Le’Veon Bell is one of the best running backs in the NFL and he played out his rookie contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers with no extension made. As a result, the Steelers have slapped Bell with the franchise tag and he is holding out of camp for a new deal, refusing to sign the franchise tender. Devonta Freeman of the Atlanta Falcons is now entering the final year of his rookie contract and he doesn’t even want to wait till his contract expires to talk an extension.

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Devonta Freeman’s contract status

Devonta Freeman was a fourth-round draft pick in 2014 from Florida State. When the Atlanta Falcons brought him in, the idea was for him to become their franchise running back. However, he only ran for 248 yards in his rookie season with one touchdown while playing behind Steven Jackson. The very next season, with Jackson gone, the Falcons drafted Tevin Coleman in the third round and things looked bleak for Freeman.

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Devonta Freeman didn’t let it get to him and ended up running for 1,061 yards that season with 11 touchdowns while Coleman only ran for 392 yards and one touchdown. Now, after running for 1,079 yards and 11 touchdowns in the 2016 regular season and an additional 162 yards and two touchdowns on the way to the Super Bowl, Freeman wants to be paid better than a fourth-round draft pick.

The Devonta Freeman contract is a four-year deal worth $2.7 million.

Tevin Coleman makes more because he was drafted one round sooner the next season. Freeman is set to get paid $1.797 million this season. In the 2016 regular season, Freeman ranked ninth in rushing yards. When it comes to the 2017 base salaries for running backs, Freeman is tied for 17th. Lamar Miller rushed for fewer yards in 2016 than Devonta and is making $3.7 million more this season.

Falcons' plans with Freeman

Devonta Freeman has talked a big game this offseason.

When discussing the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl collapse, Freeman claims if he kept getting carries in the second half, the Falcons would have won and he would have been the Super Bowl MVP. Devonta also said he wants to be paid like the elite back he believes that he is. According to ESPN, Freeman’s agents and the Falcons front office are talking every day to come to an agreement.

Unlike Le’Veon Bell, who is still not in camp (although he is not required to until he signs the franchise tag), Devonta Freeman is at training camp and he is working with the team to try to repeat their impressive 2016 performance.

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There is even word from Atlanta Falcons camp that Freeman seems unfazed by the contract talks even though he wants the extension. Freeman is in camp because he trusts Atlanta and it is time for them to pay him for his production with a secured contract.

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