The Atlanta Falcons reported for training camp today. It’s an exciting time to be a Falcons fan, and Flowery Branch is abuzz with activity. Dontari Poe is keeping the pounds off, Dave is relatively sober, and Julio Jones’ $150,000 earring is sitting on the bottom of Lake Lanier. All is right in the world ... unless you’re Devonta Freeman.
Freeman’s agent, Miami-based Kristin Campbell, apparently left Atlanta today with no deal in place. Campbell feels strongly about upping her client’s compensation. And the team is ready and willing to get a new deal done, if the price is right. Here’s what general manager Thomas Dimitroff had to say today (credit to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure for the quote):
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said Freeman's contract was "100 percent" the focus this week. But Dimitroff stopped short of saying a deal would definitely be reached, although he said talks with Campbell have been positive. When asked about the progress of negotiations Wednesday, Dimitroff said simply, "No update. No update."
I’m confident the two sides with have a meeting of the minds eventually. For me it’s not so much a question of if, but when. Some of you aren’t thrilled about an extension for Freeman at this point, and that’s fair. But it’s not hard to rationalize this from the Falcons’ standpoint.
Even if Freeman isn’t the most dominant running back in the league (does he need to be?), and even if his ego has grown a little bit over the years (does that matter?), he’s still an incredibly talented football player. This idea that the Falcons can simply replace him in the draft (in the fourth round?!) is a little far-fetched. What’s more, he’s in camp, ready to help his team win, and he’s not complaining about his contract.