The Atlanta Falcons had weeks and weeks to decide whether they wanted Dwight Freeney to join the team, and ultimately, that just didn’t happen. Whether Freeney ultimately chose Seattle because he felt they’d offer more playing time or the Falcons just dithered, Freeney didn’t wind up back in Atlanta.
Playing for an unusually sack-averse defensive line with the Seahawks, Freeney already has three sacks in three games, which exceeds his 2016 total with the Falcons. There are already enough story lines worth mentioning in this game, given that this is Dan Quinn’s former team and the one these Falcons beat in the playoffs a year ago, but having a motivated Freeney lining up for Seattle adds another layer.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said it was close regarding bringing Dwight Freeney back before Freeney signed with Seahawks. pic.twitter.com/6KmoUT6dqj— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) November 17, 2017
I’m not saying the Falcons were wrong to pass up on Freeney if they felt their rotation was fine without him, although he clearly still can rush the passer at a level that’s probably better than, say, Derrick Shelby. The Falcons appear to have settled into a groove over the last few weeks with Takkarist McKinley and Adrian Clayborn serving as their de facto starting ends, with Vic Beasley, Brooks Reed and Shelby mixing in. If Freeney picks up a sack or two on Monday night, expect the drama associated with the team passing on him to roll on unabated.