Falcons Could Move On From Devonta Freeman

The Falcons are heading into a pivotal offseason. Dan Quinn managed to save his job at the last minute with some wins down the stretch, but if he doesn’t get the team back to their winning ways in 2020 he’ll almost certainly be getting the boot. 

Atlanta unsurprisingly appears ready to shake things up in the coming months, and at least one big name is on the chopping block. Running back Devonta Freeman‘s status with the team is “up in the air,” and release is an option, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter video link). As Rapoport points out, the Falcons could save around $3MM in cap space by releasing him outright. We heard back in October that the Lions and Falcons discussed a potential Freeman trade after Kerryon Johnson went down, and Rapoport now reports they “very strongly” considered trading him last year.

Freeman is set to earn a base salary of $6.5MM in 2020 with a cap hit of $9.5MM, and the Falcons would take a significant dead cap hit even though they’d also save some money. He inked a five-year, $41.25MM deal back in August of 2017, making him one of the league’s highest-paid running backs, and so far it hasn’t worked out too well.

He has struggled to stay healthy, appearing in only two games in 2018. Freeman, who turns 28 next month, has three years left on his deal but seems very unlikely to make it to the end of the pact. If he were released, the two-time Pro Bowler wouldn’t have too much trouble finding a new home. The Falcons have Brian Hill and very little else behind him, so they could be a candidate to draft a running back early come April if they do move on from Freeman.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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5 comments on “Falcons Could Move On From Devonta Freeman

  1. zach 1224143625

    Please come to the lions talent is good. The lions have so little will take a chance on all the disappointing players freeman David Johnson

  2. jeremy

    this deal would only make sense if they are trying to save money. because he not even 30 yet and still a pretty decent RB. so they let go two of their best RBS the past two seasons for what?

    • Well Coleman most likely left because of his price tag and him looking for a more stable starting job (plus the Shanahan familiarity). Freeman isn’t that good anymore plain and simple. He was their best RB but that’s also not saying much. Freeman was their best RB almost by default, the same way Bo Scarborough was the Lions’ best RB last season almost by default. They don’t really save money by cutting him but it’s also a half-decent draft for RBs and they could probably find one there to form a RBBC.

  3. Next year is the year to cut Freeman as they’d save $6,300,000 in cap and only hold $3 million in dead money.

    2020 costs the Falcons between $6 million and $9.5 million depending on how many bonuses Freeman picks up. I.e. potentially nothing. In that case, the cost of keeping him in 2020 is effectively the $3 million of dead cap next year (the $6 million is gone either way).

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