The Falcons are confident that they’ll have a deal done with Devonta Freeman by the first week of training camp, a source tells ESPN.com’s Dianna Russini (on Twitter). The Falcons will kick off training camp at the end of July, so this means a deal could be coming in the next month or so.
Earlier today, Freeman said in a radio interview that he is willing to wait until next offseason to discuss his contract with the Falcons if the right deal does not materialize this summer. Both sides want to get a deal done, but the Falcons likely do not want to reset the running back market with a new contract for the 25-year-old.
The former fourth-round pick is slated to play out the 2017 season at a paltry $1.92MM cap number. After that, the Falcons could retain him through the costly franchise tag if they do not want to risk losing him to free agency. If Freeman continues to play at a high level and is allowed to test the open market, the bidding could quickly get crazy.
The Falcons have fellow running back Tevin Coleman under contract for two more years, but the ideal scenario would have Atlanta keeping both players in the fold. Last year, Freeman ran for 1,079 yards with 11 touchdowns. He also added 54 catches for 462 yards and two scores. Coleman, who ate into his workload, had 941 all-purpose yards and 11 total touchdowns.
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