Dropping Freeman would leave $6 million of dead money on the cap while freeing up $3.5 million for the team to work with this offseason. Blank said he has “no idea” if General Manager Thomas Dimitroff will go that route, but adds that his affection for Freeman won’t factor into the team’s ultimate decision about which path to follow.
“Well, I love him, too,” Blank said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “But this has nothing to do with love. It has to do with building a roster. The salary cap is not unlimited. It seems like it’s unlimited, but it’s not. And the investments we have made — which have been very, very substantial with a wide variety of players on both sides of the ball — have been significant. So personnel, and coach, and [team president] Rich McKay, they’ll be looking at everything and making sure we’re making investments in the right areas based on what the roster has to look like going forward.”
Freeman missed all but two games in 2018 due to a groin injury and posted a career-low yards per carry during the 2019 season, which has helped fuel thoughts that the Falcons run game is going to move in a different direction this year.