While the Falcons refuse to admit they are in cap hell, Thomas Dimitroff has made it clear they are waiting for the new CBA before making any moves due to cap reasons. Devonta Freeman, the expensive and oft-injured veteran has been at the top of our expected cut list but still remains on the roster with free agency only weeks away.
It was reported last season that the Falcons turned down a trade offer for Freeman, a decision that did not make much sense for a cap-strapped team that was already out of the playoffs. Other players like Austin Hooper will net the Falcons a comp pick, but cutting players do not result in any extra draft picks.
Jason Butt of The Athletic finally has the inside scoop, and even more info on other potential trade opportunities. He passes along a winding Dimitroff quote that confirmed there were legitimate trade discussions, with Butt suggesting the team may not have wanted to disrupt the locker room as the team battled back in the last half of the season.
Leading up to the trade deadline, the Falcons placed defensive end Vic Beasley on the block and also were willing to listen to suitors who wanted to inquire about Freeman and cornerback Desmond Trufant. Of the three, Freeman was the one who received the most interest.
It is not surprising to see limited interest in Beasley and Trufant. The Falcons reportedly turned down a deal for Beasley in 2018, only to pay him over $12 million in 2019, then announce they would not bring him back in 2020. They probably wish they could get that one back.
Trufant has been a much better player on the field, but has dealt with injuries more often than not and has base salaries north of $10 million while approaching 30. He is unlikely to finish out his contract, slated to go through 2022.
It was surprising to see teams interested in Freeman. He has never looked like his 2015-2016 form since signing his contract extension, and even when healthy, appeared limited. While he may look better behind a better run blocking line, he is no longer the lead back that can find space for chunk plays. If he was kept for the culture but Mohamed Sanu was allowed to leave, the team’s decision-making process appears very broken.