Heaps: Why Devonta Freeman would be great fit for Seahawks’ offense
A report surfaced earlier this week that the Seahawks have extended an offer to sign free-agent running back Devonta Freeman, though the two sides have not come to an agreement.
A 2014 third-round NFL Draft pick, the 28-year-old Freeman has spent his entire six-year pro career thus far with the Atlanta Falcons. Would he be a particularly good fit for the Seahawks’ offense?
According to 710 ESPN Seattle host and former Seahawks quarterback Jake Heaps, he’d be better than a good fit.
“I think Devonta Freeman would be a great fit in Seattle because he brings a dual element to the table,” Heaps said on a recent edition of Tom, Jake and Stacy. “He’s not just a guy that you can hand the ball off and run between the tackles.”
Freeman’s career stats bear that out. While he was at one point an elite tailback in the league, rushing for over 1,000 yards and making the Pro Bowl in each of the 2015 and 2016 seasons, he’s always maintained strong numbers in the passing game. Though he rushed for 656 yards in 14 games last season for a career-low 3.6 yards per carry, he caught 59 passes for 410 yards. And with four receiving touchdowns, he reached the end zone twice as many times on catches than he did on rushes.
Those numbers as a receiver are particularly notable as he has battled injury woes over the past few seasons to the point that he was limited to just two games in 2018 due to knee, foot and groin injuries.
“One thing that has remained is his pass-catching ability and him being a threat through the air, whether that’s the screen game, whether that’s option routes, choice routes, things of that nature,” Heaps said. “I think that’s another element to the Seahawks’ offense that can really be utilized and added to the great things that (starting tailback) Chris Carson does for them.”
Freeman’s experience would also fit the bill of another need for Seattle’s backfield, Heaps said, though there’s another available running back he points to as a good backup option.
“You look at the current situation of this running back group, I think a proven veteran is really needed here,” Heaps said. “It’s reported that Devonta Freeman and the Seahawks are off on money so the next option in my opinion that would be great is Carlos Hyde, but I think Devonta Freeman is the one guy that really brings something unique and different.”
You can hear the full discussion in the Four-Down Territory segment of this podcast from Tom, Jake and Stacy.