(Reuters) – Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman says he will look to maximize his earning potential as he heads into the final year of his contract because the punishing nature of his position means he might not have a long career.
A fourth-round draft choice in 2014, Freeman has one more season remaining on a rookie deal that pays him $800,000 including bonuses.
Freeman has run for more than 1,000 yards and had 11 rushing touchdowns in each of the last two seasons, earning a pair of Pro Bowl invitations, and has been a key factor in the Falcons’ run to Sunday’s Super Bowl.
“When you play running back, you look at your position, you look at history, and then you compare it with how you feel every week — it’s such a brutal position,” Freeman told reporters.
“When you get the opportunity to get some money, you want to put yourself in position to max out, to get as much as you can, because the lifespan of a running back is not long.”
Freeman’s agent, Kristin Campbell, told NFL.com the player wanted to remain with the Falcons for the rest of his career but that they had to reward him “like the elite back he is”.
“I expect them to make him a priority this offseason, as he’s been an integral part of the dynamic offense that has gotten them to the Super Bowl,” said Campbell on Monday, less than a week before the Falcons face the Patriots in the Super Bowl in Houston.
“He loves the team he’s with, and you hope the team he’s with values him,” Campbell said. “And if not, that’s OK — someone else will.”
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)