It didn't come as a surprise when the Indianapolis Colts announced they would part ways with Dwight Freeney. The defensive end is on the backside of his career and didn't fit into his new role as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
"I'll be honest with you, I was surprised the way it happened," Freeney told The Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell on Wednesday. "I figured they would offer me something low and I would just accept it, go the last few years and retire a Colt and that would be it.
"That didn't happen."
The Colts informed Freeney last week that they would not re-sign their all-time sack leader. Owner Jim Irsay, general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano broke the news via a conference call with Freeney out of town.
"I won't say there's bitterness because I understand the business side of it," Freeney said. "Jim took a chance on me and I have to be grateful for that. I've had a long career in Indy, longer than most people in one place.
"I just thought they would offer me something, but they didn't. So I guess I'm a little disappointed."
Freeney said other teams have shown interest and former teammate and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has whispered in his ear. He'll be on a 2013 NFL roster, but this is part of the Colts' transformation. The only major pieces remaining from the most successful run in franchise history in 2009 are Robert Mathis, Reggie Wayne, Antoine Bethea and Adam Vinatieri.
Grigson has made it clear that he won't let sentiment hinder him from remolding the roster for future success.
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.