The New York Giants saw their already slim hopes for the season disappear in Week 1 when star running back Saquon Barkley tore his ACL. They responded by signing veteran free agent Devonta Freeman. And although the Giants have still been a train wreck, Freeman is a solid player who uses his vision and quickness to contribute to his team.
The two-time Pro Bowler has achieved a lot in his NFL career, and the 28-year-old still has more to give. If Freeman can put up solid numbers this year, he can anticipate a more lucrative long-term contract in the future. Let’s look at Freeman’s career earnings, his background growing up, and how he’s used his money to help improve his family’s life.
Devonta Freeman’s NFL contracts and earnings
The Atlanta Falcons drafted Freeman with the 103rd pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. He signed his rookie contract with the team later that year: a four-year deal that paid him $2.7 million, with a $484,424 signing bonus. Freeman quickly proved his value. He scored 11 touchdowns in both his second and his third years and earned Pro Bowl selections.
Freeman was vastly outperforming most of the seven wide receivers selected ahead of him in the draft. Realizing their extraordinary luck, the Falcons gave him a contract extension in August 2017. That deal paid Freeman a total of $41.2 million over five seasons, with a $15 million signing bonus.
Unfortunately, Freeman didn’t remain quite as productive as he had in his first few years. He also struggled with injuries, which kept him out of most of the 2018 season. Freeman had a so-so bounce-back year in 2019, and the team ended up releasing him in March 2020. Not until September did he sign his current deal with the Giants, a one-year contract worth $3 million.
Freeman’s total career earnings in the NFL come to $25.4 million, details Spotrac. He’s been able to hang on to most of that money. In 2020, he has an estimated net worth of $16 million, reports Celebrity Net Worth.
Freeman grew up in Miami, Florida, the oldest of his parents’ seven children. His family was not well off. Freeman spent much of his childhood growing up in the projects located in Miami’s rough-and-tumble neighborhood of Liberty City. From an early age, Freeman had to set a positive example for his younger siblings. He did his best to steer them away from the temptations of gangs and drugs.
That required Freeman to take on an extraordinary degree of responsibility at a young age, reports the Tallahassee Democrat. He soon found himself taking on all sorts of odd jobs — from pumping gas to raking leaves, to working at a mortuary — in order to earn the money to buy himself sneakers and other things. He was also lucky to have Luther Campbell as his Pop Warner coach and eventual mentor.
Devonta Freeman uses his earnings to help his family succeed
The lessons that Freeman learned growing up didn’t disappear once he had made it to the NFL. Taking care of his family remained his chief priority. He has indulged them with plenty of luxury gifts. For instance, he bought his mother and one of his sisters brand new Mercedes cars. Yet for the most part, he’s been quite disciplined about the support he gives them.
For example, Freeman paid for four of his sisters to go to college. Back when he was playing for the Falcons, he even invited his sisters to come and live with him in his Atlanta-area home. The only catch was that they had to remain committed to furthering their educations. As Freeman himself wisely put it back in 2017, reports ESPN, “It’s not just giving them everything they want, it’s making them work for it and utilizing the opportunity.”