The New Orleans Saints have added another piece to their offense. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Saints have signed veteran running back Devonta Freeman to a one-year deal.
New Orleans is very familiar with the All-Pro running back from his days with the Atlanta Falcons. Originally drafted out of Florida State by the Falcons with the No. 103 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Freeman spent the first six years of his career in Atlanta. During those six seasons, Freeman made Second-Team All-Pro in 2015, two Pro Bowls, and led the league in rushing touchdowns in 2015 with 11. He finished his stint with the Falcons with 3,972 rushing yards and 32 rushing touchdowns on 951 carries while also adding another 2,015 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns on 257 receptions.
Following the 2019 NFL season, the Falcons parted ways with Freeman, releasing him on March 16, 2020. On September 23, 2020, he signed a one-year contract worth $3 million with the New York Giants. Freeman's worst season as a pro came last year with the Giants when he rushed for only 172 yards and one touchdown on 54 rushing attempts while adding only 58 receiving yards on seven catches in five games.
Now 29-years-old, Freeman will join a Saints' backfield consisting of All-Pro running back Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Ty Montgomery, Tony Jones Jr., Dwayne Washington, undrafted rookie Stevie Scott III, and fullback Alex Armah. Freeman has a chance to earn a roster spot as the team's third running back behind Kamara and Murray.
Following the retirement of Hall-of-Fame quarterback Drew Brees this offseason, New Orleans will head into the 2021 season with either former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston or the versatile Taysom Hill as the team's starting quarterback. With All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas expected to miss the beginning of the season, the Saints will surely rely more upon their rushing attack this season no matter which player gets the nod at quarterback. If Hill is named the starter over Winston, the offense will likely see a significant increase in rushing attempts in order to maximize his dual-threat ability.
If Freeman does make the final roster, He will have the chance to face his original team twice this upcoming season.
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