Prior to the season, the Falcons signed running back Devonta Freeman to a lucrative contract extension. Pretty soon, the front office will have to think about extending fellow running back Tevin Coleman, which could prove to be a tricky situation. However, as general manager Thomas Dimitroff told ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure, it wouldn’t be unrealistic for the team to pay big money to both running backs.
“I believe you could realistically do it,” Dimitroff said. “I think, again, it comes back to an earlier question when you’re talking about looking at all the different spots on the roster and what you can do to create the space.
“And again, we do a really good job here, I think, about being creative. Luckily, we have an owner [Arthur Blank] that’s allowing us to spend the money, and he doesn’t want to leave a whole bunch on the table, so everyone should be happy about that. I know Q [Dan Quinn] and I definitely are. It makes it a lot more manageable when you’re putting it all together.”
Coleman, who has served mostly as a backup since he entered the NFL in 2015, will make a modest $791K next season. However, he’ll be a free agent following the campaign, and McClure notes that Coleman could be seeking both a large payday and a starting gig. The Falcons could realistically trade the former third-rounder, but executives told McClure that the deep running back draft class might dissuade teams from pulling off a trade. The 24-year-old had another solid campaign in 2017, compiling 628 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He also hauled in 27 catches for 299 yards.
While the Falcons will have to eventually figure out their running back situation, it sounds like the front office has another priority heading into the offseason. Dimitroff said that the team is focused on signed quarterback Matt Ryan to an extension, which could vicariously create even more wiggle room.
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