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Holdout still not an option for Falcons' Devonta Freeman

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Nothing but love from Goober for Devonta!!




FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman reiterated that he has no plans to hold out for a new contract and said business will take care of itself as he approaches the start of the 2017 season.

"It ain’t hard at all, because I’m good," Freeman said Tuesday about maintaining his focus amid his contract situation. "I play football because I love it. … I spoke to other guys about being in similar situations that I’m in right now. The main thing I can do right now is focus on my business, and my business is being the best Devonta Freeman I can be. And business will get taken care of outside of what I do and what I bring. I can just focus on me. When it happens, it happens. It’s going to be a surprise. I’m just patient."

Freeman is in the final year of his rookie deal and scheduled to make $1,797,000 in 2017 based on an escalator in the deal. The two-time Pro Bowler’s agent, Kristin Campbell, has had talks with the Falcons regarding a new contract and said during the Super Bowl that she wants Freeman to be paid like an "elite" back. Fifteen running backs are scheduled to make $4 million or more in 2017, led by Pittsburgh’s Le'Veon Bell with the franchise-tag figure of $12,083,000.


Freeman is well aware of other players who have gone through contentious contract negotiations.

"I just always wanted to be that guy that never wanted to hold out and leave my guys out there working," Freeman said. "I understand it’s a business, 100 percent. But I know what I signed up for at the same time. It’s that business, you’ve just got to be patient and take care of yourself.

"(I) feel like you can’t walk around and act sad and have an attitude. That ain’t good for the team, especially when a lot of guys are looking up to you. You have to come in and be a pro on and off the field about it."

One of the players Freeman spoke with was All-Pro teammate Julio Jones, who signed a five-year, $71.25 million extension back on Aug. 31, 2015.

What advice did Jones offer to Freeman?

"A lot of stuff," Freeman said. "Personal."

Freeman expanded a little bit on their conversation.

"One great (piece of) advice that he did tell me was just make sure whatever I do, just to come in and work and compete and try to get better," Freeman said. "That’s what I call my business, my little own, personal organization; make sure I’m healthy, make sure I’m getting the proper rest, eating right and I’m paying attention to my weight. … If I can take care of that, everything else is going to take care of itself."

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he’s had productive talks with Freeman’s agent. Dimitroff also implied a new deal with Freeman could get done by training camp, based on his history with the timing of such negotiations with a player going into the final year of his contract.

Owner Arthur Blank also expressed a desire to see Freeman locked up for the long term.

"We love Devonta," Blank told ESPN during Super Bowl week. "We plan on him being a Falcon for a long period of time."

Freeman said he put on about five pounds of muscle already this offseason in preparation for the season. He also plans to run with a more "disrespectful" style toward opponents in order to run through tackles.

Freeman again downplayed any friction between himself and backup Tevin Coleman, insisting they are brothers. Freeman was asked about the organization having to decide which running back to invest in for the future. Coleman’s rookie deal runs through 2018.

"That’s way too far down the line for me," Freeman said of the Falcons choosing one back over the other. "I’m aware of everything that goes on, of course, but that’s not my business. I stay in my lane and get better."

Freeman said holding out isn’t even in his vocabulary.

"I’m going to play," Freeman said. "Like I said, business is going to get handled regardless of what, so I just come to work. I’m going to play regardless.

"I love football. I love to compete. It doesn’t matter about what I did last year, how many Pro Bowls I got, a thousand yards. I want to do it again and even get better, hopefully one day be a Hall of Famer. I want to leave a legacy. And holding out, that’s not going to leave a legacy, because if I hold out, I’m behind. I don’t want to be behind. I want to gain."

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1 minute ago, SkerFalcon8710 said:

Thanks for pulling me back in your corner free, had me sitting on the fence for awhile with all the uncle Luke bs. Glad he came out and said this. Proud to have him on the Falcons 

Exactly , nobody was ever denying his ability it was just the contract talks at the wrong  time n a few comments but he's starting to become a top 10 favorite of mine. 

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3 minutes ago, ShanghaiDirtyBird said:

After he missed that block in the Super Bowl (after his agent picked a truly horrible time to bring up his contract), a lot of idiots here said a lot of idiotic things. But Freeman is great, he's a total class act, and I expect he will be a Falcon for a long time (longer than Coleman)

Why did you even need to say that last part about Coleman??, we all know that 

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9 minutes ago, Gold4425 said:

Freeman has brought a house here. He is moving his sister's here. He wants to be here. I think it was more Uncle Luke untimely talking then him. However it is good business sense in today's NFL so somehow we gotta pay him.

If it's a 4-5 year deal it could easily be his only really big contract in his life. He MIGHT get one more, though it is far more likely the next contract will be far more moderate as he approaches 30. This is the egg that needs to last a long time. Anybody busting his balls for trying to get his share is a fool

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