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Freeney, Falcons have mutual interest in reunion

Now that Elvis Dumervil has signed with the San Francisco 49ers, Dwight Freeney could be the next veteran pass rusher to land a new contract.

In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio last week, the 37-year-old free agent revealed that he has remained in contact with Atlanta Falcons coaches and players throughout the offseason.

"That line of communication is still very open. They say they're still very interested," Freeney said. "I'm planning to reach out to them here soon and hopefully we both believe they want me back and playing for them."

In the wake of the Falcons' devastating Super Bowl LI loss, Freeney told reporters that he was unsure about playing a 16th NFL season. Now he concedes that he was "leaning" toward retirement had the Falcons held onto their infamous 28-3 lead over the Patriots.

"I was kind of undecided before, but as it got closer, I was saying to myself, 'Winning the Super Bowl and leaving would feel amazing to me,'" Freeney continued. "The best year I ever experienced was the year that we won the Super Bowl. Wouldn't it be great to leave like Jerome Bettis, Ray Lewis or someone in that type of situation?

"We didn't win so that's gone."

Although Atlanta selected his replacement in Takk McKinley, the door is still open for Freeney to return after the situational edge rusher racked up one sack and seven hurries in the Super Bowl. In fact, Falcons coaches suggested McKinley call Freeney the day after the first-round pick was drafted.

"He was telling me, 'I used to use you on Madden and grew up watching you as a player,'" Freeney explained. "He was starting to make me feel real old. But he also said he can't wait to be a part of that. He sounded like he was passionate. Hopefully, I'll be there to help."

Up to 122.5 career sacks, Freeney has reached the stage of a Hall of Fame-caliber career where he has little to gain from offseason practices. Expect him to reconnect with the Falcons closer to the opening of training camp in late July.

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