I will be utterly convinced the Falcons intend to give Devonta Freeman a new contract the day they give him a new contract. That’s less me being a cynic than the reality that even relatively honest NFL teams and players often say a lot of upbeat things that don’t always match reality, and that teams simply don’t pony up for elite running backs the way they used to.
That said, both sides continue to say all the right things here. Freeman indicated he doesn’t plan to hold out during a presser last week, and now Thomas Dimitroff has chimed in to express confidence that the team can get a long-term deal done.
Dimitroff talked up Freeman’s skill and character—that doesn’t need elaboration for anyone who has heard the man talk or seen him run—but he also talked a little more about the window in which we can expect talks to occur. The good Comrade indicated Atlanta would kick off serious talks around the start of training camp, which means that depending on how those negotiations go, we could be looking at a summertime extension or one that doesn’t happen until after the season.
"We've talked about approaching these types of contracts and situations usually going into camp is when we start talking about them and really start having some discussions about it," the Falcons GM added. "That's not a hard line for us, but in my mind, I like to make sure that we have those kind of things worked on. You know, look, he's in a really good space here, he loves being here and he loves playing for Dan Quinn."
The Falcons are simply a better football team with Freeman around, and while they have Coleman for cheap through 2018, it makes sense to keep the dynamic duo intact. Things will get very interesting for Coleman if he continues to play at a high level and Freeman is locked up to a lucrative contract, but that’s a can we can kick around another day. For now, let’s hope the Falcons and Freeman are able to come to the kind of accord that lets Freeman run disrespectfully roughshod over the rest of the NFL.