Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is a team guy. Freeman has told anyone that will listen that he won’t hold out of training camp while he works out his contract extension with the NFC Champions.
His willingness to participate does not mean that he is willing to accept short money as he told writer Josina Anderson.
“I want to be the best. I want to be elite paid. Whatever that is, that’s where I want to be–straight up,” Freeman said.
As to his reasoning behind refusing to hold out, Freeman explained that he is a man of his word.
“Me and my team, we already said what we expected and wanted so there is no need for me to sit around here saying ‘why my contract not done?’ ‘Why is this, and why is that?’ I don’t have to do that,” Freeman said.
“I don’t have those problems because realistically I am under contract already. I have to play my fourth season, so it’s no big deal.”
He also expressed that his faith guides his decisions.
“I’m a firm believer in God,” Freeman said. “I believe everything that is going to happen will happen at the right time. Sure I can be over-concerned and be like I am a running back and my NFL lifespan is already short…especially in a sport where anything can happen. But, I feel like when you worry about that stuff that is when you are more likely to have an injury.”
Freeman splits snaps with playmaker Tevin Coleman who is a fireball that can break ankles in the flat and on the sidelines.
Freeman’s role in the Falcon’s gameplan is to typically use his cannonball-like frame to wear down defenses that want to be overly aggressive with their blitz packages.
It’s a two-piece combo that is served up with a vengeance and the Falcons understand how vital Freeman is to their progress.
However it should be pointed out that Freeman’s recent production does not place him in the elite category.
In the 2016-17 season, Freeman ranked 9th in rushing yards. Ranking in the top 10 despite being in an aerial offense that forces him to share carries is impressive.
But it also does speak to the fact that Freeman rarely is forced to put the Falcons squarely on his back.
And that is what elite players do.
Despite that fact, Freeman averaging 4.8 yards per carry and netted 11 trips to the end-zone last season.
It’s certain that the Falcons and Freeman will find a financial landing spot that exists between a very good number and a elite number.
Devonta Freeman Stats