Dwight Freeney rumors: Peyton Manning wants former teammate on Broncos

Jed Jacobsohn

Peyton Manning might get to see Dwight Freeney join the Denver Broncos once free agency opens on Tuesday.

Dwight Freeney and Peyton Manning might be seeing their chances of a reunion increase each day. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported on Tuesday that Freeney going to the Denver Broncos is becoming more likely, a move that will certainly make Manning happy.

Manning has already made it clear that he wants his long-time teammate to make the same jump he did, from the Indianapolis Colts to the Broncos. Manning has said he thinks it's the best situation for Freeney, given that he would be able to go back to being a 4-3 defensive end, as opposed to a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Freeney saw his production drop this past season due to the change to the 3-4. After an extensive career as a 4-3 defensive end, the transition was always going to be a different one.

That said, Freeney is just a couple hours away from being a free agent, and other teams seem to be interested. One such team is the Atlanta Falcons, who were also looking at New York Giants free agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora. Freeney would seem to make sense for the Falcons, who simply need pass-rushing help, in whatever form.

Still, Denver doesn't just fit as a destination because Manning wants him there. The Broncos are expected to cut ties with Elvis Dumervil, and they'll then have a need for a pass rusher opposite of Von Miller. Freeney may have lost a step, but the Broncos might not have a big list of options to replace Dumervil if they find his $12 million salary too much to handle in 2013.

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