Potential Eagles prospect Devonta Freeman put the NFL on notice recently.
You probably don’t need to be reminded of this, but here’s the update. The Philadelphia Eagles running back depth chart hasn’t changed much recently. There’s Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Elijah Holyfield, Corey Clement, and the two undrafted guys. Their names are Adrian Killins Jr. and Michael Warren II. Rumor had it that Philly was also interested in Carlos Hyde. Whether you put stock in that being a great move or not, in the end, and for the second year in a row, the Seattle Seahawks landed the guy Philly was interested in. That shifted a lot of people’s attention to Devonta Freeman.
For the man who racked up 4,207 rushing yards and another 2,212 on the ground in 82 career games with the Atlanta Falcons (including the playoffs), the story in A.T.L. ended in a matter that you might not expect. There was no sendoff. The Falcons simply made the decision to eat $6 million to avoid having to pay Freeman $6.5 million.
Atlanta has a theory. So do the Eagles. Devonta Freeman has yet another.
In the minds of some NFL fans, you can argue that making that type of decision about someone says all that needs to be said about how an organization feels about a player, but if you poll most pundits, you’ll probably hear that Freeman was in the top ten of available free agents at the running back position heading into the most recent offseason.
March, April, and most of May passed however, and the only name of those “top ten running backs” that remained available was the one belonging to Devonta Freeman. Guys like Kareem Hunt and Matt Breida were tendered. Derrick Henry was franchised. Melvin Gordon, DeAndre Washington, and Todd Gurley were all signed.
The latter replaced Freeman on the Falcons’ roster despite the fact that, like his predecessor, there are still looming questions about how much he has left in the tank.
Maybe you believe that says all we need to say about Freeman. Maybe you don’t, but regardless of what we think or what anyone else thinks, Freeman believes he has plenty to offer his next stop. He just isn’t going to take a pay cut as some believe he should.
That includes Adam Caplan, who recently stated he’ll “never understand what Freeman was thinking” and that he “can’t see him getting more than Seahawks were willing to pay”.
Michael Silver agrees but also shed a little light on things. Here’s a quote.
Freeman believes he is worth more than what was being offered and has insisted he is willing to sit out and skip the season if his number isn’t met. I agree with (Caplan) that he is unlikely to get a better deal than the one he left on the table.
The man of the hour fired back on Memorial Day and made his intentions known, tweeting out a profanity-ladened message stating “I got 10 more years in me”. In all honesty, that’s doubtful. Apparently, he thought better of his verbal barrage as he deleted the tweet shortly after posting it, but the point has been made.
He isn’t going anywhere. He isn’t taking any massive pay cuts. Still, at some point, he’s going to have to look in the mirror and make some serious judgment calls. If he does want to play, he may have to swallow his pride a little. 32 NFL teams, including the one he’s spent his entire six-year career playing for can’t be wrong. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.