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Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff 'would love' to sign Devonta Freeman before training camp

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons have made a concerted effort to reward their talented young players with new contracts in recent seasons, and running back Devonta Freeman is the next player in talks to get a new deal.

With training camp set to being for the Falcons on Thursday, general manager Thomas Dimitroff is fully focused on giving his Pro Bowl running back a contract extension.

"We will be focusing on that 100 percent here in the next few days," Dimitroff told reporters Monday morning at a bike-building event at an Atlanta YMCA.

"I've always said that I think it's going to be a fairly expeditious negotiation, but you never know," Dimitroff said. "I would love it to happen (before training camp begins), but if it doesn't, we're not throwing up a caution flag at all. I think we'll just continue to work through it and continue to negotiate with (his agent)."

The Falcons have identified Freeman as one of the core members of this young, ascending team, and they are committed to keeping the 25-year-old back around for the foreseeable future. Freeman is entering the final year of his rookie contract, which will pay him $1.838 million this season.

Freeman has recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and ran for a career-high 1,079 yards with 11 touchdowns in 2016.

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