It’s hard to believe Devonta Freeman and the Atlanta Falcons have not finalized a new deal that would keep the running back in the state of Georgia. Now, it seems the two sides are determined to make it happen, but have not consummated anything yet.
Per a story on NFL.com written by Jeremy Bergman, ahead of the Super Bowl, NFL Network’s Michael Silver reported that Freeman’s agent claimed the back deserved “elite pay,” a comment that, due to its timing and confidence, seemed to anticipate a contract struggle coming this offseason before the terms expire in 2018.
Freeman’s agent has a point. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round (103rd overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. He is a two-time Pro Bowl performer (2015, 2016) and a Second-team All-Pro player (2015). Freeman was the NFL rushing touchdowns leader in 2015. The man wants to get paid and should have no problem finding what he wants, should he hit the free agent market after this season.
When asked how soon talks will begin concerning a new deal, Dimitroff said the media should check back with him once training camp begins for the Falcons.
“We’ve talked about approaching these types of contracts and situations usually going into camp is when we start talking about them and really start having some discussions about it,” the Falcons GM added. “That’s not a hard line for us, but in my mind, I like to make sure that we have those kind of things worked on. You know, look, he’s in a really good space here, he loves being here and he loves playing for Dan Quinn.”
The combination of Freeman and Tevin Coleman should continue to play a big role in the Falcons offense. Freeman has proven to the NFL and the media he can be a workhorse runner, with Coleman offering a change of pace type of runner.
Fans and the NFL media will ask if Atlanta is willing to reward Freeman with the elite contract he desires this offseason? Le’Veon Bell, a one-man wrecking crew in Pittsburgh, is earning $12.1 million on the tag; LeSean McCoy does it all in Buffalo and garners $8 million per year.
For now, the team and Freeman will table talks until July. But the speculation of Freeman gets the deal he wants will continue to be a hot topic in Hotlanta.