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Freeney wants to play in 2016

Posted by Darren Urban on March 9, 2016 – 6:28 pm

Dwight Freeney was thisclose to retiring last season before the Cardinals called to ask him to play five games into the season. After leading the Cards with eight sacks in only 11 games — and adding another sack in the playoffs — he said he wanted to take some time to decide what he wanted to do going forward. At age 36, that is apparently playing another season.

Freeney, during an interview on Sirius XM NFL radio Wednesday night, said he wanted to play in 2016. The free agent would like to return to the Cardinals, he said, but if he does play, it’s “going to have to be the right situation.”

“Hopefully we can come to an agreement,” Freeney said about the Cardinals. “But they need to see what they need to do too. I understand this business. It’s a young man’s game. I’m here if they need me.”

Freeney wants a chance to win. Freeney made it clear that he had more interest last year but he wasn’t going to play for a middling team. Certainly, Freeney showed the Cards he was worthy of having around. He not only performed in the pass rush, he was a good influence in the locker room and a teacher to young linebackers like Markus Golden. The fact the Cardinals have yet to land a pass rusher in free agency could make a Freeney return make even more sense.

Now, the price isn’t going to change much I wouldn’t think. The Cardinals could make a similar offer to Freeney that they did last year, with a lower salary with sack incentives. In terms of fit, Freeney knows it might not get much better than Arizona — but I wouldn’t be surprised if “the right situation” also included how the money shakes out.

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47 Responses to “Freeney wants to play in 2016”

  1. By Scott H on Mar 9, 2016 | Reply

    Oh, I think we know that money will be part of the “right” situation. I really hope he is back with the Cardinals this season. I just hope he is not our best pass rusher come opening day. Because if he is, that means we have done nothing to improve our pass rush. There is no doubting his ability as a pass rusher. But at age 36, he is not the every down force we really need. He is a tremendous situational player. So, by all means, keep him around for those situations where we just gotta have it! But find someone else for the rest of the game. Quickly.

  2. By clssylssy on Mar 9, 2016 | Reply

    Pay the guy! Our biggest hope to getting to the playoffs again will be in retaining our quality players like Freeney, Rashard Johnson, CJ, guys with football smarts and grit, who can help show the up and comers how to prepare and win games. These guys are still able to set the pace and produce because they know how it’s done & don’t get caught up in their own press. I think a lot of fans fully expect to win a SB this year and won’t settle for anything less after seeing what Denver did with less talent. We need our playmakers!

  3. By joe holst on Mar 9, 2016 | Reply

    no he will get gigantic offers, 20 mil, he sees all the huge $$$$ going around,

  4. By Rio on Mar 9, 2016 | Reply

    Freeney’s age is a real question mark, I have a son 52 years old and he says he play high school ball against him.

  5. By William Brass on Mar 9, 2016 | Reply

    Dwight Freeney was invaluable to the Cardinals last season. He was clutch. I can’t imagine not having him in 2016 with at least a dozen sacks under his belt. And the guidance in the locker room. Pay the man! As the fans and players wring our hands through the free agency, let’s all hope for the team to stay intact and those special ingredients for a special 2016 season will be added. Good luck to all. Go Cardinals!

  6. By Eazy E on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    Freeney and ?…

  7. By mitchaz on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    This time around the Cardinals have to pay Freeney, especially now that they did not land one of the top FA edge rushers. Freeney deserves at least $4M plus incentives. He is speaking out now because he wants to get paid. 8 sacks in 11 games, some of them game clinchers is impressive.

  8. By Dr H on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    Just keep Freeney!

  9. By jasensaffel on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    It seems that a lot of the cardinals players are looking elsewhere to play.Loosing that championship game so badly to the panthers has hurt the cardinals players confidence in the team.

  10. By Sonny AZ Cards on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    I think Freeney wants to come back to Cards with a better deal than last year. Well, he deserves it. That is the right situation for him, to play on the team that is very close to SB and got paid well enough. 1 year deal right now should not hurt Cards in the future, I would give him better deal.

