The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free agent running back Devonta Freeman, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Freeman will sign a one-year deal worth up to $3 million, and reportedly turned down more money from other teams because he likes the opportunity with the Giants best, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus. Freeman will officially sign his contract with the Giants on Wednesday morning, attend practice the same day and reportedly could play on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
Freeman's arrival to the Giants comes on the heels of star running back Saquon Barkley suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 that has cut his 2020 season short. The Pro Bowl running back was officially placed on injured reserve on Tuesday and now paves the way for Freeman to have a significant role in New York's backfield.
Freeman spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons before being released this offseason. Now, he is looking to build his career back up following what has been a downward trend in production over the last few years. In 2019, he rushed for 656 yards and two touchdowns on a career-low 3.6 yards per carry. The last time Freeman was able to top a thousand yards rushing for a season came back in 2016 in the midst of his back-to-back Pro Bowl nods. While Freeman wasn't particularly efficient with his carries, he did perform well in the receiving game a year ago, totaling 59 receptions for 410 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught a career-high 84.3% of his targets so he clearly has talent still left in the tank.
After being released, Freeman was pretty meticulous about finding his next landing spot, especially as training camp came and went and the regular season began. As recently as last week, Freeman reportedly wanted to wait and see if any other opportunities revealed themselves after being in contact with four other clubs. New York proved to be that situation as Freeman is looking at a backfield where significant carries will be up for grabs between himself, Wayne Gallman, and Dion Lewis.
Chris Towers, Senior Editor for CBS Sports Fantasy made the case for Freeman to not only be the Giants running back you target on waiver wires this week, but also the top RB target over the course of the season. While Mike Davis might be the play in the short term, Freeman has more upside on his long-term outlook.
"Freeman becomes the Giants running back to add on waivers ahead of Week 3, and you can make a case that he should be the top target across the board in all leagues," Towers said. "I prefer Mike Davis because I think his upside for the next month while Christian McCaffrey is higher — and who knows who will be healthy a month from now anyway. But Freeman probably has low-end RB2 upside for the rest of the season and should be the every-down back for the Giants once he's up to full speed. Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman drop to the bottom of the waiver-wire priority list — though they'll still be worth a low-dollar bid just in case the Freeman signing falls through."