How should the Atlanta Falcons handle Tevin Coleman’s upcoming free agency?

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Tevin Coleman
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Tevin Coleman /
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons /

Tevin Coleman has been a consistent producer for the team, but can the Falcons afford to keep him?

Besides Alvin Kamara, Tevin Coleman is arguably the best No. 2 running back in the entire NFL.Throughout his career, he has proved to be a consistent running and receiving threat for the Falcons.

The good news is his production has come cheap, as he has been on his rookie contract for three years. The bad news? His contract expires after this season, and it’s unclear if the Falcons can afford to keep him.

One of the biggest stories over the past few years was the decline of big money for free agent running backs.That all changed this year, as backs such as Jerick McKinnon got deals worth over $25 million.

Although McKinnon put up good stats in 2017, his career stats are similar to Coleman’s career production so far.

This brings up the issue of how much money Coleman will expect to earn in free agency next year.

Coleman currently ranks 44th in salaries for running backs, but will likely be in the top ten during his new contract.

It wouldn’t be shocking to see his deal exceed the one signed by McKinnon or Dion Lewis, whose deal is worth $20 million from the Titans.

The Falcons are expected to have over $77 million in cap space next season, but they’ll likely spend a large amount of that on new contracts for Matt Ryan and Jake Matthews.

Although those contracts are hard to predict, it’s difficult to imagine the Falcons spending a ton of money on Coleman, who would likely always be the No. 2 back behind Devonta Freeman.

Should the team look into alternative options such as a trade?

Does this mean that the Falcons should look into trading Coleman before his contract expires?

The closest example of a similar player being traded is Jay Ajayi, who was traded for a fourth rounder from the Eagles.Would a team value Coleman the same as Ajayi? It’s hard to say since both have different positive and negatives.

The team could also let him leave in free agency, and see what compensatory pick they receive from the league.

Depending on the size of his upcoming contract, the Falcons might receive a third rounder if he leaves.I feel the best route is for the Falcons to retain Coleman, and see how his free agency plays out.

Depending on the Falcon’s draft, they are likely the fourth or fifth best team in the NFC. Barring injuries, the team should reach the playoffs and Coleman should help them attempt a run to the Super Bowl.

The team can always look to free agency or the draft to find a replacement who ends up being much cheaper.

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Let me know what you think the Falcons should do in the comments section!