1. Devonta Freeman
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Devonta Freeman exceeded all expectations and then some for the Atlanta Falcons early on in his career. After starting off his career lost in the shuffle, Freeman bursted onto the scene in 2015 and once he became the starter he never looked back.
Freeman got his first start against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3 and racked up 141 yards and 3 touchdowns en route to leading the NFL in 2015 with 11 rushing touchdowns in 13 starts on the season.
Although he only averaged a pedestrian 4.0 yards-per-carry, the former Florida State ‘back displayed an elite ability to catch passes out of the backfield hauling in 73 receptions for 578 yards and another 3 TD’s through the air.
Those numbers were good enough to land him a spot on the All-Pro team and a Pro Bowl selection. Freeman backed up that impressive effort with another Pro Bowl season in 2016, totaling another 13 touchdowns while upping his rushing average to a gaudy 4.8.
That was enough for the Falcons to make him the highest-paid runningback in the NFL to the tune of a five-year, $41M contract. However, like we’ve seen with almost every single big contract paid out to a runningback in recent memory, the team quickly regretted it as he never topped 1,000 yards again after that and played in just 30 of a possible 48 games from 2017-2019.
That landed Freeman on the chopping block this offseason and he found no takers on the open market, likely due to his contract demands. By this point, Freeman is probably itching to get back in the league as history doesn’t favor players that sit out seasons — especially runningbacks.
The NY Giants should be on the phone with Freeman’s agent immediately, as the team has a decent amount of cap space while the veteran can’t expect to command all that much money at this juncture.
Still just 28-years-old with less than 1,000 career carries under his belt, Freeman should have some juice left in the tank despite battling injuries over the past few years.
While Big Blue isn’t figuring to make a playoff run in 2020, the running game has been the weakest point of a shaky start to the campaign and a tandem of Dion Lewis and Devonta Freeman would be something to work with for offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
Should he be able to accept that he won’t have much of a future with the team as Saquon Barkley will be the team’s workhorse as soon as he is phyically able to again, bringing in Freeman should very much be on the table.