Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, who has out-performed his rookie contract and fourth-round draft status, has a market value of $10.1 million per year, as determined by the salary-cap website spotrac.com.
Freeman is set to make $1.8 million in 2017, the last year of his rookie contract.
Spotrac identified other running backs with similar playing time and opportunities who signed a contract around Freeman’s age.
The group included C.J. Anderson, Lamar Miller, Doug Martin and LeSean McCoy.
There’s a base calculation to get the average of those four deals. Then a statistical comparison to Freeman, who’s put together back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons. He had 227 carries for 1,079 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He also caught 54 passes for 462 yards and two touchdowns.
In his breakout 2015 season, Freeman rushed 265 times for 1,056 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 73 passes for 568 yards and three touchdowns.
So, his 27 touchdown over the past two seasons make him an extremely valuable running back. Even in more of a time-share with Tevin Coleman in 2016, he rushed for more yards and scored at the same clip.
By comparing the variable of the other backs, like game percentage, rushing yards per game, rushing touchdowns per game, yards per game receiving, touchdowns per game, fumbles per game, Spotrac arrived at an average rating.
Then the prime percentage figures were worked into the base calculated value and to set two values. The average of those two values yield the current calculated market value.
For Freeman, that comes out to a six-year deal worth $60,657,547 million or $10.109,591 per year.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff made it clear that the team is not ready to offer Freeman a contract extension in a recent interview on the team’s flagship radio station.
“The time of that is not now,” Dimitroff said in early March. “The timing of that, if you look at our history, we are very particular about when we do, i.e. when we extend our guys and that’s something that will be taking care of in due time.”
Freeman’s representation, Kristin Campbell of 40 Sports Entertainment Group, wants him to be paid like an “elite” running back. She and Freeman made it known during the Super Bowl week and again during free agency, before trying to distance themselves from tweets from Luther Campbell, her husand the rap mogul and First Amendment advocate.
However, by speaking out during Super Bowl week and then tweeting about the negotiations during this free agency period, it seems the Freeman camp doesn’t want to go into the final year of Freeman’s rookie deal.
There’s an $8.2 million gap between what Freeman is set to make and his market value.
“We know what the market is and we are confident that we can get something done, when the timing is right,” Dimitroff added. “It won’t be done during this free agency period.”