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Blank: Love Freeman, but 'salary cap is not unlimited'

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank kept Dan Quinn around for another season but could be ready to part ways with another long-term member of his organization.

Asked about Freeman's future, Blank noted only that team-building is about more than one player.

"Well, I love him, too," Blank said of Freeman, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN. "But this has nothing to do with love. It has to do with building a roster. The salary cap is not unlimited. It seems like it's unlimited, but it's not. And the investments we have made -- which have been very, very substantial with a wide variety of players on both sides of the ball -- have been significant. So personnel, and coach, and [team president] Rich McKay, they'll be looking at everything and making sure we're making investments in the right areas based on what the roster has to look like going forward.

"How it's going to affect one individual player, I have no idea. Sure, I love what [Freeman] brings to the team. I also know we've drafted well and we've got some really good backups now today. We'll see how all that works out."

That's certainly not a 'we'll make it work' comment from Blank.

It's well known that Freeman and Blank have a good relationship, so if the owner is leaning on salary cap discussions rather than talking about a player's talents, the tea leaves aren't hard to read.

Freeman's cap figure sits at $9.5 million in 2020, via Over The Cap. The Falcons would save $3.5 million by cutting the running back, with $6 million in dead money.

With just under $5 million in cap space and bigger moves needed to be made, like potentially bringing back Austin Hooper, the Falcons will be forced to make some tough choices. Moving on from a running back who struggles to make defenders miss and has dealt with injuries is likely the first place to start when shedding salaries.

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