The Atlanta Falcons released a notable name on Friday in running back Devonta Freeman, who would be the perfect complementary running back for the Los Angeles Chargers.
The official tampering window for the NFL has officially begun and the Los Angeles Chargers are free to discuss with free agents and make signings. Right now, the spotlight might be on Tom Brady, but another notable big name has hit the free-agent market.
The Atlanta Falcons are releasing former Pro Bowler running back Devonta Freeman with three years left under his contract. Releasing the 28-year-old saves the Falcons $3.5 million in cap space but carries a dead cap hit of $6 million.
The 28-year-old back has been unable to find his 2015-2017 form the last two seasons. He was injured in 2018 and only played two games and in 2019 he played 14 games, rushing for 656 yards with only two touchdowns.
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Despite his declining numbers, Freeman would be an excellent running back for the Los Angeles Chargers to pair alongside Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. With Ekeler being an elite pass-catching back and Jackson being a rotational back that can do both, Freeman would mesh nicely as he would give the team a proper run-first running back.
The Chargers love two running back sets as well and could benefit from Freeman by improving the play-action game. He can also be an asset in the passing attack as well and would benefit immensely from the main focus being on Ekeler coming out of the backfield.
He is an experienced running back that might have had two down years but knows exactly what it takes to be a rotational running back with a pass-catching back. He has only had one season in his NFL career where he played in over 60 percent of the offensive snaps.
The cost for Freeman is going to be minimal as well. Teams are already wary about paying running backs and the main focus is going to be on Melvin Gordon. Freeman, coming off of his last two seasons, might only end up getting a two-year, $10 million contract.
That would be perfect for the Chargers, who have the cap space to sign him, so long that they don’t give out massive contracts to other free agents.
Some may think that the NFL Draft would be a better alternative for the Chargers but when you have a cheap, veteran option such as Freeman for a fraction of the cost you cannot pass it up.
There are going to be talented running backs available in every draft class. If Freeman does not pan out in year one the team can draft a running back in 2021 and could cut Freeman then, as his second season would not have very much guaranteed money, in theory.
The Los Angeles Chargers need someone who could run the ball on first and second down and consistently pick up around four yards, which throughout his career, Freeman has been great at doing.