Several reports have indicated that the Falcons are interested in extending Tevin Coleman. Coleman was drafted in the third round of the 2015 draft and set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Over the last three seasons, he’s served more as a co-pilot rather than a backup to Devonta Freeman, totaling at least 900 yards from scrimmage in each year and combining for 26 touchdowns. The two have created a duo opposing teams should be envious of, but for the life me, I can’t understand why the Falcons would actually re-sign Tevin Coleman.
Dan Quinn has been on the record regarding the situation, saying he would “definitely” consider the option of bringing Coleman back. Though, he also followed that with this, “We’re in the scenario [of losing] where we’re not very pleased, and we’re certainly going to consider every single option in every way.”
There’s no denying the Falcons are in the situation where they should be evaluating all possible options to get things turned around. But that’s all Coleman should be, a consideration.
The Falcons signed Devonta Freeman last offseason to a lucrative contract worth over $42 million in total and $22 million in guarantees. At the time, it made Freeman the richest running back in the league but that was soon topped by the $60 million the Rams handed Todd Gurley.
Regardless, the Falcons have plenty of money already tied up into running back- and their offensive skill positions in general. Atlanta rightfully opted to hand Matt Ryan an astonishing $150 million over the next five years. They have the best wide receiver in the league demanding for his contract to be re-worked, and he’s already making close to $15 million annually. They have money tied into Sanu and spent a first-round draft pick on Calvin Ridley. There’s no way Atlanta should be really considering adding Coleman to the list, especially when they have so many other gaping holes to fill.
Edge rushers are non-existent for the Falcons. Not only do they need to be spending their draft assets on finding quality players who can get after the passer, but they also need to spend whatever money they have in free agency on them as well. This is a problem that’s been going on for 10+ years; running back is not. And if the Falcons are going to spend money on their already high-priced offense, it has to be across the offensive line. It’s simple: the game is won in the trenches, and Atlanta has been absolutely dominated there this season. All of their limited free-agent budget needs to be allocated to players weighing at least 250 pounds.
Not to mention, the Falcons found a diamond in the rough with Ito Smith. The Southern Mississippi product didn’t have much noise surrounding him coming into the draft but has turned heads since being selected in the fourth round. You could easily make the argument that he’s been the best back on the team this year, and he will be under contract for next to nothing through 2021.
Yes, what Dan Quinn has said about the Falcons running game is true. It’s the identity of the Atlanta offense. The ability to control the clock and run their offense off of play action has been critical to their success. The Falcons absolutely have to get back to playing that way. However, that doesn’t happen by re-signing Tevin Coleman. That happens by spending draft picks and money on the people up front. Coleman has done wonders in Atlanta and is going to receive a healthy contract because of it, but his days with the Falcons are coming to an end.