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Colts' Freeney wants future with team, will attend camps
By John Clayton
Updated: May 17, 2007, 5:28 PM ET
Unlike Lance Briggs, Asante Samuel and Cory Redding, Dwight Freeney doesn't mind being a franchise player.
Though franchise players often hold out of minicamps and training camp until they get the security of the long-term contract, Freeney plans to attend the Colts weekend minicamp because he wants to be with his franchise. Contract talks between the Colts and Freeney continue without any signs of a long-term deal, but that isn't going to change Freeney's plans.
Freeney will be at the team's minicamp this weekend.
"I want to make another run at the Super Bowl," Freeney said. "I want to be at the minicamp and talk to the young guys and be with my teammates. I will be there."
Freeney isn't complicating his position with emotions. The Colts put the exclusive franchise tag on him, meaning he had no ability to negotiate with any team in free agency. Under new franchise rules, he has until July 15 to get a long-term deal without the Colts losing the future ability to franchise players.
"I know I'm not going anywhere," Freeney said. "I'm not in a position where I can even talk to any other team. I feel it's very important to show I'm still a big part of this team."
As an exclusive franchise player, Freeney can accept a $9.43 million salary for one year or accept a long-term deal. If the team wants to franchise him next year, his salary would go up 20 percent, meaning he's going to make over $20 million over the next two seasons.
Briggs isn't expected to show up at the Bears mincamp and may hold out of training camp. Samuel and Redding might do the same thing. What Freeney finds ironic is that the Colts are known for their offense, but he's the franchise player.
"That's the funny thing because this team is known for it's offense with Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James," Freeney said. "It's an offensive team so it's funny for them to lock up a defensive player. But I love this organization."
John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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