It’s officially official. On Wednesday morning, the Giants announced the signing of running back Devonta Freeman. To clear a spot for him on the active roster, the Giants have placed wide receiver Sterling Shepard on injured reserve with a turf toe injury.
It’s a one-year deal worth up to $3MM, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network adds that the contract has a base value of $1.07MM (prorated to $944K) and includes $280K in per-game active roster bonuses (Twitter link). Freeman can earn up to $1.15MM in rushing yards/TD incentives, he will earn $250K if he makes the Pro Bowl, and he will pull down another $250K if he gets a First Team All-Pro nod.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus claims that his client “turned down more money from other teams because he likes the opportunity with the Giants best.” That may or may not be typical agent spin. Not long ago, Freeman was one of the NFL’s highest-paid running backs. But, since his fall from the top, he’s had a hard time finding the type of money he’s accustomed to.
The 28-year-old turned down a Seahawks offer believed to be worth a concrete $3MM and rebuffed inquiries from the Eagles earlier this offseason. Freeman’s tepid market coupled with his pickiness led to a divorce between him and his longtime agent, leading him to Rosenhaus.
It’s been a while since the 28-year-old has flashed his Pro Bowl talent. Injuries limited Freeman to only two games in 2018, and he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in 14 games last season. That underwhelming performance led to him being ranked 41st among 43 running backs in success rate, per Football Outsiders.
In New York, he’ll look to carve out a role following Saquon Barkley‘s season-ending injury. It’s not a given that he’ll be the Giants’ lead back right off the bat, as Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman are also on the depth chart.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.