Devonta Freeman, Matt Ryan contract talks on hold

26 Jul


The Atlanta Falcons appear to be in a holding pattern on new contracts for two of their top offensive players, Devonta Freeman and Matt Ryan.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Wednesday that Freeman’s agent left town after meeting with Falcons brass the past couple of days. The team isn’t putting a deadline on a deal, per Pelissero.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff said earlier this week the Falcons were hopeful to get a new contract for the running back ahead of training camp opening on Thursday. That goal appears to be missed.


Freeman is set to earn $1.838 million in the final year of his rookie contract. With Le’Veon Bell not inking a long-term deal, a big-money contract appears difficult for Freeman to obtain. The gap between Bell’s $12.1 million franchise tag and LeSean McCoy — the next highest-paid running back — making $8 million per year, could make it hard for the Falcons and Freeman to find common ground in the short term.

As for Ryan, Pelissero reported on NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp Live that there have been no substantive talks on a new deal for the NFL’s reigning MVP.

With Ryan signed through 2018, Atlanta will likely address the contract after the season, according to Pelissero.

Like Freeman, there are other contracts that sides could wait to conclude before talks ramp up. Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford could be next in line to ink a top-of-the-market contract. If that gets done, then the Falcons and Ryan might find the framework for a deal that would leapfrog the Atlanta quarterback to the peak of the highest-paid mountain.

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