Great player yes, but just not a fit. - Andy Lyons
I hate to disagree with Adrian Peterson, but I just can't figure how it would be a good thing for the Purple and Gold.
I wasn't planning on writing a FA piece on Dwight Freeney, but as it turns out, he apparently had a brief phone conversation with Adrian Peterson where the RB expressed an interest in him coming aboard the longship. (Hat tip to @VikingsFanPage on Twitter.)
Normally when I write a FA piece, I discuss why it could be a possible good idea for the Vikings to pursue the individual in question. I'm going a different route here- I really don't think Freeney is a fit at all, and I sincerely doubt Spielman and co. will even bother placing a phone call. (Although they might, supposedly they are quite thorough.)
A few things- yes, Freeney is (technically) a linebacker. Yes, he is a seven time Pro Bowler, and was never really one of those "hey let's pick Jeff Saturday over John Sullivan DURDEEDURRRR!!!" picks, either. Yes, the Vikings are in need of linebackers.
However... Freeney has spent exactly one season as a linebacker, having prior to last season spent his career in Indianapolis as a defensive end. It was a relatively natural switch in certain senses, as the Colts were going from a 4-3 (like ourselves) to a 3-4 (unlike ourselves). However, even though to be fair he was hampered by injury, Freeney didn't exactly shine in his new position like he had as a DE. He wasn't terrible, but there is a reason, after all, that the Colts are releasing a longtime defensive keystone. (Well, he's actually just not being re-signed, not released per se.)
Further complicating the issue is that his lone season as a LB was spent as an OLB. That's the one position in the LB corps that we do not need help at. Sure, in theory, he could switch over to ILB, but that would essentially be a third position for him in as many seasons. Naturally the complications of going from a hybrid DE/OLB used in the 3-4 to a pure ILB in the 4-3 are myriad as well, and I would imagine that even if the Vikings were of a mind to pursue the possibility, the veteran would not be interested.
And if there's one position on defense that we are truly set at, both in terms of starters and depth, it's DE. Switching him back to his natural position and bringing him aboard doesn't do a ton for us, and would likely end up being a good chunk of FA cash wasted. Granted Jared Allen could in theory be released or traded, but should that occur (and I personally don't think it will), I'd still prefer plugging Everson Griffin there and calling it a day rather than bringing in an aging outsider likely to cost a pretty penny.
Overall, I just can't find one good reason why the Vikings would bring Dwight Freeney to the team. I have no doubts that, even at 33, he will be a highly pursued FA (hopefully by a 4-3 team intent on putting him back in his natural position)- but the teams that will be in that bidding war are just not likely to be from Minnesota.
Now tell me why I'm wrong.