ESPN’s Vaughn McClure reports that the Atlanta Falcons are expected to add free-agent linebacker Jerrell Freeman of the Indianapolis Colts after losing out on Danny Trevathan, who signed with the Chicago Bears today. However the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder reports that Freeman’s current team of the Colts are “still in the picture” to retain him.
Freeman, 29, would be a fitting “consolation prize” for the Falcons as the team looks to upgrade its linebacker play. Freeman started four seasons at inside linebacker for the Colts after spending three seasons playing for the Sasketchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.
Freeman had a breakout year in 2015 according to premium website Pro Football Focus, earning the site’s fourth-highest linebacker grade. He finished the year 112 tackles, three sacks, an interception returned for a 23-yard touchdown and one fumble recovery. Freeman’s most productive season statistically came in 2013 when he had 126 tackles, 5.5 sacks, two interceptions, six forced fumbles and two recoveries.
Freeman was an undrafted free agent out of Division III’s Mary Hardin-Baylor with the Tennessee Titans in 2008, but was cut during training camp. He signed north of the border the following spring with Saskatchewan. Over three seasons, he logged 144 tackles, 13 sacks, three interceptions, four fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown. He was named a CFL All-star during his final season in 2011 before signing with the Colts.
Freeman would likely play middle linebacker for the Falcons after spending most of his time with the Colts at inside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme. Freeman played middle linebacker during his time in the CFL and his physical demeanor and coverage prowess would be a welcome upgrade at the position in Atlanta.