• Falcons star Devonta Freeman now the NFL's highest-paid RB

    By: George Marshalek


    ATLANTA - The Atlanta Falcons and running back Devonta Freeman have agreed to terms on a 5-year contract extension, making him the league's highest-paid running back.

    The Falcons announced the new deal Wednesday morning, just one day before they open the preseason against the Miami Dolphins.

    "We are very pleased that we were able to get this extension done," general manager Thomas Dimitroff said.

    Freeman, a fourth-round draft pick in 2014, was scheduled to make $1.79 million this season in the final year of his rookie contract. Instead, he'll make much more.

    According to ESPN's Vaughn McClure, Freeman's 5-year extension is worth $41.25 million with a $15 million signing bonus. 

    "This is where I've always wanted to be," Freeman said. 

    The deal will pay Freeman an annual average of $8.25 million over the life of the deal. That’s more than any other running back, pending Le’Veon Bell acceptance of the $12.1 million franchise tag from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    In his first 3 seasons in the NFL, Freeman has rushed for nearly 2,400 yards and 23 touchdowns. He's added 157 catches for more than 1,200 yards and six more TDs.

    "I feel extremely blessed, but the work and grind are just beginning," Freeman said.

    Freeman, a two-time Pro Bowler, is the first running back drafted by the Falcons since Jamal Anderson to have back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

    "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," Dimitroff said.

    Next Up: