For the second straight season, the Colts appear headed for a major overhaul on the roster.
Also not coming back is wide out Austin Collie, a key player in their second Super Bowl run since moving to Indy. Both will now become unrestricted free agents.
“Sadly, Dwight and Horseshoe parting ways,” team owner Jim Irsay wrote on Twitter after the team confirmed the moves.
Last year, the Colts released four-time MVP Peyton Manning in early March. A few days later, they cut running back Joseph Addai, linebacker Gary Brackett, safety Melvin Bullitt and tight end Dallas Clark.
Right tackle Ryan Diem retired and a handful of players including receiver Pierre Garcon and center Jeff Saturday left in free agency. It looked like the Colts might also lose Pro Bowlers Robert Mathis and Reggie Wayne, too, but Indy re-signed both players and both again made the Pro Bowl team in 2012.
Freeney turns 33 next week, has seen his sacks totals decline each of the past three years, counted more than $17 million against the cap last season.
“Few people have meant as much to the success of the Indianapolis Colts as Dwight Freeney,” Irsay said in a statement. “He has been a dominant player, which is all the more impressive considering his size for his position, and he has won a lot of games for this franchise. Dwight was an artist, a joy to watch, and the dedication he put toward his craft was a rare quality. We will miss him, but look forward to his future induction into the Hall of Fame and Colts Ring of Honor.”