Atlanta Falcons 2017 Countdown to Camp: Day 8 – Freeman's contract situation

Each day leading up to the start of training camp, we’ll look at a major issue that faces the Falcons and head coach Dan Quinn as he’s set to enter his third season with the team.

FLOWERY BRANCH -- The Falcons have a potential situation with running back Devonta Freeman.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff and owner Arthur Blank have expressed their profound love for Freeman, the person and player.

The market for running backs has changed drastically with the Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles being released from their big-money contracts in Minnesota and Kansas City respectively.

Freeman was watching closing as Pittsburgh was not able to reach a long-term deal with running back Le’Veon Bell. He’s set to play for the $12.12 million franchise tag.

The Falcons are under no obligation to extend Freeman, who’s set to make $1.8 million on the final year of his rookie contract in 2017. He could then be franchise tagged for the next two seasons.

But the Falcons have been discussing a contract extension in some “good faith” negotiations. A modest-to-very generous increase is definitely in order, but the Falcons own most of the chips like most teams do in NFL negotiations.

His camp wants him to be paid like an “elite” running back. They made it known during the Super Bowl week and again during free agency, before trying to distance themselves from tweets from Luther Campbell.

The Falcons have remained calm.

“It’s not going to be a contentious issue in my mind,” Dimitroff said over the offseason. “It’s going to be one that is going to be fairly quick. We know what the market is and we are confident that we can get something done.”

Owner Arthur Blank said on June 26 that things should be done “fairly soon.”

With camp set to open in a week, there should be some movement on a deal soon.

Some contract clarity is coming.

The Falcons have $8,588,895 million under the salary cap, according to the NFLPA public report on Tuesday at 3:40 p.m.


Countdown to Camp: Day 10 – The psychological hurdle

Countdown to Camp: Day 9 -- The battle at right guard

Countdown to Camp: Day 8 -- Freeman's contract situation

Countdown to Camp: Day 7 -- Jake Matthews' improvement plan

Countdown to Camp: Day 6 -- Schraeder's a mainstay at right tackle

Countdown to Camp: Day 5  -- Neal looking to make big leap

Countdown to Camp: Day 4 -- Deion Jones to follow up All-Rookie season

Countdown to Camp: Day 3 -- What will MVP Matt Ryan do for an encore?

Countdown to Camp: Day 2 -- What makes Julio Jones so great?

Countdown to Camp: Day 1 -- Did the Falcons protect the Brotherhood?

Here’s the training camp schedule:

Wednesday, July 26th — Team Reports for Camp

Thursday, July 27th — Practice: 9:30 a.m. – Gates open to public at 8:30 a.m.

Friday, July 28th — Practice 9:30 a.m. – Gates open to public at 8:30 a.m.

Saturday, July 29th — Practice 9:30 a.m. - Gates open to public at 8:30 a.m.

Sunday, July 30th — Practice 9:30 a.m. - Gates open to public at 8:30 a.m.

Monday, July 31st — Players Off

Tuesday, August 1st — Practice 9:30 a.m. - Gates open to public at 8:30 a.m.

Wednesday, August 2nd — Practice 9:30 a.m. - Gates open to public at 8:30 a.m.

Thursday, August 3rd —Practice 9:30 a.m. - Gates open to public at 8:30 a.m.

Friday, August 4th — Practice 5:05 p.m. – Gates open to the public at 4:05 p.m.

Saturday, August 5th —Players Off

Sunday, August 6th — Practice 9:45 a.m. – Gates open to the public at 8:15 a.m.

Monday, August 7th — Practice 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, August 8th — Practice 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday, August 9th — Walkthrough

Thursday, August 10th — at Miami Dolphins – 7:00 p.m.

Friday, August 11th — Walkthrough

Saturday, August 12th — Players Off

Sunday, August 13th — Practice 9:30 a.m.

Monday, August 14th —Practice 9:30 a.m.


Part 1: Quarterbacks

Explore Part2: Running backs

Part 3: Wide receivers

Part 4: Tight ends

Part 5: Offensive line

Explore Part 6: Defensive line
Explore Part: 7: Linebackers
Explore Part 8: Cornerbacks
Explore Part 9: Safeties

Part 10: Specialists


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1st rounder: Meet defensive end Takkarist McKinley

3rd rounder: Meet linebacker Duke Riley

4th rounder: Meet offensive guard Sean Harlow

5th rounder: Meet defensive back Damontae Kazee

5th rounder: Meet running back Brian Hill

5th rounder: Meet tight end Eric Saubert