FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is sticking around for a while.
Freeman and the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension Wednesday morning. The agreement comes just before Atlanta’s first preseason game of the year. The Falcons square off against the Dolphins in Miami on Thursday night.
"We are very pleased that we were able to get this extension done," general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "Devonta embodies everything we are looking for in a Falcon, and we are proud that he'll be able to spend his career here in Atlanta."
A fourth-round draft pick in 2014, Freeman was scheduled to make $1.79 million this season, the final year of his rookie contract.
"This is where I've always wanted to be," Freeman said. "I want to thank Mr. Blank, Thomas and Coach (Dan) Quinn for all of their support. I feel extremely blessed, but the work and grind are just beginning."
In three seasons with the Falcons, Freeman has rushed for 2,383 yards and 23 touchdowns. He’s also proven to be a receiving threat coming out of the backfield, hauling in 157 passes for 1,265 and six scores. In 2016, Freeman topped 100 yards from scrimmage in seven games and led the Falcons with 1,541 yards from scrimmage.
Freeman's 3,175 total yards over the past two seasons ranks second in the NFL, behind his teammate, Julio Jones. With back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 2015 and 2016, Freeman became the first running back drafted by the Falcons to accomplish that feat since Jamal Anderson in 1996 and 1997.
Freeman is a two-time Pro Bowler and has established himself as one of the premier running backs in the NFL. He joins Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell and Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy as the only three running backs to finish with top-25 grades from Pro Football Focus in both rushing and receiving over the last two seasons.