Saints reach one-year deal with RB Freeman

  • Covered Saints for eight years at New Orleans Times-Picayune
  • Previously covered LSU football, San Francisco 49ers
  • Iowa native and University of Iowa graduate

METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints bolstered a position of strength on Saturday, agreeing to a one-year deal with former Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman.

Freeman’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed the deal to ESPN’s Adam Schefter after Freeman tried out for the Saints on Saturday.

The Saints’ current backfield is led by veterans Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray — both of whom have been healthy and participating in training camp. So it’s not immediately clear why they felt a need to add depth to the position.

But few teams appreciate Freeman’s potential to make an impact more than the Saints, who spent so many years playing against him in the NFC South. No running back has gained more yards from scrimmage against New Orleans over the past decade than Freeman (691 rushing yards, 319 receiving yards, seven touchdowns).

Freeman was also a teammate of Saints quarterback Jameis Winston at Florida State, where they won the 2013 national championship together. And Freeman will now join Saints coach Sean Payton, who once apologized for letting his emotions get the best of him when he made a choking gesture toward Freeman on the sideline during a 2017 game.

Freeman, 29, spent part of last season with the New York Giants as an injury replacement for Saquon Barkley after being released by the Falcons. He finished with 172 rushing yards and one touchdown in five games played. For his career, the 5-foot-8, 206-pounder has 4,144 rushing yards, 2,073 receiving yards and 44 TDs, with two Pro Bowl selections.

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