Saints: Devonta Freeman adds depth to the running back position

Devonta Freeman -Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Devonta Freeman -Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Saints signed Devonta Freeman on a Saturday and it’s a move that at first makes one think “Why?” On second thought, however, it was a nice signing by the Saints.

Sure, the Saints are set at the RB1 and even RB2 spot. Alvin Kamara isn’t going anywhere and Latavius Murray has proven himself to be a decent second-string running back. These two are still the Saints’ top two options even with Freeman on the roster.

The addition of Freeman gives the Saints another option as to who will be the third-string running back in 2021.

Freeman spent the first six years of his career in Atlanta after the Falcons spent a fourth-round pick on him in the 2014 NFL Draft. He was one of the best running backs in the league early on, rushing for over 1,000 yards in 2015 and 2016 while combining for a total of 27 touchdowns during those two seasons. Freeman made the Pro Bowl in both 2015 and 2016.

In 2018, Freeman’s injuries started to flare up and he hasn’t been the same player in quite some time. That’s why the Saints shouldn’t expect him to be anything more than a third-string option.

The New Orleans Saints signed Devonta Freeman.

Prior to the Freeman signing, the third-string spot on the roster most likely belonged to Dwayne Washington, whose career-high in rushing yards was 265, which he did in 2016 as a member of the Lions. Washington hasn’t done much since then so Freeman is most certainly an upgrade there.

Adam Schefter notes in the tweet above too that Freeman and Jameis Winston played at Florida State together. They both played for the Seminoles in 2013, which was Freeman’s best season in Tallahassee. Maybe the Saints signed Freeman to give Winston a friendly face on the roster but more than likely, it was to improve their third-string running back situation.

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Now if anything happens to Kamara (knock on wood please), Murray and Freeman can tag-team the running back spot while he’s out. This was a solid move by the Saints and it’ll be fun to see what Freeman has left in the tank.