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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
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Dwight Freeney Will Be a San Diego Charger
Melvin Ingram was expected to be a key factor for the San Diego Chargers pass rush this season, but things changed quickly on Tuesday when the second-year linebacker tore his ACL.
Saturday, the team agreed to terms on a two-year contraact with one of the top sack masters of the last decade in Dwight Freeney, who figures to help fill the pass rushing void left vacant after Ingram's injury.
“It’s great to add a solid veteran who brings valuable experience to our defense,” said Head Coach Mike McCoy. “His proven pass-rush ability is a perfect fit for our defense.”
Freeney was originally the 11th overall selection by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2002 NFL Draft out of Syracuse. Over 11 seasons in Indy, Freeney earned a wide array of accolades while recording 378 tackles, 107.5 sacks, 44 forced fumbles, 14 passes defensed and three interceptions. His 107.5 sacks are a franchise record, and he is one of only 26 players in NFL history to surpass 100 QB takedowns. Freeney led the league in sacks with 16 in 2004, but his best season came in 2005 when he was named Defensive Player of the Year, notching 34 tackles, 11 sacks and six forced fumbles. A year later he helped lead the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl title. Freeney has played and started 17 postseason games, recording 37 tackles, nine sacks and two forced fumbles. All in all, Freeney was also a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All Pro player (three times first team, one second team) during his stint in Indy, and was named a member of the 2000’s All Decade Team.
The 6-foot-1, 268-pounder spent the first 10 years of his career at defensive end before switching to outside linebacker in 2012 when the Colts moved from a 4-3 front to a 3-4. The 33-year old injured his ankle in the first game of the season last year and missed the rest of September. It took him time to recover, but he finished the season strong, recording a sack in each of the final three games as he began feeling comfortable as an outside linebacker.
We’ll have more to follow once the signing becomes official.