Dwight Freeney is a seven-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker for the San Diego Chargers. He was named All-Pro four times during 11 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts before signing with the Chargers prior to the 2013 season.
Freeney was born on February 19, 1980 in Hartford, CT and lettered in four sports at Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, CT. He played soccer as a freshman in high school before deciding to play football instead, and he became a star on the gridiron. During his time at Bloomfield, he set a school record for career sacks and currently holds the state record for most sacks in a high school career. After three outstanding seasons at Bloomfield, he accepted a scholarship offer to play at Syracuse University.
Freeney only saw limited action during his first two years with Syracuse, but he developed into one of the nation’s most-feared pass rushers during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. As a junior, he made 13.0 sacks in only seven games and was a unanimous selection to the All-Big East First Team. An illness prevented him from playing the final four games, but he put together a historic senior season in 2001, recording a school single-season record with 17.5 sacks en route to being named an All-American. He finished his college career with 34.0 sacks, which ranks second on the school’s all-time list.
After blowing away scouts with his blend of size and athleticism, the Indianapolis Colts selected Freeney with the 11th overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft. During his rookie season, he set an NFL rookie record with nine forced fumbles and finished second in NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. He made his first All-Pro team in 2004, as he led the league with 16.0 sacks and forced four fumbles. He once again received All-Pro distinction the following season with 11.0 sacks and six forced fumbles. Despite only having 5.5 sacks during the 2006 season, he helped lead the Colts to a Super Bowl title over the Chicago Bears.
He signed a lucrative seven-year extension with Indianapolis prior to the start of the 2007 season, but injuries cost him seven games that year and he recorded a career-low 3.5 sacks. He bounced back with three consecutive double-digit sack campaigns, including 13.5 sacks during 2009 when he was named All-Pro for the fourth time. Following the 2012 season, the Colts informed Freeney he would not be re-signed. He left as the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks, eventually being passed by former teammate Robert Mathis.
San Diego Chargers
Freeney struck a two-year deal with the San Diego Chargers on May 18, 2013. He suffered a torn quad during the fourth game of the year and was placed on the season-ending Injured Reserve list.
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