SAN DIEGO — Chargers first-round draft pick D.J. Fluker officially signed with the team on Wednesday receiving a four-year contract worth a reported $11.4 million.
The offensive tackle who has worked with the first unit since organized team activities began four weeks ago tweeted: “Now, I am officially a Charger. The grind just got much sweeter. Get your mind right. I will not be denied at all cost.”
“It’s a fresh new start,” Freeney said. “I had some friends text. They said it’s like your first day of kindergarten.”
Freeney spent his first 11 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts where he terrorized quarterbacks as a pass rusher, rolling up a franchise-record 107.5 sacks.
But his sack total has fallen each of the past three seasons, including last year when he says a sprained ankle bothered him for the first half of the season.
“The numbers weren’t there for other reasons,” he said. “Three to four-hundred less pass attempts against us. When they threw the ball it was out quicker. They knew the strength of our defense was our pass rush.”
At 33 years old, some wonder aloud whether Freeney’s best days have past him by. And you better believe he hears it.
“I’m going to use that as motivation,” Freeney said. “That’s what you are supposed to do. Find something that will motivate you.”
Freeney also said his former teammate with the Colts, Peyton Manning, asked Freeney to join him in Denver. Freeney said he liked the fit in San Diego better, and he now he can actually get after Manning too.
“One of the thing you take pride in is hitting the quarterback and you want to hit them all, whether they are on your team or not,” Freeney said. “For me it’s going to be interesting and fun and hopefully I get some good opportunities this year.”
Freeney practiced wearing jersey number 95, but he hopes he gets the opportunity to wear his old number, 93, currently worn by Cam Thomas.
“I noticed that,” Freeney said. “I made sure I had a good view of him on the stretching line, right behind him, whispering in his ear. We’ll see what happens. He said we could talk. I said, alright, great. That’s where we left it. I’m gonna hunt him down in a minute. I’ll probably sleep outside his house.”