Devonta Freeman Willing To Skip 2020 NFL Season

So far this offseason, Devonta Freeman hasn’t been able to find a deal to his liking. If that doesn’t change between now and the fall, the running back is willing to sit out the entire 2020 season, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

In theory, the 28-year-old could easily walk away – he’s earned upwards of $24MM and he’s got plenty of spectacular performances to look back upon. Retirement, however, is not a consideration for Freeman at this time, Rapoport hears.

Freeman’s drawn interest from the Seahawks, Jets, and Eagles since being released by the Falcons. And, just recently, Seattle tried to sell him on a one-year deal worth $3MM – he said no, prompting Pete Carroll & Co. to turn to Carlos Hyde. The Eagles may still be a fit for Freeman, Rapoport posits, despite the presence of Miles SandersBoston ScottCorey Clement, and the newly-signed LeSean McCoy. Ditto for the Jets, who are looking to fortify the group behind Le’Veon Bell. Ultimately, it’ll come down to dollars and Freeman would rather stay patient than slash his price here in May.

Last year, Freeman appeared in 14 games for the Falcons but averaged just 3.6 yards per tote on 184 carries. Meanwhile, Football Outsiders placed him just 41st among 43 running backs in success rate. In 2020, Freeman is hoping to redeem himself and get closer to the form he exhibited in 2016, his last Pro Bowl campaign. In that season, Freeman ran for 4.8 yards per try and scored 13 all-purpose touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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40 comments on “Devonta Freeman Willing To Skip 2020 NFL Season

  1. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    So let me get this right… He’s not getting an offer he’s happy with, and feels sitting out for a year, being a year older and over a full year away from the NFL will increase his value? I realize he’s not old, but but NFL RB standards, he’s aging rapidly…

    • cant_teach_speed

      I think these guys are starting to think a year to rest their bodies isn’t bad. But it seems guys have a hard time coming back and meeting the game speed when they returned. It’s like if you leave you never quite catch up.

    • Ironman_4life

      Im looking at it this way. You spend a few years making x amount. Then your skills diminish but you are accustomed to same paycheck. In the NFL that theory had not worked well. I would have taken the 1 year deal that was offered. Once a 28 year old running back is out of league for a year its rare they come back. There’s exceptions.

      • davidkaner

        I agree. Pittsburgh offered Bell more money than what he signed for and the Jets paid less but still overpaid.

    • JJB0811

      If I had $24m in the bank, I’d retire as well. This isn’t the 1980’s or even early 2000 salaries anymore.

      • mitchrapp

        After fed, state and local taxes, agent, chef, trainer, etc maybe he got about 45% of the 24 mil so about $11 million over 6 years. So under $2 million a year. Subtract the house, cars, bling, momma, baby momma, kids… hope he invested some.

        • andremets

          $2,000,000 after taxes is about what I will make in 40 years if I make $100k gross per year.

      • crosseyedlemon

        ♫ You load sixteen tons
        What do you get
        Another day older
        And deeper in debt
        St. Peter don’t you call me
        Cuz I can’t go
        I owe my soul
        To the company store ♫

    • burrow_is_a_bust

      Yes these are the decisions these players make willing to sit out cuz thinks he’ll get better offer next yr as just a dumb thought process but it’s common it runs in the genes as u saw this off-season in baker and Dunbar #NoRooneyRuleChanges

  2. Simmons>Russ

    Freeman your not actually that good. Your position Running Back isn’t that valuable in terms of money.

    Why sit out a year acting like your Cam Newton when next offseason comes no one is going to care. Just sign for a competitive team and take whatever role and money you get.

    Philly Eagles or Arizona Cards would be nice fits

  3. jordokmiller

    More accurately, he’s willing to sit out until someone gets hurt and hoping that team scrambles to replace him.

  4. All American Johnsonville Dogs

    Texans should be all over Freeman or McCoy. They’re going to need a capable backup to David Johnson.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Adrian Peterson closing out his career in Texas would be pretty cool.

      • Roll

        I wish Peterson could have a role with the vikings. I like seeing players last year with the team where they made their name.

  5. carlos15

    Hopefully next year teams will be looking for a running back that hasn’t been productive in 5 years. Then maybe he’ll have a market.

    • Afk711

      2017 was 5 years ago? LMAO the hate this man is getting is comical. Next year he won’t have as many injury concerns if he takes some time off. People act like he hit your first born child.

      • DTD_ATL

        The comical part is him thinking he has any leverage or that he’ll be missed.

      • theeterps

        Have you not seen what happened to Le’Veon Bell? And he was supremely better than Freeman when he made the same bonehead decision. Look what’s happened to his career…

  6. phillyballers

    Really good logic. Economics should be mandatory for all athletes in year 1 of college.

  7. jdrushton

    I have not seen any reports of McCoy signing with the Eagles. Source??

    • phenomenalajs

      Yeah, I haven’t seen that either, just that he’s open to coming back.

  8. ahale224

    At this point he’s gotta be waiting for an injury to a lead back in the right situation. A good offensive line where he’d get 15 touches a game. Seattle was never a good fit with Carson and Penny there. I agree he won’t do himself any favors by sitting a year, but I think he’s just hoping a good situation opens up where he can make a big impression. I’m a Falcons fan and that line was bad the last few seasons, he might still have a little tred on the tires.

  9. formerdraftpick

    His production has plummeted over the past 3-years to the point where any recent draft pick would do better.

    • jdrushton

      They haven’t yet, as far as I can determine and I’m an Eagles fan.

  10. abssamanta

    Hold up, the newly-signed LeSean McCoy?! They don’t even have an article over here about it, and there aren’t any reports of him signing with Eagles anywhere else lol. C’mon Zach, don’t make excited over nothing!

  11. Appalachian_Outlaw

    He’s probably not done. It’s really hard to see him as a featured RB anymore though, unless he just wants to collect carries on a bad team. He’s either going to have to take a pay cut, or wait it out and hope the market doesn’t retire him. Free agency doesn’t seem kind to the position though.

  12. mgrap84

    Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s one hell of a gamble though

  13. Gubb1

    The NFL needs a rule where, if a player is willing to sit out a year because they can’t get the money they want, it automatically becomes 2 years. See how quick their attitude changes

    • theeterps

      Yeah I think Freeman would be dumb to make that decision, but that rule would be even dumber.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      Uhm… Why? I don’t think it’s the best option for Freeman here, but it’s his right. It’s any players right.

      This is one of the most ridiculous proposals I’ve ever heard.

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