Dwight Freeney will return to Indy in 2012

Indianapolis GM Ryan Grigson declared that Freeney would return in 2012. (Getty Images)

While the Colts have embarked on what will become an almost total renovation of their organization (including the general manager, the head coach, the quarterback, the backup quarterback, receivers, linebackers, safeties, etc.), one cornerstone of the team isn’t going anywhere. That would be defensive end Dwight Freeney, who apparently is safe for 2012.

That’s what general manager Ryan Grigson told reporters, including the Indianapolis Star, on Monday, declaring, “He’s a Colt, period.”

We told you a couple weeks ago that the Colts were interested in trading the six-time Pro Bowler, as they continue to purge their roster of big-money players in an effort to get younger and cheaper for the time being (Freeney is 32 and will cost slightly more than $14 million in salary and $19 million in salary cap space in 2012, so no matter how good he stills is, he was a prime candidate to depart). 

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But whether it was a matter of the Colts not finding another team to give them a decent deal for Freeney or because Grigson realizes the team will have to play somebody next season, Freeney will stay with the only team he’s ever known.

“Everyone knows Dwight’s a great player. He’s going to be here this year,” said Grigson. “He hopes and fully expects to be a major contributor and a guy who strikes fear in our opponents and offensive lines every week.”

Grigson also said the team had no plans in trading Freeney or restructuring his contract in the last year of his deal.

And if you believe that, maybe you’ll believe this as well: Grigson, in his meeting with reporters, said the team still hasn’t decided whether it’ll draft Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III in next month’s draft.

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