The Falcons have bolstered their pass rush by agreeing to terms with seven-time Pro Bowler Dwight Freeney.
The former Syracuse standout was originally drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round (11th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft. Freeney played 11 seasons for the Colts and recorded 107.5 sacks, 258 total tackles (40 solo), and 43 forced fumbles in 163 games. One of his best seasons came in 2004 when he recorded a career high 16 sacks, which led the league that year.
Freeney's knack for stripping the ball goes hand-in-hand with head coach Dan Quinn's philosophy of being relentless and having a high regard for the ball. He has recorded 47 career forced fumbles, which ranks third in NFL history, according to STATS LLC. Last season, with the Arizona Cardinals, Freeney recorded three forced fumbles – a team high. To a group of guys who compete every day to take the ball away, Freeney will be will be a welcomed sight. The Falcons only recorded 12 forced fumbles last season, with Vic Beasley Jr. leading the way with two.
The 15 -year vet is coming off a season with the Cardinals where he recorded eight sacks in 11 games as a sub-package pass rusher. The Falcons believe by adding the three time All-Pro, who has amassed 119.5 sacks (19th in NFL history), will help affect the quarterback and move him out of his comfort zone more consistently in 2016.
This move reunites Freeney and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who played together last year in Arizona. Also, this move brings the roster to 90 men heading into the second block of XFINITY® Training Camp.