The Lions claimed defensive end Dwight Freeney off waivers on Wednesday, the day after he was released by the Seahawks, ESPN reports.
Freeney is a seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro. He’s also 37, but his three sacks in four games this season with Seattle indicates he can still play. Freeney played an average of 28 snaps over his first three games with the Seahawks but just 17 in Seattle’s loss to the Falcons on Monday night.
The Lions have 21 sacks so far this season, tied for 20th in the NFL. Freeney has 125 1/2 sacks in his 16 years in the league, 17th on the all-time list and second to the Panthers’ Julius Peppers among active players.
Freeney will be reunited in Detroit with Lions coach Jim Caldwell. Freeney played for Caldwell while with the Colts from 2002-10; Caldwell was an assistant in Indianapolis from 2002-08 and head coach there from 2009-11. In fact, as coach of Wake Forest, Caldwell recruited Freeney, but Freeney decided to go to Syracuse, ProFootballTalk notes.
At 6-4, the Lions are in the NFC playoff mix. They host the 8-2 Vikings on Thanksgiving Day in a key NFC North contest, although it would be surprising to see Freeney on the field the day after being signed.