Falcons should not resign Tevin Coleman
The Atlanta Falcons need to do everything in their power to remain fiscally responsible and not resign running back Tevin Coleman.
The 2018 season is the last season that the Atlanta Falcons have utility player Tevin Coleman under contract.
Since being drafted out of Indiana three years ago, Coleman has been one of the most explosive players in the league. The past two seasons, Coleman has had greater than 900 yards from scrimmage and went for 11 total touchdowns back in 2016.
Looking at Coleman’s numbers it is easy to see that when he touches the ball good things happen. That said, the biggest reason that Coleman is not a household name outside of fantasy football players and Falcons fans, is that he has an unpassable roadblock on the depth chart in front of him.
In addition to Coleman, the Falcons have star running back Devonta Freeman. The existence of Freeman causes Coleman (the slightly less talented player) to receive a reduced role. As a result, Coleman’s impact on the game is lessened because he is unable to get the touches he would normally get if he was the lead back on another team.
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If Coleman were to resign and stay on this Falcons team it would be because either the team overpaid him for his production or Coleman was promised an increased role (or the starting running back position).
If Coleman is such a talented player, why should the Falcons not resign him at above-market rates to retain him?
Basically, the Falcons only have so much cap room each season. If the Falcons started overpaying players that are not starters or do not play in a large percentage of each game, then the team is not getting a good return on its investment.
The reason that signing Coleman will be more expensive than resigning a normal backup is that Coleman has shown that he has the ability to be a franchise player. It is assumed that Coleman knows that he has the potential to be the lead back for a team come next free agency so for the Falcons they would have to give a player that is not a starter, star-like money for him to stay. This, of course, would be a bad move cap-wise.
If the Falcons were to invest into Coleman what it would take for him to keep his reduced role, they would be seriously overvaluing his accomplishments. While the former Indiana running back is an integral part of Atlanta’s offense, they shouldn’t feel like they have to award every homegrown player with a massive contract.
Enjoy watching Tevin Coleman this season, because come free agency Coleman will be wearing another team’s jersey.