After parting ways with four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning before the 2012 NFL season began, the Indianapolis Colts drafted the future face of the franchise in rookie quarterback Andrew Luck out of Stanford.
As arguably the most promising young quarterback coming out of college in recent memory, Luck had an immense out of pressure to live up to the hype heading into the NFL as the number one overall pick in the 2012.
Even though there were a few other rookie quarterbacks that burst onto the NFL scene in 2012 with Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III emerging as stars for the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins, Luck was able to lead the Colts into the playoffs and brought hope back to Indianapolis in the post Manning era.
Although Luck has cemented himself as the Colts’ leader moving forward, the team has decided to part ways with defensive end Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Austin Collie according to Fox Sports:
The Indianapolis Colts said Friday they will not re-sign former league sacks champion Dwight Freeney or oft-injured receiver Austin Collie.
Both will become unrestricted free agents next month.
The release of Collie isn’t all that surprising with the receiver dealing battling injuries over the past few years, but the team deciding not to re-sign Freeney is a little surprising. Freeney has played all 11 seasons in Indianapolis and at one point in time was considered one of the elite players in the NFL at his position.
Unfortunately for Freeney, loyalty in the league isn’t what it was in the past. Since the 2012 NFL season came to an end, teams around the league have been parting ways with veterans with perhaps one of the most notable being Charles Woodson formerly of the Green Bay Packers.
Salary cap casualties will likely become more and more common in the years to come with players like Freeney and Woodson forced to either retire or play one or two seasons with another franchise in the twilight of their careers.