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‘Paid Assassin’ Dwight Freeney calls Tom Brady ‘a cool dude’

Despite recently identifying himself as a “paid assassin,” Atlanta Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney has a soft spot for Tom Brady. But it’s unlikely the longtime sackmaster will hold back against the New England Patriots quarterback in Super Bowl LI.

When asked if he holds any grudges toward Brady given their lengthy history, Freeney expressed nothing but respect and admiration.

“You try to hate a guy because you play against him,” Freeney said, via ESPN. “You’re playing the Patriots and, of course, you want to hate him. But when you meet him you’re like, ‘Hey, this guy’s a great guy.’ He’s a cool dude, man.”

Freeney, 36 and in his 15th NFL season, is seeking his second Super Bowl ring on Feb. 5, his first coming with the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI. He lauded Brady as a “consistent” player who knows “how to manage his team.”

After facing Brady 13 times during his standout NFL career, including playoffs, Freeney was asked if he recalled how many times he’s sacked the Patriots signal-caller.

“I don’t know,” Freeney said. “I sacked him a few times. I have no idea.”

The number actually is four, per ESPN Statistics & Information.

“I’ve probably seen Tom Brady more than probably anybody in the league, which is funny we’re going against him,” Freeney said. “It’s going to be a challenge. It’s going to be something that we’re all going to have to come together collectively and find a way to make his life uncomfortable.”

Freeney says the Falcons understand the tall order the team faces if it hopes to upset Brady and the Patriots, an organization he has a “tremendous, tremendous amount of respect.”

Irrespective of his fondness for Brady and respect for the Patriots organization, Freeney is still all about getting it done. During a recent interview with Stack, Freeney labeled himself as a football player with a very particular set of skills.

ā€œIā€™m like a paid assassin with multiple ways to kill,ā€ Freeney said.

That can’t hurt against Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl LI.