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Devonta Freeman expected to sign with Giants

Saquon Barkley, Giants

The New York Giants are bringing in reinforcements following the loss of star running back Saquon Barkley on Sunday.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported Tuesday the Giants are expected to sign former Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, pending COVID-19 testing.

Garafolo noted Freeman previously visited the Eagles, but New York seems to have a more pressing need in the backfield.

The Falcons cut Freeman this past March in order to save $3 million against the cap and, despite rumors linking him to a number of teams, he remained unsigned throughout the offseason.

However, the Giants are looking for added depth after Barkley suffered a torn ACL against the Chicago Bears. While Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman should both get some usage, it seems likely Freeman could get a heavy workload going forward.

Freeman burst onto the scene after winning the full-time job in Atlanta during his second year in the league. He made the Pro Bowl in back-to-back seasons in 2015 and 2016, totaling at least 1,500 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns between the two seasons.

But Freeman would come to split carries with Tevin Coleman, and he missed all but two games due to injury in 2018. The former fourth-round pick still managed 410 receiving yards and four touchdowns through the air last season, but he also averaged a career-low 3.6 yards per carry.

The Giants are desperately looking to establish the running game to take some of the pressure off second-year quarterback Daniel Jones. They will hope Freeman can return to the form of his early Falcons years as they look for more steadiness in the backfield.