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The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension with running back Devonta Freeman, addressing one of the biggest issues for the defending NFC champions.

"We are very pleased that we were able to get this extension done", general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement.

The deal, which averages $8.25 million, makes Freeman the highest paid running back in the NFL.

Teaming in the backfield last season with Tevin Coleman, Freeman ranked seventh in the National Football League with 1,541 total yards and his 13 TDs were fifth most touchdowns among running backs.

"It was just about me competing, doing what I love to do", Freeman said, via the Associated Press. "You know I just feel like we all do things differently - that's we're in the league, that's why we're starters, and stuff like that".

The Falcons can now continue the blend of Freeman and Tevin Coleman at running back.

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Stringfellow is a Rancho Verde alum who chose to skip his senior season at Ole Miss to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

Ward was a solid backup in 2016.

Last year Koufos signed a four-year, $33 million contract with the Kings and although both players make the same annual amount, all of Koufos' contract is guaranteed, while Freeman's isn't.

Freeman was selected in the fourth round (103rd overall) of the 2014 draft out of Florida State. He took over the position in 2015.

Freeman has also been a threat out of the backfield, catching 157 passes.

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