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Freeman contract rumors -- ESPN

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The 25-and-under NFL stars primed for big paydays this offseason

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=19350721

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/19343921/the-25-nfl-stars-primed-big-paydays-2017-offseason

Each summer, many NFL front offices face a decision fraught with anxiety and long-term implications: whether to blow a sizable fraction of the salary cap on a rising player who might not earn it.

That's when it pays to be young and contractually available.

While 23 first-round picks from the 2014 draft just received fifth-year options that delay their big extensions until 2018, the overachieving mid-round picks from that draft are less than a year from free agency and open for business now. The playbook: Play like a first-rounder, and you can beat an actual first-rounder to the bank.

A few gladly took advantage this offseason, including a pair of offensive linemen -- Washington Redskins tackle Morgan Moses and Cleveland Browns guard Joel Bitonio -- who combined for nearly $100 million in new money if they play out their commitments.

Teams don't have to extend these 25-and-under players who worked the system in three seasons or less. Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, for example, plays for a team known to re-sign players closer to free agency.

But the players already identified as indispensable? Their agents should be getting contract proposals soon enough.

Here's a quick look at who fits the bill this offseason:

atl.png?w=110&h=110&transparent=true

Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Age: 25

The race for new running back money is on. Freeman and Le'Veon Bell might both surpass LeSean McCoy's $8 million per year, a league high for running backs once Adrian Peterson went off the books in Minnesota. The Steelers are staying keenly aware of Freeman's situation. If Freeman goes first, the Steelers could be forced to go higher. And Freeman seems to have momentum on his side, with one NFL executive predicting that Freeman will get bigger money than expected. Freeman is on record that he won't hold out and doesn't want to go anywhere. The Falcons have about 27 reasons to prioritize Freeman -- one for every touchdown he scored over the past two seasons. During that time, he also pumped out 127 receptions to accompany back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Assuming the contract demands are reasonable, Freeman should stay in a good situation with the Falcons.

 

oak.png?w=110&h=110&transparent=trueDerek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders

Age: 25

The Raiders and Carr's agent have had productive early discussions about a mega deal, but there has been no substantial movement just yet. Carr has said publicly that he wants to secure the deal before training camp to limit distractions. There's someone else who wants a swift Carr deal: Matthew Stafford. One NFL source expects Stafford to wait for Carr to reset the quarterback market before finalizing a new deal with the Lions. This is where the money will get wild. Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck is the standard-bearer at $24.5 million, the mark for which Carr will take aim. Carr's urgency to expunge his $977,519 bargain salary might favor the Raiders in negotiations. But Carr's line of 11,194 yards, 81 touchdowns and 31 interceptions isn't far from Luck's first three years (12,957 yards, 86 touchdowns, 43 interceptions), and he's a marketable, young quarterback in a league starved for them. This contract should come into focus deep into the summer.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

Age: 24

Landry will have to wait to make good on his promise to sweep the Patriots, but he has the potential to make top-10-receiver money soon enough. The Dolphins have made clear internally that they'd like to keep Landry long-term, though contract talks have not yet heated up. The highest-paid receivers -- Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones and A.J. Green -- make between $14 and $17 million per year. Landry probably won't hit that mark. But his 288 catches in three seasons, coupled with a ballooning salary cap and Mike Tannebaum's willingness to spend, might get him to the top-10 receiver floor of $11 million as the team's No. 1 receiver. The Dolphins can try to knock Landry at the negotiating table for his 13 receiving touchdowns in three seasons, and the team is expecting former first-round pick DeVante Parker to make a jump in Year 3, but Landry turns 25 in November, has Antonio Brown-like qualities and is one of the Fins' toughest competitors. Those are the players you reward.

