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Falcons working hard to get extension for Devonta Freeman

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the team will work hard this week to complete a contract extension with two-time Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman.

"We've had some good conversations in the offseason," Dimitroff told reporters Monday. "Talked to him on the field a number of times, and he's in a good place. We've had discussions with his agent. As a matter of fact, we will be focusing on that 100 percent here in the next few days.

"... We're very focused on sitting down and discussing where we are, making sure that we're not re-creating a market, because that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about making sure that we talk about having him here for a number of years to come because he's a very important part of this organization."

Dimitroff said he hasn't put a definite timetable on reaching the contract agreement with Freeman, a 2014 fourth-round pick who has one year and close to $1.8 million left on his rookie deal. Freeman has continued to express patience about the deal, knowing it's on the horizon and knowing his agent, Kristin Campbell, will handle the business side. Campbell was in Atlanta as of Monday morning.

Many figured any extension secured by Pittsburgh running back Le'Veon Bell this offseason might have set the market for what Freeman could be paid, but Freeman said he never looked at his negotiations in such a manner. Bell did not reach a long-term deal with the Steelers and will play under the one-year franchise tag of $12.1 million this season.

The Falcons report for training camp Wednesday and hold their first practice Thursday. Dimitroff was asked about the possibility of Freeman signing his extension before practice starts Thursday morning.

"That's just a few days away, and I've always said that I think it's going to be fairly expeditious negotiation," Dimitroff said. "But you never know. That's a tough thing to say. I would love it to happen. But if it doesn't, we're not throwing up a caution flag at all. I think we'll just continue to work through it."

In other news, Dimitroff said first-round pick Takk McKinley will be limited at the start of training camp as he returns from pre-draft shoulder surgery. Dimitroff said the goal is to have McKinley ready for Week 3 of the preseason -- the first game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium -- against the Arizona Cardinals.

Dimitroff also said star receiver Julio Jones is eager to get going following offseason foot surgery. How much Jones participates in training camp is yet to be determined.