NFL: New Orleans Saints sign running back Devonta Freeman on one-year deal
New Orleans Saints signed free agent running back Devonta Freeman
Last year, Freeman managed only four starts and 54 carries
He posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in Atlanta in 2015-16
As the NFL teams are scrambling to beef up their rosters ahead of the season, New Orleans Saints signed free agent running back Devonta Freeman on a one-year contract, spicing up the competition for the backup role to RB1 Alvin Kamara, according to US media reports.
Freeman, 29, visited the team Saturday prior to signing, NFL Network reported.
The Saints camp would be well aware of Freeman as they faced him twice a year as divisional opponents during his peak years when he was with Atlanta Falcons.
Although last year, Freeman could manage only four starts and 54 carries with the New York Giants, he posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in Atlanta, each ending with a Pro Bowl, in 2015-16.
However, recently, injuries have plagued his career with Freeman spending major time on the injured reserve list with ankle and hamstring injuries.
The Saints' do have a moderate backup line in place for talisman Kamara. Coming in as the RB2, Latavius Murray has rushed for 656 yards last season and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. Meanwhile, Freeman will join Tony Jones Jr., Stevie Scott III and Dwayne Washington as the running back options throughout the season.
If push comes to shove, New Orleans has Ty Montgomery, who is rostered at the wide receiver position but can chip in as a rusher, given he plays there permanently.
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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.