Gabe Jackson, G, Oakland Raiders

Age: 25

One NFL source expects Jackson's deal to be finished before Carr's, which means the Raiders will enjoy a frenzied next two months of in-house work coming off the Las Vegas buzz. The offensive guard market has seen an explosion the past 14 months. The new normal has vaulted top guys into the stratosphere of $10-12 million per year, compared to around $8 million just two years ago. Although Jackson probably won't eclipse his teammate, Kelechi Osemele -- whose $26.7 million in his first two years smacks of a move to tackle eventually -- Jackson's extension should land somewhere in the top five or 10 for the position, at $8 million or more per season. Jackson is sort of a sneaky star player. He's a Pro Bowl alternate without much fanfare, but he brings an edge to a Raiders' offensive line that is already very good.

Stephon Tuitt, DE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Age: 23

Pressed against the salary cap for years, the Steelers have created some breathing room. The latest NFLPA data shows Pittsburgh with $15.7 million in cap space, which is middle-of-the-road for current league standards. The Steelers have managed that space with extensions for Tuitt and Bell in mind. (Bell's deal would have to come before the July 15 deadline.) Contract discussions with Tuitt have not intensified, but with Pittsburgh, things typically heat up closer to training camp. Re-signing Tuitt now is timely. He turns 24 on May 23. He's a defensive cornerstone whose presence is obvious on tape, but with 13 sacks in three seasons, he lacks the breakout season to command otherworldly money. Both parties should be able to find a sweet spot before August.

Weston Richburg, C, New York Giants

Age: 25

While guard Justin Pugh prepares to play on his fifth-year option, Richburg might beat Pugh to the obligatory pen-to-contract picture on social media. Richburg is a skilled pass protector and a trusted Eli Manning soldier who played through a torn ligament in his snapping hand in 2016. Westburg's run-blocking dipped from fourth to 29th in the league among centers, according to Pro Football Focus, but let's assume the hand issue played a part in that. With former first-round tackle Ereck Flowers struggling to make the NFL transition, the Giants will place a premium on steady performers up front. Plus, center money isn't outrageous. The average per-year payout for the top-10 centers is $7.9 million. The Giants acknowledged last summer that Richburg was a candidate for an extension, and it might happen this summer.

Christian Kirksey, ILB, Cleveland Browns

Age: 24

The Browns are low on defensive staples, but Kirksey appears to be one. After compiling 148 tackles and 2.5 sacks last season, Kirksey is on the Browns' radar for a larger percentage of the team's $72 million in cap space. The Browns made 22 draft selections from 2012-14, and Kirksey, a 2014 third-rounder out of Iowa, is one of two still on the roster. The other is Bitonio, who got paid. As the Browns continue to stockpile young talent, they have a nice core of linebacker veterans with Kirksey, Demario Davis and Jamie Collins, who signed a four-year, $50 million deal this offseason. Inside linebacker is one of the NFL's most cost-effective positions, so reaching a deal with Kirksey would seem like a sensible move. Kirksey isn't considered a star player, but he has range, adequate speed and locker-room leadership qualities.

 

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I'm not one to worry about cap space too much, but I also don't generally believe in paying RBs big money.  I love Freeman, but it's a position where you don't even have to invest a first round pick to find a quality starter, unlike many other positions.

We have people to pay coming up, so I'm just saying it's worth thinking about whether paying Freeman is worth losing that guy you'd like to keep.

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What I said back in February:

On 2/26/2017 at 10:10 PM, RandomFan said:

 I have absolutely no problem paying Freeman an average of 6 to 7 million per season. I'd even be OK with $8 million if the front office decides that is the market rate to retain his services. He's not going to get over $10M per season from anybody; so people can stop complaining about that possibility right now.

I said it then, I still say it now. I'll be perfectly fine with around $8M per if that's what it takes to keep him. I'd be happier at under $7M but if it takes $8M to keep one of the best RBs in the NFL then so be it.

For anyone wondering where the money is going to come from: we are currently $6,021,065 under the cap. TJax will free up an additional $4.25 million on June 2nd. The rookie pool is $4,738,060, but they are only going to cost about $1.5 million of actual salary cap space to get signed, due to them bumping other salaries off the total cap following the Rule of 51 (where only the top 51 salaries count towards the team’s total cap figure.) Therefore, we have about $8.75 million in cap space to use towards a contract extension for Freeman.

23 minutes ago, Shuswap said:

Will they re-sign Freeman for 8 million a year with other players looking at getting big contracts shortly ? 

