Devonta Freeman Choosing Between 4 Teams, 'Ready for Whatever Team Needs a Vet'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2020

FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2019, file photo, Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) runs against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL football game in Atlanta. The Atlanta Falcons will dramatically boost their financial flexibility by releasing three high-priced veterans _ running back Devonta Freeman, cornerback Desmond Trufant and offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo. The Falcons announced the Sambrailo move on Monday, March 16, 2020. The team is finalizing the moves with Freeman and Trufant, former Pro Bowl players who had been considered foundation players for the franchise. Financial constraints made the moves necessary. The cuts will clear $12.15 million in salary cap space before Wednesday's start of free agency. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Free-agent running back Devonta Freeman has narrowed his choice to one of four teams as he weighs his next step, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson.

Freeman said to Anderson he's "ready for whatever team needs a vet."

The two-time Pro Bowler is coming off a disappointing 2019 season in which he ran for 656 yards and two touchdowns on 184 carries. He also caught 59 passes for 410 yards and four scores.

Finances were likely a factor in the Atlanta Falcons' decision to release Freeman since he was still owed $21 million over three years. His $8.3 million average salary was the fifth-highest for a the running back, per Spotrac, as well.

NFL Network's Michael Silver reported in May the 28-year-old was prepared to sit out this season in the event a team failed to table the kind of offer he's seeking. That may have just been posturing on his part, though.

Freeman most recently met with the Jacksonville Jaguars but didn't come to terms on a contract.

Playing the waiting game can be a sensible plan for a player in Freeman's position since running backs inevitably get hurt. 

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ESPN's Mike Wells reported Marlon Mack suffered a torn Achilles, ruling him out for the rest of the season. A hamstring injury kept Miles Sanders out of the Philadelphia Eagles' 27-17 defeat to the Washington Football Team.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio also noted teams sometimes refrain from adding experienced free agents to the roster until after Week 1 since it can impact the amount of termination pay they might have to fork over.

Anderson's report seemingly points to the idea Freeman is nearing a final decision.