The Falcons are struggling this year, in part, because some of their top players aren’t performing up to expectations.
That doesn’t mean they want to get rid of them.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Lions called the Falcons to see if running back Devonta Freeman was available.
The two sides apparently talked about it “at length” before not doing a deal.
Of course, the two sides might also have different perceptions of what “at length” would be, or how seriously the talks actually were.
The Lions are 3-3-1, have some degree of playoff chances, and are without the injured Kerryon Johnson, so it’s easy to see why they were curious.
But the fact talks ever got past “No” speaks to how deep the problems are in Atlanta.
The Falcons gave Freeman a five-year, $41.25 million deal prior to the 2017 season, when he was one of the most dynamic players in one of the league’s most dynamic offenses. This year, he hasn’t run for more than 88 yards in any game, and has just 333 rushing yards for the season (29th in the league).
The fact they ultimately didn’t do the deal is the most important, but the fact it got that far remains interesting.