Cam Newton and Jadeveon Clowney may be considered the best available free agents at this point in the offseason, but there are still a couple of other players on the open market that are worth another look. One of those players is former Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, who is starting to garner some interest.
A recent report from Michael Silver indicates that the Seattle Seahawks are interested in Freeman, and offered a one-year deal that would have been worth up to $4 million. Per Silver, the base salary was less than $3 million, but the deal in total could have been up to $4 million. Freeman reportedly decided to turn down the offer. While the Seahawks have apparently extended an actual offer, the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles have also shown interest in Freeman.
The Seahawks dealt with a bevy of injuries at the running back position in 2019, and even had to bring Marshawn Lynch out of retirement for their postseason run. Chris Carson is expected to be back for the start of the season, but Rashaad Penny will likely start on the PUP list, per Silver. Seattle also has Travis Homer and fourth-round pick DeeJay Dallas out of Miami. According to Over The Cap, the Seahawks currently have just north of $16 million in available cash. If the Seahawks don’t feel like sweetening the offer they already extended Freeman’s way, they could opt to look in the direction of Carlos Hyde — who is also receiving some interest from other teams.
While the Eagles have shown interest in Freeman, they already have their No. 1 running back in Miles Sanders. If the former Falcon is looking for a decent contract when it comes to his base salary, Philly may be a better candidate to sign Hyde, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio. Still, the Eagles have the fourth-most cap space, per Over The Cap.
As for the Jets, they certainly don’t appear to be a team in need of a running back. Adam Gase has Le’Veon Bell as his clear No. 1 back, signed veteran Frank Gore earlier this offseason and also drafted former Florida running back Lamical Perine in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Freeman is coming off one of his worst seasons as a starter, averaging only 3.6 yards per carry and 46.9 yards per game across 14 total appearances. In 2015 and 2016, Freeman appeared to be one of the best backs in the NFL — picking up Pro Bowl honors in both seasons while rushing for 2,135 total yards and scoring 27 total touchdowns. Now 28, Freeman may be out of his prime, but he certainly is still a capable offensive weapon that could help a team.