by Phil W. Hudson

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman has run his way to become one of only five National Football League players to have a deal with Reebok.

Canton, Mass.-based Reebok International Ltd. (NYSE:RBK) said Freeman, along with New England Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks, partnered with the fitness apparel and footwear company to support Reebok Running’s new Print Run Ultraknit. The company already has deals in place with the Watt brothers: Derek, T.J. and J.J.

Freeman said he’s been a fan of Reebok since he joined the league.

While financial terms have not been disclosed, the deal comes at an important time financially for Freeman, who is currently negotiating his contract extension with the Falcons. Freeman has a lot of leverage in his negotiation after being named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl last season while helping lead the Falcons to a Super Bowl berth.

NFL.com reported Freeman recently paid about $50,000 for a $10 million insurance policy “protecting him against next season if he and the Falcons, who are trying to hammer out an extension, are unable to get that done.”

The outlet, citing NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, said the running back wants a deal in the “double digits” per year.

“While negotiations have not been tense, it’s clear both sides are working feverishly to get something done before camp and continue to negotiate,” NFL.com added. “A former fourth-round pick, Freeman is woefully underpaid at $1.838 million this season despite being one of the league’s premiere running backs.”

 

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