Indianapolis Colts May Look to Trade Dwight Freeney: Fan’s Reaction

The offseason makeover is far from over for the Indianapolis Colts. Just days after releasing quarterback Peyton Manning, they may be looking to trade All-Pro defensive end Dwight Freeney. Freeney is one of the top pass rushers in the NFL but is in the final year of his contract and counts for a $19 million hit against the salary cap in 2012.

If the team does indeed trade Freeney, it will only expedite their rebuilding project. The key to turning the team around will be to find ways to remove the older players that have lengthy contracts. Something will clearly have to be done about Freeney's $19 million hit to the salary cap this upcoming season. Now that the news is public, the team has little choice but to trade him. Freeney also doesn't fit great with the teams well-known move to a 3-4 defense.

Now 32 years old, Freeney made another Pro Bowl and had a strong season in 2011. He finished with 19 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Freeney has plenty of good football left and the team should still be able to get good value for him in a trade.

With two teams, the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, making a switch to a 4-3 defense, there should be heightened interest in Freeney. Any team that trades for him will surely want to negotiate a contract extension with him. I think Freeney has enough value that the team could benefit from a deal. A second or even first round draft pick could provide a huge boost to a team looking to rebuild quickly. This could mean adding another weapon for Andrew Luck or not.

This news won't have nearly the same impact on fans as Manning's release did. Freeney is another player that is largely responsible for the success the team has had over the last decade. It's time to move on though. If the team is going to rebuild, they need to do it right and turn this thing over.

Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and follows the team closely. He runs a blog about the team at www.coltsfansonline.com. Follow him on Twitter @kyler11.

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Dwight Freeney Available?

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Updated Friday, Mar 9, 2012