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Dwight Freeney calls stunt, makes winning play, gets bonus pay

There was a little bit of everything in that final play.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals got a win on Thursday night over the Minnesota Vikings. Dwight  Freeney had a lot to do with that, as he made the game-clinching sacks and forced fumble with second left in the game and the Vikings in position to at least tie the game.

Before he sacked and stripped Teddy Bridgewater of the ball, he made a game-winning call. "That last play of the game, (Freeney) called a ply, a stunt for us to do because he knew it was going to work, and he made a huge play," said teammate Calais Campbell.

He made the play using his signature spin move. It was a case of "the third time's a charm."

"It was one of the spin moves," he told reporters after the game. "It is funny because I spun three times on that series. The first one, he blocked me, I said 'he will never expect another one.' The second one I spun and I got killed, so I thought, 'he will never expect a third one' and I actually got in there and make a good move."

It wasn't exactly a walk-off sack, but it was really close. There were five seconds left on the clock and all the Cardinals had to do was knee the ball down once.

It wasn't the first time he has done it, though.

"I have had one of those (game-ending sacks)," he said. "Those are the greatest feelings for a defensive lineman, honestly. It is no different than two seconds on the clock and your'e a basketball player and you shoot a three to end the game, or ninth inning, two outs and you hit a home run. It is one of those types of feelings you can't duplicate."

He has to feel good about the sack for another reason, too. Not only did it win the game, but it earned him a bonus.

It was his fourth sack of the season, which triggers a $200,000 bonus in his contract. He can up to $1 million in bonus for sacks. The first $200,000 comes by getting four. Every sack the rest of the way (up to 12) will earn him another $100,000.

Freeney didn't mention it (and no one asked him, either), but his teammates knew it. Patrick Peterson said, "Dwight made a big play, earned him a little extra cash and that is why we brought him in."

Not a bad way to end the week -- calling the winning play, making the winning play and then getting a bonus. That's what Freeney did on Thursday. I guess he might have a little something left to offer.