This previously rumored move will not be especially beneficial, though. The Falcons will eat $6MM in dead money by releasing their starting back of the past five seasons. A Freeman release would move Atlanta under the cap, however.
The Falcons will save around $3MM in cap space by releasing him outright. The Falcons have been mulling the possibility of moving on from Freeman for a while now – in October, they strongly considered dealing him to the Lions and other clubs in need of RBs.
Freeman was set to play out the rest of his five-year, $41.25MM deal. Signed in August of 2017, it made him one of the league’s highest-paid RBs. Unfortunately, it did not pan out – Freeman was unable to stay healthy and appeared in just two games in 2018. Last year, he played in 14 contests, but averaged just 3.6 yards per tote.
The Falcons are now charged with having to remake their backfield. As of this writing, they’ve got Brian Hill and….not much else. Many expect the Falcons to target their RB of the future in the draft since they’re lacking in cap flexibility.