Devonta Freeman recently passed on a deal with the Seattle Seahawks. He could be passing on the 2020 season altogether.
NFL Network's Michael Silver reported the free-agent running back is prepared to sit out this year "if his number isn't met."
The 28-year-old Freeman believed he was worth more than Seattle's one-year offer worth up to $4 million, per Silver. The Seahawks quickly moved on and reached an agreement with Carlos Hyde on Friday.
It remains to be seen if Freeman will generate anything more at this stage of free agency after a pair of disappointing campaigns. He missed all but two games in 2018 because of various injuries. He then rushed for a career-low 3.6 yards per carry last year while tallying his fewest rushing yards (656) and touchdowns (2) in a full season since he became a starter in 2015.
The Falcons released Freeman in March after six seasons. His tenure included a pair of Pro Bowl appearances and a five-year, $41.25 million extension, which made him the highest-paid back in the league. That financial security apparently informs his current outlook on signing with a new team.
"Freeman has invested his money well and saved much of the income he's earned thus far," Silver said. "Financially, he does not have to play. His current mentality is that he won't play if he doesn't get an offer that reflects what he believes his value is."
Skipping an entire season isn't totally unusual for a running back. Le'Veon Bell held out two years ago over a contract dispute, a tactic John Riggins once employed midway through a Hall of Fame career. Ricky Williams and Marshawn Lynch played multiple seasons after one-year retirements. All four were paid handsomely upon their respective returns. They'd also been markedly more productive in the seasons prior to their sabbaticals.
Would Freeman get what he wants next year if he doesn't this one?