Today the Atlanta Falcons extended Devonta Freeman to the tune of five years, $41.25 million with a $15 signing bonus and $22 million guaranteed. With the extension numbers Freeman will be the highest paid running back at $8.25, he also has $1.8 million due from his rookie deal.
Freeman is a two-time Pro Bowl running back who posted back to back 1,000 yard seasons on the ground. Last year he ran for 1,079 yards, 462 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns (11 rushing).
I know people are asking what does Freeman have to do with Le’Veon Bell? With the Pittsburgh Steelers fighting with Bell to set up a new contract, they will likely use Freeman’s deal as a base. Right now they have a franchise tag on him for $12.12 million, but Bell rightfully wants a long term deal and he wants to get paid. Now the question is how much more will Bell get than Freeman? I don’t have the answer to that, but know he wants to get paid like a receiver or close to it because his dual threat ability. Will it be $9, $10, $11 million or more a year?
I vlogged about the Bell situation less than two weeks ago, so when I saw Freeman get the deal I revisited the situation. Freeman is a real good running back, but we all know right now Bell is the best back in the NFL. I know we can argue four or five others, but minus trouble or injuries he is the man and the Steelers are going to have to cut the check or lose him sooner than later.