  11. By clssylssy on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    @jasensaffel…
    Our free agents are talented and that talent seems to be recognized by everyone but the Cards who haven’t taken care of business at home so, of course they are looking elsewhere to teams who are being aggressive in building a contender team. I think our players would rather stay together and give it another go, if they could afford to and the Cards showed interest. For the guys like Freeney and Fitz it’s about the SB and winning wheras, the younger guys are still trying to make their mark.

  12. By Scott H on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    Gotta tell ya, I think we REALLY missed the boat on this Irvin guy. And it’s not like it took a king’s ransom to sign him, either. Hey, maybe he was gonna get more from the Raiders than he was gonna get here. I get that. But…when you desperately need help with your pass rush ( and the Cardinals absolutely do ), then you gotta make it happen. I’m looking at the deal he got from Oakland and I’m thinking…we couldn’t have offered that?? For a player who was clearly going to up-grade us where we need it the most, we couldn’t have offered him what he got to go to Oakland? That wasn’t do-able?

    He is already being labelled as one of the best moves from the first day of FA. But I didn’t need to hear someone else’s opinion – I was already feeling like this was a guy who would have been a great addition here.

  13. By John S. on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    Sign Freeny to another contact… period! Not only does he still have that knack at getting to QB’s, he adds a special excitement to the AZ game. Every time last year we saw his jersey come out onto the field, we all paid special attention… that feeling of something big could happen with him in there. He didn’t disappoint, and we all cheered when he’d collect another “sack bonus!”.
    He wants to be here, he loves to play, he adds to the team spirit, fun, and it would be a shame to just let him go… he’s worth every penny.

  14. By Michael E on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    Resigning Freeney has to be a top priority now. Hopefully he’ll be feeling generous because I’m still hoping for a veteran CB to line up opposite PP, like Prince Amukamara. Wishful thinking, I know

  15. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Irvin;

    Because you need a position desperately, doesn’t mean you become desperate.

    The cards have needed pass rush help since Simeon Rice left. Berry, Abraham, Frenney, all gave us some relief, but until we draft a edge rusher, or overpay someone, we will continue to piece together a pass rush.

    Irvin wasn’t the guy to over spend on. He is a solid guy, but not a guy who wins one on ones with tackles.

    Vernon was a guy PFF rated as the #3 edge guy in NFL (behind Mack and Miller)
    He made sense to over pay for. Maybe not Giants money (and therefore we would have not got him) but he is the type you go after hard.

    There isn’t anyone in my opinion out there better than Freeney left. I would get that deal done.

    FA always makes the draft more interesting. The four guys the cards could land in the draft would be (trading up) for Shaq Larsen, Noah Spence (who may fall), CB Makenzie Alexander, or Center Ryan Kelly. (this years Travis Frederick – who , like Frederick, might climb into the bottom of round 1. )

    It would be awesome if Keim can find a CB, Safety and guard in FA. Then it would come down to, does Spence fall to 29. If yes, grab him. Then trade up with a 2 and 3 to go get Ryan Kelly.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing them land a couple CBs and have them battle it out. Maybe the #6 overall pick and LSU alum CB Morris Claiborne and Packers Casey Hayward. I feel Hayward would win but if Claiborne (who excels in press coverage) came to AZ, maybe he could catch that magic he had at LSU. The guy was viewed as good or maybe better than PP at LSU.

  16. By rock on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    Sign Freeney today!

  17. By Steve on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG- What if Paxton Lynch drops to us, would you be happy if Keim selects him as Palmer’s heir apparent?

  18. By Scott H on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    I didn’t think Irvin was a desperation move for the Cardinals. We seem to disagree there. But we seem to agree on the Cardinals having a desperate need for pass rush help.

    Irvin was being highly regarded by several teams and he went on the first day of FA. So, why are we regarding him as a desperation move?? The Raiders were NOT in desperate need of a pass rusher and they still went right after this guy.

    I’m looking at the deal he got from Oakland and I am seeing a deal that I think was reasonable for him. I don’t think they over-spent. Not significantly, anyway. There is always a certain degree of over-spending during FA. That is built into the process. The Raiders didn’t go any further than that to get a player that, I believe, is going to help their defense and who, I believe, would have helped ours as well.

