By Ryan Velez
Even though the 2016-2017 NFL season didn’t have the perfect ending for the Atlanta Falcons, many on the team have reason to take pride in their accomplishments. One example is running back Devonta Freeman, who in his three seasons has become one of the best in the game in what he does, two Pro Bowl appearances, and back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons. Many feel that Freeman getting a major payday with a contract extension is not a matter of if, but when and how much. While the details are up in the air, an article from Celebrity Net Worth says that his plans for the money may be the most important detail of all: putting his three sisters through college.
One important thing to note about Freeman is that by pro-athlete standards, he has been a real bargain for the Falcons. Playing on a rookie contract means that he made only $600,000 while rushing for 1,079 yards and 11 touchdowns. Compare this to the league’s highest paid running back, LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills, earned $8 million while rushing for 1,267 yards and scored 13 touchdowns; just 188 yards and two more touchdowns more than Freeman. While Freeman is poised to make $1.8 million next year due to a collectively bargained proven performance escalator, his contract expires at the end of the 2017 season. Freeman is seeking an extension in hopes of not only staying in Atlanta but getting paid a great deal more than his 2017 take.
What makes an education for his younger sisters so key? In an interview with ESPN, Freeman explained that it was important to show them the importance of education. “I want to pay for all of them to go to college,” said Freeman, who is currently taking classes at Florida State to finish his sports management degree. “Where I come from, school wasn’t as fun growing up. I want to try and show them and teach them that school is fun, if you do it the right way if you go to school with a purpose. You have to have a purpose for everything in life. And when you get to see the results, it’s very fun.”
Freeman added that “This is one thing I mean by putting your family on and giving them the opportunity to be successful. It’s not just giving them everything they want, it’s making them work for it and utilizing the opportunity. Bringing them here with me, they get to live like me, but at the same time, go to school and work hard for it.” Freeman’s sisters are 23, 19, 18, and five years old.