Falcons ensure roster stability with Freeman contract extension

Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was entering the final year of his contract before signing a five-year extension on Wednesday. (AP photo)

The potential biggest distraction of Falcons’ training camp never really left the station.

The team reached an agreement on a five-year contract extension with Devonta Freeman. The life of the contract would be worth $41.25 million, but that’s somewhat NFL funny money. The details that matter: $15 million signing bonus, $22 million guaranteed (53 percent) and $26 million in the first three seasons.

So it’s effectively a three-year extension beyond this season (through 2020).

But here’s what’s most important: The Falcons have done an impressive job of locking up their valued players over the past two years and Freeman’s deal falls in line with that. Among those signed to extensions for at least three more seasons (through 2019): Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu,  Alex Mack, Ryan Schraeder, Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.

Nothing ensures a team’s success but roster stability goes a long way, and the Dan Quinn-Thomas Dimitroff regime continue to excel in that area. It’s rare bliss in the front office of an Atlanta pro sports team.

Freeman was only the 103rd players taken in the 2014 draft (fourth round). He has easily outperformed his four-year, $2.7 million rookie contract He was entering the last year of that deal and many NFL players in his situation either don’t report to camp and make a lot of noise when they get there. Freeman did neither, and for that the Falcons should be thankful. The negotiations have contrasted what is going on in Pittsburgh, where running back Le’Veon Bell has rejected an extension and has yet to report to camp or sign his $12.1 million franchise tender.

Freeman’s contract could make things tight for the Falcons down the line, particularly when it comes to talks with No. 2 back Tevin Coleman, whose rookie contract runs through 2018 and therefore likely will be seeking a new deal after this season.

But that’s a problem for tomorrow. The Falcons have eliminated their potential biggest off-the-field problem of today.

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Previously on Freeman negotiations

Some recent ramblings

Reader Comments 0

16 comments
TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Go check the records - the Patriots NEVER pay big money for a running back and they are always productive at the position.  They make sure they have a strong offensive line and defense.  I guess Dimitroff forgets what he learned while he was there.  Every team has a limited cap and it boils down to how intelligently you use it - not just making a starter happy because he asked for more money during the Super Bowl.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

I am concerned because of over-paying Freeman that now all the other expiring contracts players on the team are going to hold the front office hostage.  Especially since they saw it work in Freeman's case a year before his contract expired.  Falcons have a tendency to overpay skill players (read here Roddy White, Devin Hester, Julio, Mike Vick, Stephen Jackson,  and the list goes on...). I'm not impressed with them making him the highest paid running back (maybe that puts us in the dumbest salary negotiating front office slot as well).  These dominoes are going to tip over if the front office is not more careful about overpaying these guys!

E983
E983

Sorry, but they signed and gave away cap money that could have been used for a porous defense that gave away a super bowl. 3rd or 4th in the NFC South.

Wilbo
Wilbo

ABSOLUTELY TYPICAL FALCONS! 


The guy makes the most cowardly play in recent NFL history. Totally chickening out on picking up an outside rush - and don't even try to say he didn't see it, he saw Dont'a Freeman running free to the outside and he said "Nope! Not me trying to get in front of that!" and he dropped his head and just stood there while his QB got crushed and strip-sacked.


That play, even though there were other incredibly stupid mistakes, was the prime CHOKE LIKE A SICK DOG move that enabled the Falcons to pull off the most disgusting choke in league history! How do the Falcons hold a player responsible for blowing the most important game in their history? They make him the NFL's highest paid back!


You wanna know why this team is one of the sorriest ever in the NFL and why they fit right in w Atlanta's other Wilt When it Counts pro sports franchises? Here's your answer right here...

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mgunter
mgunter

Paid way too much for a running back, especially when you have Coleman. Short work life for running backs...... they're disposable .

OH:IO
OH:IO

Stay healthy Devonta.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@OH:IO We're going to bust folks up again this year...and please, somebody quote me on that!!

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ResponseToIdiots
ResponseToIdiots

Jamal Anderson #2.  Sign big contract and get season-ending knee injury in September...... 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@ResponseToIdiots He has already earned that contract...no one can prevent an injury...you must be a Saint fan.

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AdmiralObvious53
AdmiralObvious53

what about the Falcon's curse?  Now he's received a huge contract what usually happens to running backs?  I don't recall New England giving a running back a big contract and they're favored to win it all again.