After playing 11 seasons in Indianapolis, Indiana, Syracuse Orange alum Dwight Freeney is moving to the pacific coast for a new chapter of his professional career. Freeney reached an agreement with the San Diego Chargers after parting ways with the Indianapolis Colts.
Freeney's contract is for the next two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15). He joins a San Diego team looking to recharge their output after failing to be an effective AFC West opponent.
Heading into the 2013-14 campaign, the Chargers have already received troubling news. Linebacker Melvin Ingram was lost for the upcoming season as a result of an injury suffered during practice. In his lone NFL season, Ingram amounted 41 tackles, one forced fumble, and one sack over 16 games for 2012-13.
The need for a starter rose at this time as new head coach Mike McCoy was hired on the heels of Norv Turner's firing to attempt to turn the tide of the pacific squad.
Since Freeney entered the NFL in the 2002-03 season, San Diego has attained a place in the postseason five times in 11 tries.
The closest the Chargers came to the title game was in the 2007-08 season when they advanced, but lost, in the AFC Conference Championship match to the New England Patriots.
Within the same amount of time, Freeney aided the Colts to 10 playoff berths in 11 seasons, including a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2006-07 season, where the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears for the title.
Even before his time in the NFL, Freeney was no stranger to success. As a member of the Orange, Freeney helped Syracuse stay above .500 in each of his four collegiate seasons.
With Freeney on the squad, the Orange went to three bowl games in four seasons, winning the Music City Bowl after the 1999 season and the Insight Bowl following the 2001 campaign.
He had an immediate impact on the Indianapolis defense, recording double-digits in sacks in all of his first four NFL seasons. Freeney would go on to attain double-figures in sacks in three more seasons and has amounted no less than five sacks per season in all but one season; Freeney had 3.5 sacks in the 2007-08 season, but only played in nine matches.
Despite attaining less than 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons, Freeney has taken down the opposing quarterback at least five times in both of these seasons. The Chargers have a mere two returning defenders that amounted at least five sacks last season.
Freeney also enters San Diego having forced 44 fumbles over his 11 seasons, creating multiple fumbles in all but two of those seasons.
As his 12th season approaches over the horizon, Freeney's talent and experience of winning will be vital to the Chargers' push toward the positive side of the win-loss column.
The page has turned. Now it is up to Freeney to decide what will be written.