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Report: Falcons expected to ink new deal with Devonta Freeman by first week of training camp

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It’s not a surprise, and it will be well-deserved.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

All that drama about Devonta Freeman’s contract should be coming to an end within a few weeks. According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Falcons are confident they’ll have a new deal done with the running back by the beginning of training camp.

For key players, that timetable is pretty standard for the Falcons. Matt Ryan’s big extension came right around that time in 2013. Julio Jones’ big payday came a bit later, during the 2015 preseason. I’ve been saying for months that, if a deal was going to get done for Devonta, this was my expected timetable just because it’s what the Falcons tend to do.

Freeman has become a household name in the NFL. He’s a dynamic threat as a rusher and a receiver, and I’ve rarely seen a back with his vision. It’s something you can’t teach. He and Tevin Coleman are the best running back tandem in the NFL, regardless of what anyone else says, and the Falcons are wise to lock him up long-term.

Plus, Freeman wants to use his money to put his sisters through college. He’s a delight, and he wants to be a Falcon forever. Here’s hoping this new deal is a step toward making all of that possible for him.