    Desperate needs and over-spending go hand-in-hand during FA. But again, I don’t think signing him would have been a desperation move for the Cardinals. And I don’t think what he got from Oakland was over-spending.

  19. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Irvin;

    I think hoping a guy, who for 4 years averaged 5 sacks a year, would turn into a double digit sack guy and a guy who can win one on one battles, when he hasn’t ever done it, is desperate. Especially since he had Michael Bennett on the other side drawing attention.

    I think that can smell like a desperate move. The raiders have one of the top OLBs in Khalil Mack,(15 sacks in 2015) who is their guy. Irvin comes in as a compliment player to Mack.

    Much like asking a #2 CB, to now take on the #1 WR. as the number 1 CB. I mean, Powers is a good CB, but as a #1, he would struggle.

    Point is , Irvin is not a PP. He is a Powers. Without PP, Powers wouldn’t be as good. In fact he would struggle. With Mack, Irvin will do good in Oakland. Asking him to be the guy in Arizona, that would not have turned out good.

  20. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    Steve,

    I can’t see him falling to 29. But to me, he is a poor mans Cam Newton. That type of QB can be very good, but is not for everyone.

    I personally don’t think he fits into a BA style offense. I also think, with the signing of Stanton, they will not draft a QB before round 4, if at all.

    I think he will be a good QB and I think he ends up going to the rams.

  21. By CreditCard on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    On a completely different topic …. I noticed other teams have interest in Bradley Sowell. I think the Cards need to keep him, and convert Sowell to long snapper.

    Long snappers tend to be TE or slim OL body types. Sowell is that body type.

    Plus, Sowell can be a valuable back-up in the event a few OL injuries occur during a game. Lastly, he knows the system, pay calls, team organization, goals, strategies etc…

  22. By Darren Urban on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Credit —

    RE: Body type

    I’m not sure you and I are looking at the same Bradley Sowell. Plus, I agree on the TE but not OL. Don’t see many 6-7 long snappers.

  23. By Scott H on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Another good dialogue. I truly appreciate your responses and how present your points. But….that said….

    OK, so where does that leave us? We’re better off because we didn’t land Irvin?? Who, so far, really was one of the more affordable guys who was available in what I consider to be the upper tier? Let’s keep in mind, the Cardinals do not have an ocean of cap space.

    IMHO, Irvin was affordable for where the Cardinals are. Many of the other guys who are in what I consider in that upper tier were not.

    Maybe Irvin is not a double-digit sack guy, regardless of where he plays. But with our cap situation in mind, what double-digit sack guys were going to come here??

    And maybe he didn’t have to be a double-digit sack guy to still be a productive player who could have made the defense better. Maybe in our defensive scheme – especially if we continue to blitz as often as we have – a guy like Irvin goes off and DOES have double-digit sacks. Maybe his presence makes somebody else better. All of these were completely possible.

    And why does Irvin have to be “the guy” ( where you claim he won’t be that good) as opposed to being A guy who just makes the defense better? IF Freeney returns, Irvin doesn’t have to become PP. Not all the time, anyway.

    Again, so where are we now? Our pass rush is not one iota better than it was before FA started. Irvin seemed to be a guy who could have made us better at a price that was do-able for us this off-season, with limited cap space to work with. How are we better off right now than we would have been if we’d signed him?

    Where are the better options at this point? With our cap number in mind, he might have been the best one we were going to have.

  24. By Big Ken on Mar 10, 2016 | Reply

    Watch out! Ted Larsen and Bradley Sowell are being worked out by the Seahawks.

  25. By Big Ken on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Well it looks like the Ram are interested in Robert Griffin. Maybe Paxton Lynch does tumble.

  26. By Dominik on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    What about John Simon from Houston? I know, he is a RFA and has a min. 1.67 offer from the Texans. He had 16 games (8 starts) with 53 tackles / 5 sacks this season and is just 25 years old. Are there a possibility to sign him?

    Greetings from Switzerland

  27. By marlin on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Darren,
    Any insider perspective on how the coaches view Kareem Martin? He made a “comeback” f sorts last season. Any sense if the coaches think he has more upside? Or if they view him as a bubble guy.

