The 2019 NFL trade deadline came and went without much of a whimper around the entire league. In Atlanta, Falcons fans were hopeful the team would sell off more of its overpaid, aging players in order to stock pile draft picks, but that surprisingly didn't happen.
The Falcons can still point to the Mohamed Sanu trade as a major win. That deal with the Patriots landed the Falcons a second-round pick and will open up salary cap space for next season.
It also can't be too shocking that the Falcons were unable to find a suitor for pass rusher Vic Beasley. He's struggled so mightily over the last three years, no one reportedly even wanted to offer a sixth-round pick for the former NFL sack leader.
But the most surprising news that surfaced the morning after the deadline past was the Falcons reportedly had an opportunity to pursue trading running back Devonta Freeman to the Detroit Lions, but Atlanta's front office said, "Thanks but no thanks."
According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Lions and Falcons went back and forth with the potential trade over the last week. Detroit has a hole at running back since second-year back Kerryon Johnson landed on IR following Week 7. But Rapoport reports that the Falcons ultimately decided to keep Freeman, vying not to go into full-sell mode.
The obvious question to that report is why? The Falcons are 1-7, one of the worst teams in the league and Freeman, quite honestly, is part of the reason why. Freeman has been better as a pass-catcher lately, but he's averaging a career-worst 3.4 yards per carry and has zero rushing touchdowns.
On top of that, he's earning the fifth-highest salary among running backs in the league. Next March, Freeman turns 28, and the Falcons are locked into this bloated contract for three more seasons.
The Lions, in search of a quick fix, were willing to take on this struggling running back and his full contract -- but the Falcons weren't hung up on the compensation in return, their response was to keep the slumping overpaid veteran.
Again, why? Am I missing something here? If Freeman is a cap casualty next spring, the Falcons will face $6 million in dead cap space.
If Rapoport's report is true, the Falcons just made another poor decision that should anger fans as much as any of the other decisions they've made in the last year.