After word came out yesterday that Melvin Ingram had torn his ACL in the second day of OTAs, the most common name brought up as a possible replacement was Dwight Freeney. Now Michael Gehlken is reporting that Dwight Freeney is scheduled to meet with the San Diego Chargers today to talk about being the team's best (only?) pass-rusher.
I have mixed feelings about Dwight Freeney. He's no longer a lock for double-digit sacks, and his cap hit last season was an absurd $19 million.
He also had 5 sacks last season, his lowest for a full season, in his first year as a 3-4 OLB. However, Pro Football Focus actually thought he did well in 2012. They had him as the 15th best overall 3-4 OLB last year (and the 10th best pass rusher), ahead of Melvin Ingram, Shaun Phillips and Jarret Johnson. His 33 "QB Hurries" and 9 "QB Hits" were also better than anyone that was in San Diego last season.
He's not an injury concern, playing in at least 14 games in all but one of his 11 NFL seasons, but there's a case to be made that he's slowing down. At 33-years-old, Dwight's probably looking at one and two-year contract offers. The Chargers currently have around $6.2 million in cap space, which might be just enough to squeeze in Freeney but would leave nothing left over for later.
Dwight Freeney and his agent know the Chargers are desperate, but the Chargers know that they don't need to make the playoffs in 2013. Tom Telesco knows that screwing his cap situation to get a 33-year-old Dwight Freeney might be a mistake, but it might be necessary if San Diego is going to keep from getting embarrassed by the Denver Broncos and any other team with a decent QB in 2013.