Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman mistakingly waded into some hot water during the week before the Super Bowl. We’ve addressed his comments and the comments of his agent ad nauseum, so I’ll spare you an in-depth analysis. At best, the man did nothing wrong, and after a lot of hard work, he’s just trying to secure his future. At worst, the comments he made and the comments his agent made were ill-timed and premature. Basically we’ve moved on.
The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter wrote up an interesting piece discussing Devonta’s offseason. He’s been busy, not worrying about contract negotiations or publicly lobbying for a raise. Instead, he’s been putting on muscle and mentally processing the Super Bowl loss. OTA’s kick off in about 10 days, and spoiler alert: Devonta’s ready.
Here’s what Devonta had to say about his critical misstep in Super Bowl 51, the blown blocking assignment heard ‘round the world:
“Plays happen in a game, good and bad,” Freeman said. “I just feel like you can’t dwell on it at this point. You just move on from it [...] I can watch film on it, and I can watch play-for-play in the Super Bowl,” Freeman said. “I could watch each play probably about 10 times, and if it’s a good play I can find something that I could have did better. That’s how you get over that stuff.“
Meanwhile, Devonta made a concerted effort to put on some weight this offseason:
Freeman said he’s added five pounds of muscle and wants to get bigger, faster and stronger. He’s stopped eating junk food and engaging in the late-night meals and snacks. “I’m just trying to eat more baked foods and stuff like that,” said Freeman, who noticed that he has more energy.”
As I read DOL’s piece, I was struck by how little Devonta ostensibly cares about the contract situation now. He’s focused on getting bigger and getting over the Super Bowl loss. I’m sure he actually wants to say, “somebody better pay me, I need to get paid!” Because in truth we know he’s likely extremely concerned about it, as he should be. NFL careers are short-lived, particularly when you’re a running back. It’s important to be smart about money from the outset, and that includes your acumen in contract negotiations.
Really Devonta is playing his best hand now. He’s going about his business, and that’s good for business, which will eventually be good for his pocket book.