Former Falcons Pro Bowler Devonta Freeman remains unsigned but maybe not for long, according to NFL Network’s Mike Silver. Freeman’s once-stagnant market is starting to pick up with reported interest from at least three teams. One of those three—the Seattle Seahawks—has made him an offer, though apparently Seattle’s proposed one-year, $4-million pact wasn’t enough to move the needle for Freeman, who is confident he can land a better deal elsewhere.
Despite an impressive track record—43 career touchdowns and a pair of 1,000-yard rushing campaigns—the seventh-year ball-carrier is coming off one of his worst seasons (career-low 3.6 yards per carry) and has struggled to stay healthy in recent years. Combine those with the fact Freeman turned 28 in March, making him an elder statesman among NFL running backs, and it’s easy to see why the 2014 fourth-rounder has spent the better part of two months trapped in free-agent purgatory.
That said, the Seahawks, who are looking for insurance for injured starter Chris Carson (hip surgery) and his hobbled backup Rashaad Penny (torn ACL), would gladly add Freeman to their backfield stable. Per Silver, the Jets and Eagles are similarly interested in Freeman’s services, though it’s unclear if either has presented a formal offer. In Philadelphia, Freeman would fill the void left by free-agent defector Jordan Howard, though exciting sophomore Miles Sanders is well-equipped to handle workhorse responsibilities should coach Doug Pederson (a well-known proponent of committees) choose to employ him that way. Freeman’s fit in New York wouldn’t be as obvious with high-priced bell-cow Le’Veon Bell and Frank Gore slated to divvy up backfield duties in the Big Apple.
If money is the object (and why wouldn’t it be?), the Eagles have the most cash at their disposal (fourth-most remaining cap space), though Philadelphia could be saving that nest egg for former top pick Jadeveon Clowney or disgruntled Jaguars pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue. Perhaps another team will join the fray as Freeman’s market continues to gather strength.
Though Freeman isn’t the difference-maker he was early in his career, he’s still a proven chain-mover with soft mitts (257-2,015-11 career receiving line) and a nose for the end zone. Whether it’s as a starter, depth piece or veteran sounding board, the former Florida State Seminole should resurface soon enough.
Freeman’s post in Atlanta has since been filled by Todd Gurley, who became available after Los Angeles dumped him to shed cap space earlier this offseason.