After losing 2012 first-rounder Melvin Ingram to a torn ACL during the team's first round of OTA's, the San Diego Chargers were in desperate need of help on their defensive line. Earlier in the week, the team brought in former Colts pass rushing specialist Dwight Freeney for a visit and a physical, but no deal was offered despite the mutual interest between both parties. On Saturday morning, however, the two sides finally came to an agreement. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Freeney inked a two-year deal to become the latest member of the Chargers.
Source: #Chargers have an agreement in principle for a 2-year deal with Dwight Freeney— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 18, 2013
The most interesting aspect of this story was just how long Freeney lasted on the open market. Unlike years past, the market for veterans has been surprisingly cool in 2013 due to the flatter salary cap figure. Rookies and other young players received the lion's share of teams' money, leaving many veterans--like Freeney--out in the cold. Combine that with the perceived value that most veterans have of themselves, and you get a situation like this one, where a supremely talented player languishes on the market for far longer than anyone could have anticipated. Just ask Charles Woodson.
Ultimately, Freeney's signing means one of two things. Either he lowered his expectations in the face of this year's glacial veteran market, or the Chargers are truly desperate enough for pass rushers that they capitulated to the contract demands of a player that some suspect might have a hard time fitting into a 3-4 scheme.