Freeney with the Indianapolis Colts
|San Diego Chargers — No. --|
|Date of Birth: February 19 1980|
| Place of Birth: Hartford, Connecticut
|National Football League debut|
|2002 for the Indianapolis Colts|
|Career Highlights and Awards|
|NFL Draft: 2002 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11|
|Career stats to date|
|Stats at NFL.com|
Dwight Jason Freeney (born February 19, 1980 in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American football defensive end who currently plays for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He played college football at Syracuse University.
Freeney attended Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Freeney was a four sport letterman, getting four letters in baseball and basketball, three in football (where he played both ways) and one in soccer (he lettered as goalie his freshman year but switched over to football during his sophomore year). Freeney currently holds the record for sacks at his high school and his high school retired his #44 football jersey. During his youth, Freeney idolized New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who he met at a charity golf tournament after turning pro.
A 2-year starter at Syracuse University, Freeney set a school record with 17.5 sacks in his senior season and his 34 career sacks rank first in school history. Freeney was the school's premier pass rusher, and once had a string of 17 consecutive games with at least one sack. Against Virginia Tech and Michael Vick, Freeney sacked the elusive Vick 4.5 times in one game.
While attending Syracuse at a then 255-pounds Freeney has been clocked at 4.42 second 40 yard dash and recorded 45 vertical jump.
Freeney was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 11th selection in the 2002 NFL Draft. He set an NFL rookie record in 2002 with 9 forced fumbles, three of which occurred in a single game against former Syracuse football player, Donovan McNabb. Freeney was the runner up for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
In 2004, Freeney's third season, he led the NFL with 16 sacks. At the end of his third season, Freeney's season marked him as the 3rd fastest player to achieve 40 sacks.
In 2007, Freeney would help the Colts defeat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI to become NFL Champions.
On February 19, 2007, the Colts placed the franchise tag on Freeney following the expiration of his rookie contract. This move allowed Bill Polian and the Colts front office time to work on a long term contract. On July 13, 2007 Freeney signed a six-year, $72 million contract with $30 million in guarantees making Freeney the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.
Freeney was fined $20,000 by the NFL for his expletive-laced interview following the end of the Colts 2008-09 playoff campaign which ended with a 23-17 overtime playoff loss to the San Diego Chargers. The NFL cited Freeney for making "inappropriate comments on officiating," according to the Indianapolis Star. Freeney, frustrated by the three defensive penalties incurred as the Chargers made their game-winning drive, told Yahoo! Sports after the game: "Those were the worst [expletive] calls I've seen in a long time ... To have a game of that magnitude taken out of your hands, it's just disgusting. It's not like they made one [expletive] bad call -- it's three calls, in overtime ... They need to start investigating some other [expletive].