Lions, Falcons discussed Devonta Freeman deal

On a day of rampant speculation that eventually landed as a dud, many teams discussed potential trades heading up to the deadline that never came to fruition.

The Detroit Lions shopped particularly hard but came home with no additional groceries.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted Wednesday that the Lions heavily discussed a trade with the Atlanta Falcons for running back Devonta Freeman, per sources informed of the talks.

Per Rapoport, sides talked about a possible deal at length, but ultimately Atlanta decided to hang on to the veteran running back.

With Kerryon Johnson's injury, Detroit looked extensively into the running back market, but ultimately came up empty. Given the need and the fact that Freeman, under contract through 2022, isn't a one-year rental, it made sense for the Lions to sniff around.

Atlanta handed Freeman a $41.25 million contract extension in 2017. With cap hits north of $9 million the next two seasons, the cap-strapped Falcons could have considered unloading the NFL's fifth-highest paid running back.

The contract and Freeman's injury history could have come into play in trade compensation discussions.

The running back is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry on 97 totes with no rushing TDs for a disappointing 1-7 Falcons squad this season. If Freeman's play doesn't pick up down the stretch, he could become a trade candidate again, or a cut possibility, next offseason.

As with most of the discussions that occurred leading up to the trade deadline, the Falcons-Lions talks washed away like fallen leaves in a rainstorm.

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