Wayne was probably one of the most iconic members of the Colts during the 18-12 Rivalry, along with Peyton Manning himself, Marvin Harrison, and Robert Mathis (and maybe Dallas Clark). It was weird to see him in a Patriots uniform and it must have tortured Colts fans to see it.
Well, another iconic member of the Colts is interested in playing football and currently does not have a team: Dwight Freeney.
According to Monday Morning Quarterback, Freeney would be very open to playing with Belichick and the Patriots, and writer Peter King seems to hawk the Patriots-connection with a little more gusto than you would expect.
"Last point for Freeney, who grew up in Bloomfield, Conn., 80 miles due west of Foxboro: What would he say if Bill Belichick called, and he could ride into the sunset a Patriot after so many great years with the Colts?," King poses to the reader.
"Well," Freeney tells MMQB, "that's hard to fathom. But I'm not against Bill. I understand the dynamic involved, but at the end of the day, this is a business. My first allegiance right now is to Arizona, if they're interested. But if it happened that I ended up in New England, I can tell you, both sides would win."
Freeney has been replaced in Arizona by former Patriots edge defender Chandler Jones, which is a considerable upgrade for the Cardinals. Last season, the Cardinals used Freeney primarily as a pass rusher and performed at a high level.
The Patriots have Jabaal Sheard as their cornerstone edge defender in 2016, along with aging veterans Rob Ninkovich and Chris Long. Long is slated in to be that pure pass rusher that Freeney would like to play, and the Patriots also have youngsters Geneo Grissom, Trey Flowers, and Rufus Johnson to develop.
It would be un-Patriot-like to give an aging veteran a roster spot over a young player because that's just poor roster management. Not only are Grissom, Flowers, and Johnson cheap, they also offer considerably more upside for the next few seasons.
That isn't to say that Freeney doesn't offer value at this point in his career; he showed he is still productive in a pass rushing capacity. But even if Freeney would want to join the Patriots, his value doesn't align with the Patriots needs and current roster make-up.
Also, I really don't want to mess up the "Jonathan Freeny" and "Dwight Freeney" spellings more than I already do. "Malcom Brown" and "Malcolm Butler" is hard enough.