best defensive player in the team's Indianapolis history. He made seven Pro Bowls and had 107.5 sacks, a franchise record. He led the NFL in sacks with 16 in 2004. He ranks fifth among active players and 21st in NFL history in sacks.
Freeney ranks first in the NFL in forced fumbles (44) and fourth in sacks from 2002-2012. He has sacks of 53 different quarterbacks with 27 different teams. Freeney is one of 13 Colts players to participate in 100-plus wins.