Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was one of the primary reasons their offense finished No. 1 in the NFL in scoring this past season. Now coming off his third season in the NFL, Freeman was also one of the key cogs that helped Atlanta earn a spot Super Bowl LI.

Though, Freeman himself is entering a contract year and surely wants to get paid like the electric player he is.

It was just recently — in the lead up to the Super Bowl — that Freeman’s agent called for him to receive “elite pay” from the Falcons on a new contract (more on that here).

While that surely wasn’t good timing from Freeman’s agent, it put the Falcons’ brass on notice.

Coming off a Super Bowl performance that saw him tally 121 total yards and this touchdown against the New England Patriots, it sure looks like Freeman will be talking a whole heck of a lot to the Falcons about an extension.

For their part, the Falcons’ front office seems confident that a long-term deal can be worked out before Freeman enters his contract year.

We’re not too sure what “appropriate time” means here, but that should come sooner rather than later.

Freeman, 24, has tallied 1,500-plus total yards and at least 13 touchdowns in each of the past two seasons. Teaming up with fellow youngster Tevin Coleman, he’s helped create one of the best tandems in the entire NFL.

If the Falcons were to wait to talk extension until after the 2017 season, it would surely place them behind the proverbial eight-ball. No team wants to face the possibility of either having to franchise a star player or let him hit the open market. That’s not a sustainable long-term strategy.

Though, when looking at what the defending NFC champions are looking to do prior to the start of next season, an extension for reigning MVP Matt Ryan seems to be first on the list. How that impacts Freeman’s extension talks remains to be seen.