Dwight Freeney Thinks About His Contract and Other AFC South Must-Read Articles

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistSeptember 10, 2012

Freeney spent as much time on the sidelines in Week 1 as he did in the preseason.
Freeney spent as much time on the sidelines in Week 1 as he did in the preseason.Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Dwight Freeney's 2012 season opener was brief.

Early in Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears, Freeney limped off with an ankle injury, and the Colts' pass rush went with him. At nearly $900,000 a game, it was an expensive scratch for the Colts.

Today's Article of the Day is a terrific interview with the Colts' defensive end by Phil B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star. In it, Freeney admits to thinking about his contract. and says there was about a 10 percent chance he might have been traded.

I still think the odds are higher going forward.

Freeney wasn't released or dealt at the roster deadline, but that's possibly because, at the last minute, the trade deadline during the regular season was pushed back to Week 8. Freeney is guaranteed his $14 million salary, but there's no guarantee the Colts are the team to pay all of it.

Freeney's Week 1 injury illustrates the peril he poses for the Colts. On one hand, his durability has begun to be questioned, and at his present salary, any ding becomes costly. On the other hand, Indianapolis generated virtually no pass rush without him.

Freeney is thinking about money, and you can be sure that if the Colts are sitting at 2-5 come Week 7, they'll be thinking about it too. With nearly half the season gone, they won't have to find a trading partner with $14 million in cap space, just one with around $7 or $8 million.

General Interest

Scott Kacsmar of Cold Hard Football Facts looks at the the four-minute offense.

Tennessee Titans

Tom Gower of Total Titans continues with position reviews starting with the defensive ends and continuing with cornerbacks and safeties.

Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com says the Titans didn't measure up.

David Climer of The Tennessean sees lots of good from Jake Locker.

John Glennon of The Tennessean reports on Chris Johnson's awful day.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union says Mel Tucker's defense collapsed.

Frenette writes that it was a painful end to Blaine Gabbert's day.

Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union called it "gut-wrenching".

Houston Texans

Kuharsky says the Texans' current and future quarterback is the same.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle breaks down Matt Schaub's contract extension.

Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle says signing Schaub is a smart move.

Indianapolis Colts

Herm Edwards of ESPN Insider looks at how Vontae Davis can help the Colts' defense.

I appeared on the Bear Radio Report.

Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star profiles Andrew Luck.