The Falcons are set to begin training camp this week, but Thomas Dimitroff said he’ll be focused on working out a contract with running back Devonta Freeman. The general manager told ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure that he’d like to have a deal finalized by Thursday at the latest (Twitter link).
We’ve heard reports throughout the offseason that the two sides would ultimately agree on a new deal, with owner Arthur Blank recently stating that an extension was coming “fairly soon.” Meanwhile, while Freeman is obviously seeking a new contract, he’s more than willing to wait for a deal that is reflective of his talent. Over the past two years, the running back has collected at least 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns per season, and he’s averaged 63 receptions during that same span.
Last week, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com wondered if the extension delay could be attributed to uneasy negotiations. Earlier today, former agent Joel Corry tweeted that Freeman’s camp should “insist” that the recently-rejected contract offer to Le’Veon Bell “reflects the top” of the running back market.
Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…
- Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis is no longer facing charge of operating a vehicle while impaired, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes. Of course, the 23-year-old could still face punishment from the NFL even though he is legally in the clear. Last year, Lewis appeared in 13 games for the G-Men and finished with seven catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
- It sounds like Eagles fifth round pick Shelton Gibson may be a longshot to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster. The wide receiver is “by no means where he wants to be or where we want him to be,” said head coach Doug Pederson (Twitter link via Brandon Lee Gowton of SB Nation).
- Meanwhile, Pederson discussed the Eagles‘ decision to move on from receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was waived earlier this month. “With the additions of some of the young guys picked up this spring, we just felt like it was in his interest and our best interest to let him find another suitor and keep developing our younger guys in that role,” Pederson said (via Zach Berman of Philly.com). The former second-round pick was traded to the Eagles last offseason, and he finished his lone season in Philly with 36 receptions for 392 yards and two touchdowns.
- With Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray, and Jerick McKinnon ahead of him on the Vikings‘ depth chart, C.J. Ham knows that playing fullback gives him the best chance at making the 53-man roster, Mark Craig of the Star Tribune writes. Although he is still listed as a running back, the Vikings have been transitioning him to fullback since the middle of OTAs. The Vikings are unsure as to whether they’ll carry a true fullback or if they’ll just rely on reserve tight ends to do some lead blocking. “That’s part of the [evaluation]; Do we keep a fullback on the roster or do we add more tight ends,” said head coach Mike Zimmer. “That should all shake out here in this preseason. If a guy is going to play say 10 plays a game, he’s also got to be really good on special teams to make the squad.”
Zach Links contributed to this post.