  28. By Darren Urban on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: Martin

    I think at this point, he’d probably be considered a bubble guy. But we’ll see how he looks in the offseason work.

  29. By Marlin on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Darren,
    Of all our “kinda unknown” young O Lineman (futures contracts, undrafted guys under contract, etc), do any of them stand out as someone who can make the team and make a real, solid contribution?

  30. By Darren Urban on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: Unknown OL

    They have some hope for McClain I know.

  31. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Darren,

    Brock Osweiler;

    I know this isn’t cardinal news, but I am sure that you have heard every local reporter and radio guy (from Doug and Wolf to Gambo) saying Brock’s move to Houston was a mistake. It is driving me crazy.

    I think if Brock would have become available after 2014 season (with Palmer injured), the cards would have had to think long and hard about him. But after Palmer rebounded, it made no sense to get him.

    But to me, Osweiler made the best choice going to Houston.

    The texans have added 3 oline man to a team that has traditionally been able to run the ball. While the broncos are losing olineman. The Texans signed a very good rb in free agency, the broncos may lose theirs. The Texans have a better receiver in my opinion. Hopkins is better than anyone on the broncos, while Brock has already a relationship at ASU with Jaelen Strong. Thomas, in Denver has been unreliable with drops. Finally, the Texans have a very strong defense lead by the best player in football, JJ Watt. Yes, Denver’s defense was the best, but have lost key pieces in the off season.

    I don’t get why these taking heads cant see this is a team who made the playoffs without a healthy rb and no qb to speak of. I think it was a great move for Osweiler. Much better than living in Peyton’s shadow.

    So, are you one of those who thinks it was a mistake for Brock?

  32. By Darren Urban on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Brock

    My opinion is this: When you figure in no state income tax, he got about $8M-$9M more going to the Texans. So no, I don’t think he made a mistake.

  33. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H and Dominik;

    John Simon is on of those names who would be budget friendly. I agree, there is an upside to him and he is an option at 1.67 million.

    Scott,
    as another option, there really isn’t a whole lot. Freeney is my option. Then the draft. As I was saying to Darren about Vernon. Either you are going to back up the Brinks truck or you have to hit in the draft.

    Keim (and before him) have repeatedly missed in the draft on edge guys. I had a list of 19 guys with double digit sacks we passed on in the first 3 rounds since 2011. You can’t keep missing in the draft and then, not have cap space to bring in the big fish.

    So, what to do?
    I like the Simon idea. I like the Canadian. I think them, with Golden, Riddick, Okafer, and Freeney, someone will step up. I think less 4 man fronts and more 3 man and two OLBs, would give our OLBs a better chance to beat TEs and RBs instead of tackles would also help.

    But if I got a shot at moving up in the draft and landing Shaq Lawson,, who I like the best in round 1, or landing Noah Spence, you make that move. Good news is, teams like the raiders and giants are not taking edge guys, so maybe some guys drop.But you have to be willing to jump up.

    Frankly, if we came out of this draft with Shaq or Spence and Ryan Kelly at center, and no one else, we would have a great draft. (assuming we land a guard and CB in FA)

  34. By D on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Best remaining free agents that could help the Cards as of 3-11-16 morning.

    1- Freeney- OLB (most likely after the draft)
    2- C. Hayward CB from GB
    3- M. Ramirez G/C (older player to compete either at C or at RG with draft pick).
    4- J. Freeman ILB (experienced inside LB to help Minter and Buc)
    5- A. Smith OT, Cards may need a backup swing Tackle.

  35. By jeffy1951 on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Why do I get the feeling the Cardinal “triumvirate” (MB, SK, BA) have something up their collective sleeves?…… Is it wishful thinking or having faith in them because of their track record? Maybe a combination of the 2? Markus Golden’s name doesn’t come up much but I believe he’ll be improved and able to provide reliable pressure. Do we still believe “in Keim We Trust”?….I do.

  36. By Scott H on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Yeah….NOT a lot of options ( anymore ). I don’t fault the Cardinals for a lack of effort….they pursued Irvin and made a better offer to JPP than the Giants did only to have him politely decline. The efforts were made. And the efforts were an indication of the priority that getting pass rush help was. They were pretty clear about that. But….they swung and missed. Struck out. Not good. So, I am wondering what Plan B is.

