Devonta Freeman was supposed to serve as the answer in the Giants‘ backfield after star Saquon Barkley suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2. The two-time Pro Bowler inked a one-year, $3 million contract with Big Blue ahead of Week 3, and by Week 4, Freeman was thrust into the team’s starting lineup.
For the next three games, Freeman averaged nearly 18 touches per game and looked to be the perceived offensive centerpiece for New York, albeit the NFL’s 31st-ranked offense. However, an ankle injury suffered in Week 7 against divisional foes, the Philadelphia Eagles, landed him on injured reserve and in many ways ended his tenure in New York.
The emergence of Wayne Gallman in his absence, mixed with a new hamstring injury and a stint on the Reserve/COVID-19 list made the one-time NFL rushing touchdowns leader a forgotten man in the Giants’ offense. Freeman failed to log a single snap for the remainder of the 2020 season and by the looks of it, will never log another snap in a Giants uniform ever again.
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Giants Waive RB Devonta Freeman
The Giants cut RB Devonta Freeman from injured reserve. Freeman was signed after Saquon Barkley tore his knee.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) January 7, 2021
New York cut ties with the seven-year pro on Thursday, waiving Freeman from injured reserve. The former Atlanta Falcons star’s tenure in East Rutherford comes to an end after just five games (four starts). Freeman compiled 172 rushing yards on 54 carries, hitting paydirt once. He also chipped in with an extra 58 yards through the air on seven receptions.
Freeman, a two-time 1,000-yard rusher during his days in Atlanta, will now look to latch on with his third team since 2019. The former second-team All-Pro will turn 29-years-old in March of this year. He’s accumulated just 896 rushing yards over the last three years, two of which he’s appeared in five games or fewer. Over his career, Freeman has accounted for 44 total touchdowns (33 rushing, 11 receiving) and 6,217 yards from scrimmage (4,144 rushing, 2,073 receiving).
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John Mara Dishes on Saquon Barkley’s Injury, Future With Team
As we touched on above, the Giants played nearly the entirety of the 2020 season without not only their best offensive player but arguably the best running back in all of football in Saquon Barkley.
During the Giants’ year-end press conference on Wednesday, co-owner John Mara addressed how devastating losing Barkley truly was to the organization.
“It was brutal to watch him go down in Week 2,” Mara said. “He’s such an important part of this team, not only for what he does on the field but the leadership and all of the intangibles he brings to us off the field. That was really a gut punch.”
Despite a slew of injuries over the past two seasons, Mara expects Barkley to be in the Giants’ plans for “a very long time.”
“I’m still happy that we have him. I think, knowing him, he’s going to come back stronger than ever and be a big part of this team next year,” Mara stated. “In terms of what the timetable is, it’s hard to predict that right now. I know our medical people are very pleased with the progress he’s made. I certainly expect him to be a Giant for a very long time.”
Barkley, 23, is eligible to sign a new contract this offseason.
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