Yes, they will. We really don't have that many other players looking for big contracts next year. This is our list of UFA's next year:

  1. Dontari Poe     
  2. Adrian Clayborn     
  3. Matt Bryant     
  4. Taylor Gabriel     
  5. Kemal Ishmael     
  6. Andre Roberts     
  7. Ra'Shede Hageman     
  8. Courtney Upshaw     
  9. Trevor Robinson     
  10. Blidi Wreh-Wilson     
  11. Ben Garland     
  12. Derrick Coleman     
  13. Devonta Freeman     
  14. Nick Williams     
  15. B.J. Daniels

Other than Freeman, Poe is really the only guy that is line for a big contract and is a "must re-sign." Gabriel will get a big pay raise, but he's probably not worth it to us with our depth at WR combined with the money already invested in that position. The rest can be re-signed for similar contracts to what they are on now, or replaced with a draft pick or similar free agent.

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2 minutes ago, RandomFan said:

What I said back in February:

I said it then, I still say it now. I'll be perfectly fine with around $8M per if that's what it takes to keep him. I'd be happier at under $7M but if it takes $8M to keep one of the best RBs in the NFL then so be it.

For anyone wondering where the money is going to come from: we are currently $6,021,065 under the cap. TJax will free up an additional $4.25 million on June 2nd. The rookie pool is $4,738,060, but they are only going to cost about $1.5 million of actual salary cap space to get signed, due to them bumping other salaries off the total cap following the Rule of 51 (where only the top 51 salaries count towards the team’s total cap figure.) Therefore, we have about $8.75 million in cap space to use towards a contract extension for Freeman.

Yes, they will. We really don't have that many other players looking for big contracts next year. This is our list of UFA's next year:

  1. Dontari Poe     
  2. Adrian Clayborn     
  3. Matt Bryant     
  4. Taylor Gabriel     
  5. Kemal Ishmael     
  6. Andre Roberts     
  7. Ra'Shede Hageman     
  8. Courtney Upshaw     
  9. Trevor Robinson     
  10. Blidi Wreh-Wilson     
  11. Ben Garland     
  12. Derrick Coleman     
  13. Devonta Freeman     
  14. Nick Williams     
  15. B.J. Daniels

Other than Freeman, Poe is really the only guy that is line for a big contract and is a "must re-sign." Gabriel will get a big pay raise, but he's probably not worth it to us with our depth at WR combined with the money already invested in that position. The rest can be re-signed for similar contracts to what they are on now, or replaced with a draft pick or similar free agent.

Great post , thanks. 

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10 minutes ago, RandomFan said:

What I said back in February:

I said it then, I still say it now. I'll be perfectly fine with around $8M per if that's what it takes to keep him. I'd be happier at under $7M but if it takes $8M to keep one of the best RBs in the NFL then so be it.

For anyone wondering where the money is going to come from: we are currently $6,021,065 under the cap. TJax will free up an additional $4.25 million on June 2nd. The rookie pool is $4,738,060, but they are only going to cost about $1.5 million of actual salary cap space to get signed, due to them bumping other salaries off the total cap following the Rule of 51 (where only the top 51 salaries count towards the team’s total cap figure.) Therefore, we have about $8.75 million in cap space to use towards a contract extension for Freeman.

Yes, they will. We really don't have that many other players looking for big contracts next year. This is our list of UFA's next year:

  1. Dontari Poe     
  2. Adrian Clayborn     
  3. Matt Bryant     
  4. Taylor Gabriel     
  5. Kemal Ishmael     
  6. Andre Roberts     
  7. Ra'Shede Hageman     
  8. Courtney Upshaw     
  9. Trevor Robinson     
  10. Blidi Wreh-Wilson     
  11. Ben Garland     
  12. Derrick Coleman     
  13. Devonta Freeman     
  14. Nick Williams     
  15. B.J. Daniels

Other than Freeman, Poe is really the only guy that is line for a big contract and is a "must re-sign." Gabriel will get a big pay raise, but he's probably not worth it to us with our depth at WR combined with the money already invested in that position. The rest can be re-signed for similar contracts to what they are on now, or replaced with a draft pick or similar free agent.

