INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -The Indianapolis Colts have signed defensive end Dwight Freeney to a long-term contract that will make him among the NFL's most highly paid defensive players.
Freeney and the Colts agreed to a six-year, $72 million contract that includes a $30 million signing bonus, Freeney's agent, Gary Wichard, said Friday. The Colts also issued a statement saying they had reached an agreement with Freeney, but did not elaborate.
The deal first was reported by ESPN.
The Colts had designated Freeney as their franchise player in February, which would have kept him with the Super Bowl champions for at least one more season. The team and Freeney faced a Monday deadline to sign a long-term deal before this season.
Freeney, a first-round draft pick in 2002, missed the Pro Bowl this year for the first time since his rookie season. He was held to a career-low 5 1/2 sacks while fighting shoulder and leg injuries, the only time he has been under double digits in sacks.
Freeney has 56 1/2 sacks and forced 27 fumbles during his first five seasons with the Colts.
His long-term deal would be the Colts' biggest investment in their defense for what has long been an offensive-oriented team.
Since late 2004, the Colts have signed big deals with quarterback Peyton Manning (seven years, $98 million) and receivers Marvin Harrison (six years, $66 million) and Reggie Wayne (six years, $39 million).
Under the franchise tag, Freeney had been guaranteed $8,644,000, the average salary of the top five defensive ends next season.

Recent NFL Discussions

Betting the 2017 NFL Draft on Mon, Apr 2017 by Blade
2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
College / NBA today on Sun, Mar 2017 by TtomBoBadly
SNOW on Tue, Mar 2017 by Michael Cash

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Alabama NFL Draft Odds The Alabama Crimson Tide could have a lot of players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft next week. How many...
Thumbnail Odds Theory & Fantasy: Perfect Combo In America alone over 110 million people settled down to watch February’s Super Bowl and were rewarded by a game which saw many twists and turns along the way. Of...
Thumbnail Romo moving to CBS After a lot of discussion about where Tony Romo will be next season, it appears that he will be behind a broadcast booth.
Thumbnail Patriots remain SB52 Favorites With NFL free agency slowing down dramatically over the past week, here's a look at the most recent Super Bowl 52 odds to win.
Thumbnail The Next Atlanta Falcons Despite suffering one of the greatest collapses in sports history at Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons still managed to overcome significant odds to reach the NFL’s...

NFL Team Pages