Falcons GM: No Interest in Tevin Coleman Trade, Could Give RB Contract Extension

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2018

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Tevin Coleman #26 of the Atlanta Falcons is tackled by Mike Adams #29 of the Carolina Panthers on a run during the first half Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C.  Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the team is not interested in trading running back Tevin Coleman during an interview Monday on 92.9 The Game, per Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. According to McClure, Dimitroff said previously "he could see a scenario of paying Coleman after already paying Devonta Freeman."

Freeman signed a five-year, $41 million extension with the Falcons last season, calling into question if the team would be willing to commit even more to the running back position to keep Coleman for the long term.

"I believe you could realistically do it," Dimitroff said in January of extending Coleman, per McClure. "I think, again, it comes back to an earlier question when you're talking about looking at all the different spots on the roster and what you can do to create the [cap] space."

Freeman and Coleman have been one of the top running back pairs in the NFL in recent seasons, helping lead the Falcons to consecutive playoff appearances and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2016 season, where they lost to the New England Patriots.

Coleman, 24, rushed for 628 yards and five touchdowns in 2017, adding 27 receptions for 299 yards and another three scores. He's eclipsed 900 yards from scrimmage with at least eight touchdowns in two straight seasons.

He's under contract through the 2018 season and then can become an unrestricted free agent.

"Great complement to a starter, and he could fill the role as a starting running back," a "high-ranking AFC decision-maker" said of Coleman, per McClure. "Great speed and athleticism. Only knock is that he hasn't been the featured runner there, but can't discount his ability to score the football."

That would make Coleman a valuable asset on the trade market, especially if the Falcons determine they can't swing a long-term extension for the running back. Finding the money to do so will take some creativity, as players like quarterback Matt Ryan, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, kicker Matt Bryant and safety Ricardo Allen are also in line for extensions, as McClure noted.

At this point, however, the Falcons seem disinclined to move on from Coleman.

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