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ESPN: Devonta Freeman shows for offseason program; new deal expected before season

Thomas Dimitroff and ESPN’s Vaughn McClure sound positive Freeman will get paid.

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons have been working out a concerning number of running backs that made us think Devonta Freeman may be in his last year with the team. We checked with you guys, and about half of you wanted Freeman to get paid.

After going through the pros and cons, it sure looked tough to keep him in Atlanta. If Lamar Miller’s deal with the Houston Texans was any indication, Freeman should be earning somewhere in the $7 to $8 million range. I still have no idea how to fit that under the cap while leaving money for guys like Jake Matthews next offseason.

Someone has an idea how to make it happen, because ESPN’s Vaughn McClure expects a new deal for Freeman before the season. As expected, Freeman reported for the start of offseason activities, and was present in Matt Ryan’s passing camp/jet ski adventure.

Per McClure:

Freeman remaining patient about his contract situation, with a new deal expected before the start of the season, maybe by training camp.

The Falcons have only enough cap space to sign their rookie class, so expect some roster moves or extensions coming soon to fit Freeman under the cap. My best guess is the Falcons reward Matt Ryan with an extension after his MVP season, and drop his cap hit down from nearly $24 million.

If that happens and Freeman remains with the team, the offense should have no trouble putting up big numbers this season.