    Yeah, there is the draft. But are we expecting a rookie to come in and provide an instant pass rush?? Because that is kinda what we need! This team is built to win NOW.

    And while we can all hope Freeney is back and as productive as he was in 2015, that is by no means assured.

    Can’t we AT LEAST get a deal done with Freeney for now, so we know we AT LEAST have that?? I’d sure feel a little better if we did.

    Another day going by and I’m not hearing about anything going on with the Cardinals.

    Oh, except Weatherspoon’s departure, that is. And, really, does anybody care??

  37. By Patti Bond on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Sign Freeney, we owe him. If not for the 3 sacks on Aaron Rodgers first GB game and again the game winning sack in the Vikings game on QB Bridgewater the Cardinals can add 2 more loss games in the loss column, lo! Get Freeney back in a Cardinals uniform ASAP! I love the guy.

  38. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H,

    That is something we agree on. Sign Freeney and give us that.

    Freeney, with a full year (I believe), in his limited pass rush role, could give us 10-12 sacks. The group of Golden, the Canadian (what I call him since his last name is difficult to spell), and Okafer, maybe Riddick can fill the role.

    But, if landing Shaq Lawson, now we have a guy who can complement Freeney this year and take over as a legit OLB/edge rusher in the future…. Finally.

  39. By Scott H on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    I hear ya, bro. Hmmm….ya know what occurs to me at this point? We were recently having an-going “debate” about Stanton / the QB’s….it was enjoyable, as always……and I eventually said OK, time to move on. And then they re-signed Stanton!

    See where I’m going here? Maybe if I just say OK, time to move on….a pass rusher will magically appear tomorrow. Is it possible???

    Oh, my….but it really is time to move on. I’m sick of whining about Irvin and I’m sure people are sick of listening to me.

  40. By Scott H on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Ok, since I’m done whining about Irvin ( I am reserving the right to start again at a later time ), let me start whining about Freeney NOT being re-signed yet. Can I ask – what is the hold up here?? I mean….we apparently made a pretty sizable offer to JPP….he turned it down to stay in NY….and it ain’t like we’ve used that money somewhere else. Assuming that Freeney isn’t asking for money that is just totally off the wall….shouldn’t the Cardinals be doing what they need to lock him up??

    I don’t know that they’re not. And I sure as hell hope they are.

    Because after whiffing on JPP and Irvin….it really ain’t gonna go over very well if they don’t bring Freeney back. After he showed that he has something left in the tank in 2015 ( in the opinion of some, it was the best he’s looked in years ), I have to think there are going to be some other interested parties.

  41. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Stanton;

    I guess I learned something. The cardinals are not thinking about a QB of the future. They are happy with Stanton and Palmer for the next couple years.

    I would not be surprised if Palmer retires after 2017, Stanton is resigned and then they think about drafting a QB. Stanton would start and a rookie would come in.

    I believe BA is much more confident in Stanton than I have been.

  42. By Darren Urban on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Stanton

    I don’t think Stanton’s situation has anything to do with if they draft a QB or not. Zero.

  43. By Big Ken on Mar 11, 2016 | Reply

    RE: Brock It’s because there are so many cry baby Broncos fans here in the valley.

  44. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 12, 2016 | Reply

    Darren,

    I got to respectfully disagree.
    A team does not sign a Veteran back up QB when their plans are to draft a QB early.

    It tells me a QB after round 3 or none at all.

  45. By Scott H on Mar 13, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Not that I mind, but yes, it is clear that BA likes Stanton a lot and has a lot of confidence in him. That was cleat when BA brought Stanton here from Indy right after his own arrival. And it appeared that Stanton was being brought here to be the starter. I have no idea if Palmer was in their plans at that point or not. But I am glad they made that deal a little further down the road.

    I will say this – I am hoping that since Stanton was retained, they won’t be reaching for a QB in the draft. They don’t HAVE to do that this year, not now. So…if their QB of the future isn’t there in this draft, then why bother?

    But there is a reason I’m not an NFL front office guy….

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