Chuck Pagano says Colts will miss Dwight Freeney

USA TODAY Sports

The Colts' coach reflects on the franchise's all-time leader in sacks.

Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano told Colts.com recently it was tough to release veteran Dwight Freeney:

"You never expect this day to come, but eventually in every guy's career it does come. Dwight has meant so much to this organization. He's a game-wrecker. He's a guy that week in and week out for such a long period of time, on the other side of the football, they had to make sure they took care of Dwight. He could just take over a game. He's a future Hall of Famer. We're gonna miss him. We wish him well but he certainly won't be forgotten."

Freeney was released by the Colts on Feb. 15. Freeney said he wanted to retire a Colt, but instead will have to settle for being inducted into the team's ring of honor.

Stampede Blue : Reflecting on Freeney's time in Indy

Freeney, 33, spent the first 10 years of his NFL career in Indianapolis. In that span he appeared in 163 games, recording 305 total tackles and 107 1/2 sacks. He is the Colts' all-time leader in sacks.

The seven-time Pro Bowler has played defensive end for most of his career, but was switched to outside linebacker in 2012. Freeney fought through injuries during the season, starting in 13 games and record just five sacks. It was his lowest total of sacks since 2007 when he had just 3 1/2 in nine games.

Freeney is being courted by players to join their team, including Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson, according to CBS Sports. Freeney said he'd like to go to a team that uses a 4-3 defense and has a shot at a Super Bowl.

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