If we're talking about a long term extension, I could definitely name a few that it might affect within the next 2-3 years.

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15 minutes ago, quotemokc said:

If he was an every down back I would pay him 8mil gladly but he isn't.

That said I would rather pay Free and let Coleman walk

Question: why would we want to shorten a guys career by making him an "every down back" (which no RB actually is) when there is no need to do that with a quality backup to help extend both of their careers? This is always such an inefficient line of reasoning to me. And it's not like Freeman is that far off from the league leaders in touches per game at the RB position, so it's not a factual line of reasoning in the first place.   

1 minute ago, PK Manley said:

If we're talking about a long term extension, I could definitely name a few that it might affect within the next 2-3 years.

Well yeah, but there will also be other contracts coming off the books between now and then. In the next few years we are going to start running into the problem that all good teams run into -- too many good players that want to get paid and us having to make tough decisions on who we can keep. I have absolutely zero hesitation putting Freeman in the group of players I want to keep, badly. Because he is everything Quinn is looking for in a player from top to bottom. He is the poster child for the talented, hard-working, dedicated, brotherhood-type of Falcon that Quinn is trying to fill his roster with.

How do you think the rest of The Brotherhood would feel if Quinn were to lowball and let walk out the door the guy that probably embodies more than anyone everything Quinn is looking for in a player? How long do you think The Brotherhood would remain The Brotherhood after that? Teammates notice this kind of stuff. I'm guessing not long.

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3 minutes ago, RandomFan said:

Question: why would we want to shorten a guys career by making him an "every down back" (which no RB actually is) when there is no need to do that with a quality backup to help extend both of their careers? This is always such an inefficient line of reasoning to me. And it's not like Freeman is that far off from the league leaders in touches per game at the RB position, so it's not a factual line of reasoning in the first place.   

 

I am not saying make him an every down back.

I am just against potentially spending too much on RBs if we pay Freeman and Coleman.

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4 minutes ago, quotemokc said:

I am not saying make him an every down back.

I am just against potentially spending too much on RBs if we pay Freeman and Coleman.

Well no, we're not going to be able to pay both of them. But Freeman is the obvious choice of the one to pay.

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24 minutes ago, RandomFan said:

Question: why would we want to shorten a guys career by making him an "every down back" (which no RB actually is) when there is no need to do that with a quality backup to help extend both of their careers? This is always such an inefficient line of reasoning to me. And it's not like Freeman is that far off from the league leaders in touches per game at the RB position, so it's not a factual line of reasoning in the first place.   

Well yeah, but there will also be other contracts coming off the books between now and then. In the next few years we are going to start running into the problem that all good teams run into -- too many good players that want to get paid and us having to make tough decisions on who we can keep. I have absolutely zero hesitation putting Freeman in the group of players I want to keep, badly. Because he is everything Quinn is looking for in a player from top to bottom. He is the poster child for the talented, hard-working, dedicated, brotherhood-type of Falcon that Quinn is trying to fill his roster with.

How do you think the rest of The Brotherhood would feel if Quinn were to lowball and let walk out the door the guy that probably embodies more than anyone everything Quinn is looking for in a player? How long do you think The Brotherhood would remain The Brotherhood after that? Teammates notice this kind of stuff. I'm guessing not long.

Exactly it Random why wouldn't we sign him I mean we've pretty much got everything else position wise covered time to look after our own.Freemans a hard working player wh has earns every penny he will get.

Id pay him 8 per in a heartbeat and thanks for coming.

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1 hour ago, RandomFan said:

What I said back in February:

I said it then, I still say it now. I'll be perfectly fine with around $8M per if that's what it takes to keep him. I'd be happier at under $7M but if it takes $8M to keep one of the best RBs in the NFL then so be it.

