Any time an NFL player makes multiple Pro Bowls while on his rookie contract, people are going to discuss the possibility of an extension well before he's scheduled to hit the open market. Such is the case right now with Devonta Freeman.
A Pro Bowl running back in 2015 and 2016, the Florida State alum has one year remaining on the four-year deal he signed after Atlanta drafted him in 2014. General manager Thomas Dimitroff spoke to his agent recently and, as he told 92.9 The Game on Monday, fans shouldn't be concerned about Freeman's status moving forward.
"We have a good dialogue. I think Freeman's in a good spot. This is where he wants to be; we want him to be here for years to come," Dimitroff said. "We're confident something is going to get done."
While the front office believes No. 24 will be around beyond 2017, don't expect an agreement to be made in the coming months. Dimitroff noted it won't happen during this free agency period, and that Atlanta is particular when it comes to the timing of these moves.
"That's something that will be taken care of in due time," he said. "It's not going to be a contentious issue in my mind. I think it's going to be one that's going to be fairly quick. We know what the market is and we're confident that we can get something done – again, when the time is right."
Dimitroff also addressed any trade rumors that might be floating out there.
"There were some, I guess the assertion that we would trade him – that's ridiculous," he said. "We would never trade him."
In 2016, Freeman ran for 1,079 yards on 227 carries – a 4.8 average – and 11 touchdowns. He added 462 yards and two scores as a pass-catcher, placing him seventh in the league in yards from scrimmage (1,541).
The 5-foot-8, 206-pounder amassed 29 touchdowns during his first three years in the NFL – the most any Falcon has ever gained in that span.
"He's a very, very important part to this offense," Dimitroff said. "He's the type of runner that we want, given his urgent style and his competitiveness. So, again, we're confident we're going to get something done."