The Atlanta Falcons and running back Devonta Freeman have agreed to a five-year extension, the team announced Wednesday.
Freeman has rushed for 2,383 yards and 23 touchdowns in three seasons with the team and made two Pro Bowls since being drafted in the fourth round in 2014. He emerged as one of the league’s most versatile tailbacks, excelling in the receiving game as well as rushing the ball.
NFL.com’s Michael Silver reports Freeman will make $41.25 million over the course of the deal, with his annual average of $8.25 million making him the top-paid running back in the league. That title is pending Le’Veon Bell signing his franchise tender with the Steelers, but remains a milestone for Freeman.
According to The MMQB’s Albert Breer, Freeman’s deal includes $17.3 million fully guaranteed within the first two years of the contract. The rest of the money would be delivered through incentives and team options.
"This is where I've always wanted to be," Freeman said in a statement. "I want to thank [owner Arthur] Blank, [GM] Thomas [Dimitroff] and Coach (Dan) Quinn for all of their support. I feel extremely blessed, but the work and grind are just beginning."
Freeman helped lead the Falcons to a Super Bowl berth last season. He is the first Falcons back to rush for consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since Jamal Anderson in 1996 and 1997.