For anyone wondering where the money is going to come from: we are currently $6,021,065 under the cap. TJax will free up an additional $4.25 million on June 2nd. The rookie pool is $4,738,060, but they are only going to cost about $1.5 million of actual salary cap space to get signed, due to them bumping other salaries off the total cap following the Rule of 51 (where only the top 51 salaries count towards the team’s total cap figure.) Therefore, we have about $8.75 million in cap space to use towards a contract extension for Freeman.

Yes, they will. We really don't have that many other players looking for big contracts next year. This is our list of UFA's next year:

  1. Dontari Poe     
  2. Adrian Clayborn     
  3. Matt Bryant     
  4. Taylor Gabriel     
  5. Kemal Ishmael     
  6. Andre Roberts     
  7. Ra'Shede Hageman     
  8. Courtney Upshaw     
  9. Trevor Robinson     
  10. Blidi Wreh-Wilson     
  11. Ben Garland     
  12. Derrick Coleman     
  13. Devonta Freeman     
  14. Nick Williams     
  15. B.J. Daniels

Other than Freeman, Poe is really the only guy that is line for a big contract and is a "must re-sign." Gabriel will get a big pay raise, but he's probably not worth it to us with our depth at WR combined with the money already invested in that position. The rest can be re-signed for similar contracts to what they are on now, or replaced with a draft pick or similar free agent.

This was excellent.

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1 hour ago, RandomFan said:

Question: why would we want to shorten a guys career by making him an "every down back" (which no RB actually is) when there is no need to do that with a quality backup to help extend both of their careers? This is always such an inefficient line of reasoning to me. And it's not like Freeman is that far off from the league leaders in touches per game at the RB position, so it's not a factual line of reasoning in the first place.   

Well yeah, but there will also be other contracts coming off the books between now and then. In the next few years we are going to start running into the problem that all good teams run into -- too many good players that want to get paid and us having to make tough decisions on who we can keep. I have absolutely zero hesitation putting Freeman in the group of players I want to keep, badly. Because he is everything Quinn is looking for in a player from top to bottom. He is the poster child for the talented, hard-working, dedicated, brotherhood-type of Falcon that Quinn is trying to fill his roster with.

How do you think the rest of The Brotherhood would feel if Quinn were to lowball and let walk out the door the guy that probably embodies more than anyone everything Quinn is looking for in a player? How long do you think The Brotherhood would remain The Brotherhood after that? Teammates notice this kind of stuff. I'm guessing not long.

KdGqQY.gif

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3 hours ago, Dem Birds said:

Freeman deserves a big contract. I hope it doesn't hurt the team in the cap but he's more than earned whatever he gets. 

I agree.  He has been a highly productive player and a phenomenal team-first man.  Pay him and figure out weed out the guys not playing up to their contracts.  

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Freeman deserves to get paid Coleman is a perfect compliment but couldn't carry the load Freeman does. Let's see what Hill does if he starts running over people and more durable Coleman could be the odd man out. 

Love Teco let's hope he can stay healthy but don't sleep on Hill.

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1 hour ago, RandomFan said:

It probably is, two years from now.

Highly doubt it. There is zero reason to even consider getting rid of him at this point. It's just a few fans that want it

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8 minutes ago, ya_boi_j said:

Highly doubt it. There is zero reason to even consider getting rid of him at this point. It's just a few fans that want it

Ummm, he'll be a free agent in two years. We wont be able to afford both him and Freeman then... He'll want to be paid starter money somewhere else.

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3 hours ago, RandomFan said:

It probably is, two years from now.

Yeah if it came down to it, I think it is a lot more likely that Coleman will walk than Freeman.

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5 hours ago, PK Manley said:

I'm not one to worry about cap space too much, but I also don't generally believe in paying RBs big money.  I love Freeman, but it's a position where you don't even have to invest a first round pick to find a quality starter, unlike many other positions.

We have people to pay coming up, so I'm just saying it's worth thinking about whether paying Freeman is worth losing that guy you'd like to keep.

???? The person I would like to keep is Freeman all day long.  IMO Matt is the one that needs to stay in check and not break the bank down the road. Ryan has been payed quite a bit already to be a Falcon.  Freeman is scraping to get by compared to some of the other real talent in the league.

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