Devonta Freeman career may end over silly contract demand

Devonta Freeman Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Devonta Freeman Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Former Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman’s career will end because of his own stubbornness.

The Atlanta Falcons made a decision to move on from Devonta Freeman after six seasons and a considerable decline in his ability to run the ball. After the 2016 Super Bowl LI loss, the Falcons made the terrible decision to make Freeman one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL only to see his availability and productivity decline.

According to the NFL Network, Devonta Freeman is willing to sit the entire 2020 season if he does not get the number he is firm on. Just a few days ago, the New York Jets and the Seattle Seahawks were interested in his services.

Per Michael Silver of the NFL Network:

"“Freeman has invested his money well and saved much of the income he’s earned thus far,” Silver said. “Financially, he does not have to play. His current mentality is that he won’t play if he doesn’t get an offer that reflects what he believes his value is.”"

Freeman turned down the $4 million offer from Seattle. That stubbornness could more than likely result in Freeman’s career in the NFL coming to an end.

Devonta Freeman has not been the same running back

Devonta Freeman has not played an entire 16 game season since 2016 and missed all but two games in 2018. In 2019, he averaged a paltry 3.6 yards per attempt, scored two rushing touchdowns, and had just 656 yards – a career-low when playing at least 13 games.

When you add all of that to the fact that running backs are no longer considered essential and most teams go with running back by committee, no sane team will give Freeman more than the Seahawks offered.

Atlanta Falcons fans should not be shocked by this demand. His agent, Kristin Campbell, spent the week of Super Bowl LI telling everyone that Freeman was the best running back in the NFL and deserved to be the highest-paid and given the coverage around the Super Bowl, those demands quickly became the topic of conversation.

Every player should absolutely bet on themselves but they also need to be reasonable. We see athletes all the time that make outrageous demands and then never get another chance at making a living at the game that they love.

This situation is a lot different than what he saw Le’Veon Bell go through just a couple years ago. Bell sat out a season after being the most productive back in the league for a handful of years. Upon his return in 2019, Bell was nothing like he was prior to sitting and you can bet that teams will look at that should Freeman sit in 2020.

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If Todd Gurley was willing to take a one year prove-it deal with that Atlanta Falcons, then Devonta Freeman should be willing to take a one-year prove-it deal with someone else, even if it is for a paltry $4 million.