By Knox Bardeen

ATLANTA — In the week leading up to Super Bowl 51, Devonta Freeman’s agent told that it was time for the Pro Bowl running back to be paid like “the elite back he is.” While the timing on that announcement might not have been optimal, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff joined John Fricke and Hugh Douglas on “The Morning Show” Monday and said neither is now the right time to talk about a new deal.

Dimitroff said he has been in contact with Freeman’s agent (as recently as last week). And while Freeman’s desire for a new contract and the team’s appreciation and need for his skill set coincide, a new deal isn’t on the horizon.

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“We have a good dialogue,” said Dimitroff. “I think Freeman’s in a good spot. This is where he wants to be, [and] we want him to be here for years to come. We’re confident that something’s going to get done. The timing on that is not now. The timing on that, if you look at our history, we are very particular on when we extend our guys, and that’s something that will be taken care of in due time.

“It’s not going to be a contentious issue in my mind. I think it’s going to be one that’s going to be fairly quick. We know what the market is and we’re confident we can get something done. Again, when the time is right. It won’t be during this free-agency period.”

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So scratch the next few weeks or even months off the board if you were betting on when (or if) a new contract for Freeman would get signed. What about a trade, though. Rumors have been running rampant that if a deal wasn’t done, te only way to make Freeman happy would be to trade him.

Dimitroff addressed the idea of Atlanta trading their No. 1 running back.

“There was the assertion that we would trade him,” dismissed Dimitroff. “I just want to let the fan base know that that’s ridiculous. We would never trade him. He’s a very, very important part to this offense, he’s the type of runner we want considering his urgent style and his competitiveness. We’re confident that we’re going to get something done.”

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LISTEN to the entire conversation with Dimitroff by clicking below, or move to the 11:22 mark to hear the Freeman portion: