Falcons' Devonta Freeman: Working for 2019 rebound

Falcons owner Arthur Blank mentioned Freeman (groin), Matt Ryan and Julio Jones as franchise cornerstones to lead a 2019 rebound, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.

Limited to two games this past season, Freeman seemed to be making progress late in the year and might've had a shot to play if the Falcons had reached the playoffs. Alas, they fell out of the hunt around Week 14/15, removing any chance for the running back to return from injured reserve after he had groin surgery in mid-October. With Tevin Coleman expected to find a new home in free agency, Freeman is locked in for the lead role under new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who held the same position in Atlanta during Freeman's 2014 rookie campaign. Freeman will turn 27 in March and should be back to full strength for the start of the Falcons' offseason program in mid-April. He has four seasons remaining on a five-year, $41.25 million extension, though the structure of the deal could make him vulnerable next offseason if he disappoints in 2019.

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