The 2020 NFL season is just 50 days away (hopefully), and one of the premier free agent running backs still doesn’t have a job. Devonta Freeman has been unemployed for the better part of four months, but he could still be a productive RB in the NFL at 28 years old.
Freeman recently parted ways with his agent and signed with a new one, signaling his desire to find a new home in the league soon. Here’s why the Philadelphia Eagles should pick up the phone and give him a call.
Devonta Freeman can still be a productive RB in the NFL
Devonta Freeman isn’t the same player he was four or five years ago. The 28-year-old RB hasn’t made a Pro Bowl since 2016, and his rushing production has dipped consistently the past few seasons.
Last year, Freeman averaged a career-low 3.6 yards per rush attempt, making him one of the worst running backs in the league according to many advanced metrics. He scored just two rushing touchdowns in 184 attempts last season.
Freeman isn’t the high level rusher he used to be, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still be productive in the NFL. Freeman had one of his best years catching the ball out of the backfield in 2020. He caught 59 passes for 410 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.
If Freeman can morph his game from bell-cow running back to third down pass-catcher, he could see a resurrection in the league. There’s one team that’s been looking for exactly that.
The Philadelphia Eagles should sign Devonta Freeman
The Eagles have been searching for a veteran running back to add to their rotation all offseason. With Jordan Howard departing and Darren Sproles retiring, there’s a hole to fill in the Philadelphia backfield.
Miles Sanders has the chance to emerge as one of the league’s top backs, and Boston Scott proved last season he can be a serviceable backup. All the running back room needs is a veteran presence with pass-catching abilities.
Enter Devonta Freeman.
With the Eagles, Freeman wouldn’t have to tote all the carries that led to his numerous injuries in the past. He could provide the Eagles a pass-catching option on third downs and goal line situations, something head coach Doug Pederson loved to do with Sproles.
Pederson employs a running back by committee approach, so Freeman would get plenty of snaps even as the second or third string option.
Freeman can resurrect his career in Philadelphia
Freeman recently parted ways with his agent and signed with Drew Rosenhaus, signaling he’s anxious to sign with a team as soon as possible.
“We want to work out a deal in the immediate future, and we are open to any team,” Rosenhaus said. “He’s healty, he’s in shape, and I’m on a mission to have him give a team a lift in late July.”
Freeman struggled with the Falcons ever since Kyle Shanahan left for the 49ers. Pairing him with another offensive guru in Doug Pederson could do wonders for the veteran RB. If there’s any coach in the league who can resurrect a running back’s career, it’s Pederson.
Just look what he did with Darren Sproles and LeGarrette Blount. Freeman could be the next veteran RB to lead Philadelphia to another Super Bowl appearance.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference