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New Orleans Saints sign former Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman

The New Orleans Saints are signing running back Devonta Freeman to a one-year contract, agreeing to a deal shortly after word broke that he was working out for the team.

Freeman, who spent the 2020 NFL season with the New York Giants and later signed with the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad, joins one of the most talented running back groups in the league.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday that the Saints were hosting Freeman for a workout at their facilities. A short time later, per agent Drew Rosenhaus, the veteran back signed a one-year deal with the team.

It’s a landing spot that offers plenty of familiarity for Freeman. The 29-year-old was teammates with Jameis Winston at Florida State during their 2013 championship season. He is also used to playing in the NFC South after spending six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

  • Devonta Freeman career stats (2014-’20): 4,144 rushing yards, 33 rushing touchdowns, 2,073 receiving yards

After serving as the Falcons’ featured back from 2015-’17, injuries have clearly taken a toll on Freeman. Over the past two seasons, he averaged just 3.5 yards per carry and only scored three touchdowns on 238 rush attempts.

Tim Tebow is now playing tight end for the Jaguars.

With Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray ahead of him on the Saints’ depth chart, Freeman has his work cut out for him in training camp. He will likely battle Dwayne Washington and Ty Montgomery for a spot on the 53-man roster and the ability to contribute on special teams will make the difference.