Atlanta Falcons: Devonta Freeman Tipping The Scale
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman’s ranking as the No. 41 on the NFL Top 100 list gives him more leverage in contract negotiations.
The Atlanta Falcons and running back Devonta Freeman have yet to reach an agreement on a contract extension. As it stands, the fourth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft has one year left of his rookie contract and is set to make approximately $1.8 million in base salary this year; more than the total base salary he’s earned in his three-year NFL career.
Not bad at all. Freeman will get paid. However, the 25-year-old running back has made it clear, he doesn’t want to be paid. Rather, he wants to be “elite paid“. Neither Freeman nor his agent named a specific number of his desired salary and with the wide range of salaries among NFL running backs, there’s no telling what number the money scale will read.
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However, Devonta Freeman’s argument for elite pay already has significant weight to it. For the past two seasons, Freeman has been the feature back and amassed 1,056 rush yards in the 2015 season and 1,079 in the 2016 season. He’s managed to post these stats despite splitting responsibilities with Tevin Coleman.
What’s more impressive, he’s the only player with 10-plus rush touchdowns and only running back to exceed 1,000 rushing yards in consecutive seasons in 2015 and 2016. Furthermore, Freeman has racked up 1,265 receiving yards in his career and proven to be a reliable option in the backfield, giving quarterback Matt Ryan another weapon in the team’s air attack. The two-time Pro Bowler’s success has led him to believe that the Freeman-Coleman tandem is the NFL’s best.
While that’s arguable, there’s no denying Freeman’s talent. He’s a star and others around the League have certainly noticed. That’s evident since Davonte Freeman made the NFL Network’s Top 100 list for the second consecutive year, ranking No. 41, a few spots higher than last year’s No. 50. He was the first Atlanta Falcons player to be named to the list. This accomplishment adds weight to his argument and can help tip the scale in his favor.
Next: Atlanta Falcons Get Heads In The Game
It’ll be interesting to see how Devonta Freeman’s contract situation with the Atlanta Falcons will play out. Given the reciprocity and since he won’t hold out, I don’t think the Falcons will rush to extend Freeman’s contract before training camp. I foresee the Falcons keeping him as their starter but making him earn an extension through competition. With the team’s added depth at the position, Freeman will have to beat Tevin Coleman and Brian Hill to remain the starter. It won’t be easy but with elite play, he’ll get elite pay and continue to rise up.