Giants Expected To Sign Devonta Freeman

After bringing in Devonta Freeman for a visit, the Giants have put the veteran running back through COVID-19 testing protocols. If the former Falcons Pro Bowler’s tests come back negative, they are expected to sign him, Mike Garafolo of reports (video link).

The Giants used Jerry Reese-era holdover Wayne Gallman as Saquon Barkley‘s primary replacement last season, when the star running back rehabbed a high ankle sprain. A year later, it looks like Freeman and Dion Lewis will be tasked with filling the void. The Giants placed Barkley on IR Tuesday after his ACL tear.

Freeman visited the Eagles late last week and met with the Jaguars earlier this month. But he is on Day 2 of coronavirus testing with the Giants, who suddenly need running back help more than the other teams that previously considered Freeman. The 28-year-old back waited for a quality fit this offseason, rejecting a Seahawks offer believed to be worth $3MM and initially spurning the Eagles’ interest. It appears the Giants will be his second NFL destination.

The former Super Bowl starter has two 1,000-yard seasons on his resume. Each of those — in 2015 and ’16 — included 1,500-plus scrimmage yards and garnered him Pro Bowl invites. However, the former fourth-round pick has not been especially productive since 2017. Freeman missed almost all of the 2018 season due to injury and was not the same back in 2019, when he played in 14 Falcons games and averaged just 3.6 yards per carry. The 2020 Falcons cap casualty will aim to re-establish himself in New York, which has 14 Barkley-less games on tap.

Gallman remains on the Giants’ 53-man roster, but Joe Judge turned to Lewis — whom he coached in New England — after Barkley’s injury. The Giants gave Lewis a one-year, $1.55MM deal this offseason. He figures to share work with Freeman, whose expected deal will almost certainly be a one-year pact.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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10 comments on “Giants Expected To Sign Devonta Freeman

    • ahale224

      As a Falcon’s fan, I can tell you, he should not be. That’s not really fair to him, the OL was awful. He’s not the back he was though, not even close.

  1. bobg529

    This sounds like a really good move by the Giants. Freeman is a proven NFL running back, and even though he’s coming off a down year, he’s sure to be motivated to give the G-men a respectable replacement after losing Barkley. I am reminded of when the Giants signed Otis Anderson after Rooney Hampton went down with an injury many years ago. Anderson wound up being MVP of the Super Bowl. Certainly this is wishful thinking, but I give Dave Gettleman credit for making a move as soon as he could. As a Giant fan all I can do is hope for the best.

    • Perksy

      Well sort of. The Giants traded for Otis Anderson the middle of the 1986 season. He didn’t take over for Hampton with more carries until that 1990 season.

      • bobg529

        My Bad. You know after I wrote that I actually thought to myself that I should have checked my facts. Anyway, it is similar, in that the Giants got an experienced and once successful back to help cover for Barkley. The guy is a tremendous loss to the Giants, but I have to say that at times someone would be blocking for Barkley and he would go outside instead of following his blocker. It happened on Saquons first run against the Bears. Zeitler was blocking for him and instead of following his blocker up the middle for a couple or 3 yards, he tried to go outside on his own and got stuffed. Maybe watching an old pro like Freeman, who’ll I believe will be better on the traditional plays, will show Barkley that sometimes he needs to run it up the gut. I think that given a few more weeks, the Giants will have a better line. It just takes time.

    • Perksy

      Hampton also had a 1,000 rushing season with the Giants in 1989 the year before Hampton was drafted.

      • Perksy

        Sorry I meant Anderson had a 1,000 yard rushing season in 89 with the Giants.

  2. Gallman touched the ball once in week 1 and was a healthy scratch last week. Does anyone know what happened with him? Seems like the Giants have no faith in him to carry the load. Freeman should get plenty of carries.

    • crosseyedlemon

      The Giants plan to use Gallman as their secret weapon in those easy to convert 3rd and 27 situations.

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