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Report: Atlanta Falcons lose RB Tevin Coleman to 49ers via free agency

From 2016-18, Coleman averaged 945 total yards and 9.3 TDs -- without ever clearing 170 carries or catching more than 32 balls in a season.

The NFL salary cap, even with substantial annual increases over the years, remains a fickle and finite mistress for highly competitive teams.

As such, few people should be shocked by running back Tevin Coleman's exodus from the Atlanta Falcons

On Wednesday, the burgeoning star agreed to a two-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

Now, was Coleman's total price tag (a reported $10 million) too rich for the Falcons? 

Simply put, no.

However, with Grady Jarrett's salary cap hold of $15.2 million (via the franchise tag), Julio Jones' impending renegotiation (expect another training-camp holdout, if no extension) and the escalating extension price for Deion Jones (linebackers have cleaned up during NFL free agency), there's just not enough money to go around with the team's star-laden talent.


There's also the matter of the Falcons patching major holes in their offensive line, through the acquisitions of James Carpenter (former tackle converted to guard) and right guard Jamon Brown.

Back to Coleman ... he has a chance to become a certifiable star in San Francisco. 

Charting his last three seasons with Atlanta, Coleman averaged 945 total yards and 9.3 touchdowns – without ever clearing 170 carries or catching more than 32 balls in a year.


The problem there: Coleman posted a catch-to-target rate of 73 percent ... which suggests the Falcons didn't maximize their usage of Coleman's talents – whether as a backup to Devonta Freeman or filling his shoes full time (like last season).

With Coleman's departure, this puts pressure on the Falcons to get Ito Smith up to full speed before training camp, and perhaps sign a productive veteran rusher at a reasonable price.