Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman is coming off a tough two-year stretch.
This past season saw the high-priced veteran average a career-low 3.6 yards per attempt. That came on the heels of missing all but two games of the 2018 season to injury.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, this means that Atlanta could very well move on from Freeman during the offseason.
The insider noted that the Falcons engaged in trade discussions surrounding Freeman ahead of the October deadline, specifically mentioning the Detroit Lions as a suitor.
Rapoport also reported that barring a trade, Atlanta could release Freeman outright.
This makes a lot of sense. Freeman, 27, is set to count $9.5 million against the cap in 2020. While Atlanta would incur a $6 million dead cap hit by releasing the veteran, it would also save $3.5 million against said cap.
Atlanta has cheaper internal options in that of Brian Hill and Ito Smith on the roster.
Coming off a horrible 7-9 season, the Falcons are also currently only $6.1 million under the cap. Saving $3.5 million would help them considerably.
A fourth-round pick back in 2014, Freeman averaged 1,452 total yards and 12 touchdowns from 2015-17.
Whether on the trade block or free-agent market, he promises to attract interest once March comes calling.